John Okafor (aka Mr. Ibu) is one of Nigeria’s top actors cum comedians. Days back, at Mercy City, in Warri, Delta State, he chatted with AZUH LILIAN on his family and more. Enjoy …
Why are you here?
It’s the birthday of the General Overseer of this church, Prophet Jeremiah Omoto Fufeyin. That is the reason why we are here. And I tell you the truth, the hospitality has been so wonderful.
What is your prayer for him as he turns 46 today?
For God to bless him more.
What makes a good actor?
Be natural in everything you do.
You were reportedly robbed two weeks ago, what exactly happened?
The robbers invaded my house, made away with my cash, because I had money at home, my phones, laptops and my gold wristwatches.
There was a million naira cash in my house and properties worth over 13 million Naira.
Any recovery so far?
Last Friday, they returned one phone. They threw it under my gate. Because police was tracking them.
Do you have anybody in mind that you are suspecting?
In the course of investigation, the police discovered a suspect who happens to be head of the gang, but he has absconded. The house he was living, as I was told, he rented it few weeks ago with my money.
What is the greatest thing that God has done for you?
Life and wealth.
How did you come about the name, Mr. Ibu?
Ibu has always been my name right from childhood. Ibu is my grandfather’s name. My grandfather acts more than myself and he’s also a better comedian.
What is the greatest thing that acting has done for you?
A lot, good houses, good cars, etc.
What distinguishes you from other actors?
Creativity and doing my thing my own way.
How long have you been in the movie industry?
I joined the industry in 1978 and ever since then the industry has been so wonderful to my life.
What is the difference between the Nollywood of then and now?
Now, it’s more lucrative, unlike then. Nollywood is solid now and everywhere.
Your production company is called what?
My production company is called Gist & Body Mind Productions.
How many kids have you?
I have eight kids. Four from my ex-wife and four from my present wife, but I lost one, remaining seven. And I am also a grandfather.
What has brought you this far?
I think I am humble, natural and the things of the world don’t move me. Because if you are too hard, you die so fast.
How did you celebrate your Valentine?
We were indoors here. I was here (Mercy City) in doors.
Why Mercy City and not with madam knowing full well what Valentine stands for?
My wife is a very wonderful wife, she understands why I am not around. She knows if I am home, we will be indoors all through celebrating our Valentine.
How romantic are you?
I sweet o… I am very, very romantic in that department.
What is the secret behind your youthful looks?
The secret is that I stay away from sugary foods, alcohol, and I’m always careful with my intakes. I like plantain flour, moi-moi, smoothies and water. And if you eat them, you will remain young forever.
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