By Mpho Tebele
GABORONE – Nigeria’s comedy heavyweight John Okafor will be in Gaborone on 26 August to perform at the Gaborone International Music and Culture Week (GIMC)..
Popularly known as Mr Ibu to his legion of fans, the Nigerian film star is also expected to scout talent locally in a bid to shoot a movie centred on him coming to Botswana – much like what he did with the 2004 film, Mr Ibu In London.
The GIMC event organiser, Fish Pabalinga, explained that Mr Ibu, who is not in-style a stand up comedian, will headline the comedy show at GIMC and also shoot a movie across Botswana.
He said that unlike other Hollywood movies shot in Botswana such as Mma Ramotswe and United Kingdom, this one will be a localised movie to “show our pride as a nation and sell Botswana to the outside world”.
Pabalinga pointed out that the movie aspires to show the country’s iconic sites such as the Okavango Delta in the northern part of the country, and the Three Chief’s Monument in Gaborone, among others.
“These are places that define us as a nation and they need to reflect on these movies and we will be taking Mr Ibu here to see them and joke about them,” he said.
Pabalinga added that “Mr Ibu will also be afforded an opportunity to eat some of our staple food such as Seswaa (pounded meat) which is mostly enjoyed by Hollywood stars such as Rick Yune who used to frequent the place as well as Phane worm.”
According to Pabalinga, the movie will be a high budget professionally shot movie in full HD and will be launched maybe on cinemas or through their YouTube channel.
“Mr Ibu will be coming with his manger, producer and the production team which will conduct auditions in Gaborone, Francistown and Maun during their stay in Botswana. The movie which will be shot in both Botswana and Nigeria will see other parts being played by Nigerians,” explained Pabalinga.
He said they will also take the Nigerian comedian and his team to the tourism town of Kasane to show some of the country’s fauna and flora, wild animals which they don’t often see in Nigeria.
OKafor is considered to be one of Nigeria’s most talented comic characters.
His humorous acting is often characterised by stupidity, hilarious imbecility and a sharp disconnection from reality. He was born on 17 October 1961 and is married with children.
He has acted in more than 70 movies including Mr Ibu (2004), Mr Ibu in London (2004), Police Recruit (2003), 9 Wives (2005), Ibu in Prison (2006) and Keziah (2007). He has remained a role model to many Nigerian comedians.
He came into the limelight in 2004 in one of the movies he was featured titled Mr Ibu which actually gave him the popular nickname Mr Ibu because of his funny role as a father of a troublesome kid.
Before then he appeared in lots of very popular movies in the 90s and since then remained consistent in the movie industry.