John Okafor, needs no other introduction in Nollywood as he stands out as one of the consistent actors/comedians the industry has ever seen.
Mr Ibu or Mrs Ibu as he is fondly called, has excelled as musician, actor and comedian appearing both on the local and global scene for shows of every standard that could be talked about.
He was at Ibari Ogwa Village Owerri, Imo State for the celebration of Nigeria’s 52 years of Independence, in a show he thrilled the crowd with his Mr and Mrs Ibu package, giving out the best of independence comedy and dance ever seen from him.
Before going on stage, Mr Ibu spoke to Chinedu Hardy Nwadike on his view about Nigeria and the entertainment industry at 52 years of independence from the colonial masters.
Nigeria at 52
Nigeria is 52 with nothing to show, Nigeria is 52 and still dependent, yet we are celebrating independence. We depend on South Africa for communication, MTN is a South African company and we couldn’t manage our own NITEL. Even when NITEL started selling recharge cards and SIM cards just to be like others, they still did not last. Where are they today? Independence means self reliance.
To watch anything around the world in Nigeria, we need DSTV, also from South African, Shoprite is the biggest supermarket in the world and we celebrate them here. They are also from the same South Africa.
We are just the giant of Africa. Happy Independence!
Nigeria Entertainment industry presently
Nigerian entertainment is a one-man show; the government is not doing anything for us, we are doing it alone. In the movie industry where I belong, there is a board set up by the government called Film Corporation of Nigeria. The question is, how many times have they sponsored a movie? Have they ever tried to arrange a setting or work to produce a first class movie that will challenge the kind of movies produced in other countries? The corporation is dormant and should be closed down.
We have Actors Guild of Nigeria, but the federal government does not recognize us. They should have built a movie village with a big Neon sign that will let anyone know that he is around the headquarters of Nollywood. People will stand at the gate and watch actors and actresses walk in and out of the compound, but they cannot do that.
It is the biggest virus that is killing the industry. They sleep and wait for you to toil all for them to wake up in the morning to duplicate your work. They end up feeding very well, while the owners of the work go hungry.
People say the industry has gone far
We have gone far from which road? From which express did we embark on the journey. I know that we have gone far, but through which road? Musicians, writers, comedian actors and everyone in the entertainment industry are crying because of piracy, yet we have gone far.
About the show today
That is the only way we can be happy. We are using what we have to be happy and the door is even open for the government to come and enjoy with us. We are supposed to be part of the government but we have been extracted from that area, while few people answer the name government and enjoy everything in it.
Going into politics
I can’t say that right now, but if the weather is good for me, I will surely go into politics like some of my colleagues in Nollywood.
I must tell you that if the leadership of this country goes into the hands of comedians like me, our politics will take a new dimension because we’ll be ready to listen to the people. That will only happen when power is in the hands of people that understand life, not the greedy ones.
Mr Ibu as a governor or president
If I’m the president of this country, the first area I’ll be visiting is our economy. I’ll abolish N1000, N500 and N200 notes. Our highest denomination will be N100, by so doing; we will have value for our money. Some people go arrange themselves say them wan bring out N5000 note, make God catch them there.
Zimbabwe has one note of one trillion, but what can you buy with it, you’ll buy bread and beg God for the change for milk. Is that what they want to turn Nigeria to?
Abeg Happy Independence!
Mr Ibu (right) exchanging pleasantries with Chukwudi Ofoha, CEO, Ibari Ogwa Village at the event
Mr Ibu and Uche Elendu
Mrs Ibuand Uncle O
all pix by Beno Concepts