Mr Ibu: How top actor died months after his leg was amputated

 Mr Ibu: How top actor died months after his leg was amputated

Renowned Nollywood icon, John Okafor, affectionately referred to as Mr Ibu, has passed away at the age of 62. 

Following a prolonged battle with various health complications, he breathed his last at Evercare Hospital in Lagos on Saturday, March 2, 2024. 

Although, his family has yet to issue an official statement regarding his demise.

The extent of the actor’s health struggles became apparent to the public when he marked his 62nd birthday in October 2023, visibly ailing in a hospital setting. It was disclosed by his family that he was contending with blood clotting issues in his leg, and they sought assistance from the public to cover his medical expenses. 

Despite undergoing seven surgical procedures, one of the actor’s legs had to be amputated in a desperate attempt to prolong his life.

“The initial amputation (of his leg) did not fully address his health challenges, prompting the doctors to proceed with further amputation of the same leg to prevent any further complications,” stated his daughter, Valatine Okafor, in a December 2023 declaration.

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Okafor, who commemorated the 40th anniversary of his illustrious film career in September 2023, remains one of Nollywood’s most revered comedic actors, boasting numerous iconic roles. 

His portrayal of the endearing and hapless character in Mr Ibu endeared him to millions of fans in Nigeria and across the African continent.



The beloved actor faced a prolonged battle with blood clotting in his leg, resulting from diseased blood vessels and various other ailments. Despite months of treatment, the condition persisted, ultimately necessitating the amputation of his affected leg.

On October 18, 2023, Mr Ibu took to his Instagram page, seeking both prayers and financial support from his fans. Generous contributions poured in, including support from the Abubakar Bukola Saraki (ABS) Foundation, which covered all of his medical expenses.

Tragically, on November 6, 2023, Mr Ibu’s family announced that he underwent the amputation procedure after enduring seven surgeries. Despite hopes for overseas therapy, doctors deemed him unfit to fly, rendering the treatment overseas unfeasible due to airlines’ refusal to accommodate him.

Following his recovery announcement, Mr Ibu returned home a month later, having received care at one of Nigeria’s leading hospitals. On January 22, 2024, his colleague, actor Ken Erics, visited him, sharing an uplifting video of their interaction on Instagram.

In a video, Mr Ibu, adorned in a burnt orange Jalabiya, engaged in jovial conversation with his junior colleague, bringing joy to his followers’ hearts. Despite his challenges, the Enugu-born actor’s spirit remained resilient, having left an indelible mark on the Nollywood industry with over 200 film appearances.

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