Nollywood Exclusive | 10 July 2009 01:34 CET

Why I am hunting for “Stupid” talents like me — Ibu


WHETHER on or out of movie set, it is difficult to separate John Okafor the comedian and John Okafor, the family man. An all round comedian who never fails to bring laughter to faces of people he accosts, John “Ibu” Okafor has decided to re-create himself in young Nigerians who would be willing to ply the trade of comedy in his new talent hunt programme “Mr. Ibu & friends”. He also spoke about other issues as they affect Nollywood in this interview with VICTOR AZUKA MORDY. Excerpts;

Why has the tour “Laughter Importation” yet to take off?

To be honest with you, the project has been aborted. It failed because its main sponsor embarked on a trip to the United States of America. Since he travelled, we have not heard from him.

Why did you not just go for another sponsor?

The idea was not mine alone, so it was not my decision to change him.

Must you continue to wait for his return?

That is what it looks like.

How have you been coping, giving the lull in Nollywood?

I have coped with God's grace. The real reason why we are not working is because there exist presently a conflict in the industry, despite the efforts of government to regulate distribution. The guilds are not in peace. They are all in disarray. The only guild that seems to be intact is the piracy guild. They are the most organized guild in Nollywood.

If that is so, why have other guilds not borrowed a leaf from the piracy guild?

The executives of that guild are people with crafty and smart ideas, maybe not entirely credible. That is why they are succeeding. You know it is difficult to succeed when you are doing legitimate business. But these people are full of thieving propensities, reaping where they have not sown.

Are you encouraging the recognition of the piracy guild?

No. The piracy guild is full of thieves. As they say, everyday for the thief, one day for the owner of the house. If only the legitimate guilds can united and co-operate in Nollywood, the days of the piracy guild are numbered.

Is the “stupidity” business still raking in good money?

Sure. The business of stupidity is still paying off for me. I am using this medium to encourage parents with kids who look and act stupid to keep their fingers crossed, for good fortune is coming their way soon. Don't condemn them or get tired of them, bring them to me. We will ensure they are trained to know how to harness their stupidity through comedy.

You talk as if you intend to start an academy to train comedians.

Not an academy, but a talent programme . I have tagged it “Ibu and friends”. Through this programme, we intend to fish out crude but untapped talents, from the crudest areas of Nigeria,

There are so many talents in our ghetto settings, despite the fact that they are unschooled. We want to expose them, give them the opportunity to be exposed in order to make money with their stupidity.

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