How Mr Ibu started acting — and 5 other jobs he did in his lifetime

Mr Ibu was famous for his acting, but he did other things before or after the fame.

John 'Mr Ibu' Okafor did many things with his life [Instagram/@realmribu]

The widespread acknowledgement of his talent has trailed the announcement of his demise at the age of 62, and he can be proud of keeping to his promise to do whatever made him happy.

The actor was quite vocal about this aspect of his life in a December 2007 interview with PM News, resurfaced by the online newspaper archives,, after his death.

Mr Ibu said he started acting at the age of 18 in the late 1970s due to an interest nurtured by his grandfather whom he described as a wonderful comedian.


"I developed interest when I used to watch a programme called Hotel de Jordan then on Bendel State Television and used to go there because it was being transmitted live. So, there was this role I was asked to play and that was how I developed interest in acting.

"Later, I was doing something in Anambra Broadcasting Service and when the state was split, we had MBI at Onitsha and was anchoring a programme called Ayonocha on the station then."

Despite how early he started acting, Mr Ibu considered his role in Agony (1997) his first big break. It was released years before the Mr Ibu film which shot him to the limelight with a fictional character whose name he carried until his death.

The 62-year-old was mostly famous for his acting, but he did other things before or after the fame. Before his big Nollywood break, he used to trade in electronics because he had attended a technical school. He was also a boxer but one of his colleagues beat him "like nama (cow)" so he decided to quit.


"I did photography, hairdressing and music," the actor said during the 2007 interview. "You see, something inspires me in every sphere of life I find myself," he added.

Mr Ibu acted in more than 200 films and will be remembered as one of Nollywood's most popular comedians.

Enhance Your Pulse News Experience!

Get rewards worth up to $20 when selected to participate in our exclusive focus group. Your input will help us to make informed decisions that align with your needs and preferences.

I've got feedback!


Unblock notifications in browser settings.

Eyewitness? Submit your stories now via social or: