John Okafor aka Mr. Ibu, a popular actor, says he had once upon a time intended to take his own life. The actor, in a chat with Punch, narrated how he was once deadbeat and completely broke, such that he resigned to committing suicide. Okafor noted that at the time, he had not eaten for three days and was surviving solely on water. He said the “image” of his mother and a song by Micheal Bolton prevented him from going through with the act of suicide.
“Do you know that there was a day that I had prepared to kill myself in Ajao Estate? That day, I was prepared to jump into a well because of the situation that surrounded me,” Mr Ibu said.
“Three days before that day, I had not eaten and I did not have hope of eating for the next week. I was only surviving on water and I hate it when I bother anyone. Most of my close friends were not bothered about my well-being even though it was obvious that I was not alright.
“I remember December 18, 1997, a friend of mine who I squatted with called me in the morning and told me that he would be going home for Christmas and he did not want anyone to be in his room. I assured him that no one would come to his place but he said he wanted me out of the room.
“I told him that I did not have another place to stay and he should trust me that as usual, I would take good care of the place. Though I was older than him, I did all the washing and cleaning of the house to the extent that I washed his panties and underwear. I did that so that I could have a roof over my head. But out of anger, that my friend went into the house, brought out all my things and threw them outside, then he told me to leave his house, he locked his door and left.
“From where I was seated, I was looking at the well. I thought to myself, ‘is it not better to end my life by jumping into the well so that when people return in the evening and they need water, they would discover my body and my friend would know that he was the reason I committed suicide?’
“I went to the well and as I opened the lid and prepared to jump inside, the image of my mother’s face flashed through my mind. I quickly closed the well and began to wonder how my mother knew that I wanted to kill myself. My mother was still alive at the time; she was about 80 years old. I went back and leaned by the wall. A neighbour, Francis, was playing a song by Michael Bolton titled ‘When I am back on my Feet Again.’ The song gave me hope and I decided to stay alive.”