John Okafor: History of the Man Called Mr Ibu (Cause of Death)

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John Okafor, aka Mr Ibu, was a darling of the screen, creating many fond memories for young and old. The versatile actor featured in numerous award-winning Nollywood films. His acting career began booming in 2004 when he appeared in comic films with Osita Iheme and Chinedu Ikedieze. He went on to become a household name in Africa. The comic actor ended up acting in over 200 movies. Mr Ibu won numerous awards, including being honoured by Nigeria as a Member of the Order of the Federal Republic (MFR).

He was also accorded many national honours in appreciation of his talent and the work he put into the industry over the years. Mr Ibu was also a graduate of the Institute of Management and Technology, Enugu State.

It was a shock to many of his fans after his death was announced on Saturday, March 2nd, 2024. The versatile Nollywood actor and comedian battled with sickness before passing away, leaving behind a wife and many children.

Mr Ibu: state of origin, first and second wife

Mr Ibu was born in Enugu, Nkanu West LGA on October 17, 1961, as John Ikechukwu Okafor. As at the time of his death, he was just 62.

Mr Ibu married his second wife, Stella Marris Chinyere Okafor from Mbaise, Imo State, and talked glowingly about her in a 2018 interview with Vanguard. The late actor revealed that Stella was the woman of his dreams, who brought him peace of mind. In the interview, the actor praised Stella for her cooking prowess as he talked about how his first marriage failed.

According to the interview, Mr Ibu revealed that he had five children with Stella while his first wife gave birth to four children for him. Explaining why his first marriage crashed, the actor stated in the interview that he married another man’s wife. He explained that his first wife was not for him. According to Mr Ibu, the marriage was plagued with troubles and tribulations and he had no other option than to end it. Mr Ibu revealed that his first wife hailed from Enugu and that they come from the same village. The actor further revealed in the interview that after his first marriage crashed, he stayed away from women for six years.

Journey with sickness

Mr. Ibu’s journey with sickness began way back in 2022 after he was hospitalized at the Zenith Medical and Kidney Centre in Abuja. Narrating the experience following his recovery from the sickness, the actor said that he was poisoned at an event in Abuja. The incident led to his becoming critically ill, and he had to be admitted to the hospital. The sickness also impacted his acting career, as he was away from the movie set for some time.

However, the sickness that eventually led to the star’s death became public in October 2023 when he cried out for help. It was revealed that the actor’s arteries had been infected, and because it was not detected early, amputation was the only option for him. The actor begged his fans to come to his aid financially, as he feared one of his legs could be amputated due to a disease.

He revealed that he was finding it difficult to pay his hospital bills. Mr Ibu in the video he posted on his Instagram page, stated that he found out about the imminent amputation of his left after falling ill on set. Doctors warned him that if the leg is not amputated, he risks losing his life.

Okafor suffered from a disease that necessitated five surgeries, and in November 2023, he had his leg amputated. According to his family, the amputation was performed in order to prolong Mr Ibu’s life and improve his prognosis. Fans and celebrities contributed massively to the actor’s surgery.


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A post shared by John Okafor (@realmribu)

The family later confirmed in November 2023 that one of his legs had been successfully amputated and that he was recovering from the sickness.

Mr Ibu’s family also confirmed that he had undergone 5 different surgeries.

A statement confirming this posted on his Instagram page read:

“We want to thank God and most especially the general public for their support, encouragement, and prayers during this trying period for our dad.

“We called on Good Nigerians and we are very grateful for the response in every aspect most especially the donations, it came in very timely and very helpful.

“So far, Daddy has gone through five successful surgeries, and he is still recovering in the ICU. Daddy is immensely grateful and we are thankful to the general public during this phase of our lives.”

Cause of Death

Mr Ibu died at Evercare Hospital following a cardiac arrest. The cause of death was confirmed by Emeka Rollas, Actors Guild of Nigeria President on his Instagram page. He wrote:

“Sad Day for Actors Guild of Nigeria.

“Kate Henshaw lost her mother earlier today and Mr Ibu suffered cardiac arrest according to his manager for 24 years Mr Don Single Nwuzor.

“I announce with a deep sense of grief that Mr Ibu didn’t make it.

“May his soul rest in peace.”

Jasmine Okafor

Following the death of the actor, Jasmine clarified that Mr Ibu was not her biological father. In a YouTube video while clarifying allegations that she siphoned money from N55m contributed by the actor’s fans for his medical bill. She added that Mr Ibu was her father’s best friend. Speaking further she denied rumours of her having an affair with the actor.

According to Jasmine, following her father’s death the actor adopted her as her daughter. She also denied reports of her getting arrested alongside the actor’s son over mismanagement of the money that was contributed for the actor’s sickness.

@ladyjasminec Finally I have been able to say my own part of the story, with facts , proofs, and if there ever be any need for more proofs, I am ever ready to come through with it ! Other than that, I am done with this topic , the full video is both on my YouTube channel ( LadyJasmineC) I also made sure I posted everything here as well ! It’s time to turn a new leaf , as well as waiting for the court case , cause justice must be served! Pt 12 #ladyjasminec ♬ original sound – Chioma Jasmine Okafor

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