John Okafor, popularly known as Mr. Ibu, a successful actor and comedian in the Nigerian Nollywood Industry, is no doubt one of Nigeria’s most talented comic actors. His humorous acting is often characterized by stupidity and imbecility.
Since he started his acting career, he has featured in more than 300 movies, including Mr. Ibu which he produced in 2004, Though, he is now a fulfilled thespian, but he revealed that he has once made an attempt to commit suicide, in a telephone chat with Rasaq Odunlami of brandcampaign.com.ng Excerpts:
BRAND CAMPAIGN. How many movies have you featured in since you started your acting career?
Mr Ibu :So far so good, I have featured in over 300 movies.
Brandcampaign :How many movies have you produced?
Mr Ibu :By and large, I think I have produced like 27 movies.
Brandcampaign :Can you just mention four out of them?
Mr Ibu :“Inheritance”, “Naomi”, “Front Page” and “Finger”.
Brandcampaign :Apart from acting what other things do you do for a living?
Mr Ibu :I am just an actor and comedian.
Brandcampaign :Would you tell us best thing ever happened to you in life?
Mr Ibu :After trying to commit suicide, due to many life challenges I have faced, later, my head pushed me out the house I was living, but now I really thank God I am a landlord today in Lagos.
Brandcampaign :Have you taken any bold step?
Mr Ibu :Yes I have.
Brandcampaign :Tell us about it?
Mr Ibu :The first bold step I took, was my visit to the African Diaspora Forum in South Africa recently for advocate for the integration of all Africans. I appealed to some African countries to open borders for immigrants to enter African continent of their choice. Another one is the right to shoot a movie, titled xenophobia in South Africa.
Brandcampaign :What inspires your acting?
Mr Ibu :I think every thing has to do with your heart. Any good thing your heart tells you to do, you must go by your heart. So, my heart is my inspiration.
Brandcampaign :As a veteran actor, what do you look for in a script?
Mr Ibu :I always look for good script. The role that I would play that will be meaningful and teach impactful lessons to my fans. Anything less than that, I won’t take it.
Brandcampaign :Aside from being a Gotv and Glo ambassador, which other brand has contract with you?
Mr Ibu :I am an ambassador of Kingdom Lottery brand as well.
Brandcampaign :Is there any thing you think must be changed in the Nollywood Industry?
Mr Ibu :Nigerian government has not been giving us enough attention. If the government can offer employment for 500 people, it will make life better for actors. This can only be achieved if it can support Nollywood as an Institution. Also, stakeholders in the industry, such as the Nigerian Guild of Actors, should rise to challenge and make the industry a better place for all.
Brandcampaign :Would you like to tell us about your wife and children?
Mr Ibu :I think that is a private affair. But if I should tell you about that, I will say I have a beautiful wife and children, and my wife is a good cook.
Brandcampaign :What is your advice to the upcoming actors?
Mr Ibu :They should not see money as a priority at early stage, because when you move on in your career, the money will look for you. When you put money before passion, it will definitely affect the interest.
Brandcampaign :Obviously, you are a fulfilled actor, can we say that you are already at the peak of your career?
Mr Ibu :If you say so, that means you want me to go back to start counting my blessings. I’m still going, that means I still have many peaks, though I an old man but I strongly believe there is still time to do more in my career.