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Actor, Charles Inojie, shares his memorable encounter with his ailing colleague, Mr Ibu, on his sick bed

Actor Charles Inojie recently visited his ailing colleague, John Okafor, aka Mr Ibu, in the hospital. In a post shared on his Facebook page, Charles recounted how himself and Mr Ibu threw banters at each other, laughing at themselves and even wept together while in his hospital room. Charles wrote

‘’MR IBU… THE INDOMITABLE HUMORIST!

I never thought I could ever be able to relate this chapter of my encounter with Mr Ibu on his sick bed because I had this funny feeling that it had the potential of making light of a very dire situation as his condition presented. Well, the enigmatic humour monger himself, Ali Baba, has given me a soft landing to go ahead.

I walked into his private ward in the ICU in the company of Chinyere Wilfred at whose behest we made the journey to Ever Care where he is being treated. We had just finished from a set, and she suggested that we take the opportunity to visit Ibu. With us were Jasmine, Mrs Ibu, and a woman I believe is her friend.

As soon as we stepped into the room, his eyes lit up, and he retorted:

IBU: “Idiot, what are you doing here?”

ME: “Mumu, why you carry your leg go give mallam to dey cut?”

IBU: “I get sense?”

He would go on to quibble a few friendly banters with Chinyere. In fact, suffice to say that if a total stranger walked into that room that minute, he would never be able to tell who, indeed, was the patient.

From one joke to the other, Ibu literally entertained us. For a moment, i peered into his eyes as if searching for the secret of his willpower, and again, he levelled me out.

IBU: “You dey pity for me? No fear, the doctor say I go fit still use the leg later, even though some betta-betta meat don commot for the leg.”

You could never stop wondering where he got the strength under such agonising pain to exude such positive energy so effortlessly.

Then came the moment. I picked his hands from his sides and held them tightly as I muttered,

“Let’s pray.”

We gazed intently at each other and connected on the fading highways of nostalgia, and upon the instance, I felt a mad rush of hot tears welling up beneath my quivering eyelids. I quickly turned away for fear my animal weakness was threatening to have the better of me, but too late. Ibu was crying, too!

We prayed and cried freely and came to, unconsoled. He wiped his eyes as I did mine, and out of the blues, the Ibu in him reared its head again.

IBU: “Idiot, you go dey cry. Wetin dey beat you?”

ME: “Mumu, you no cry?”

IBU: “Na as I see you dey cry, na him I say make I support you na.”

The two delectable nurses tending him laughed and laughed, and you could tell that Ibu made their jobs so very easy with his ebullient mien.

I left his ward with one of life’s vital lessons running through my mind… WHOEVER CAN MUSTER THE WILLPOWER TO SURVIVE IN THE FACE OF ANGUISH AND LIFE THREATENING PAIN, CAN DEFEAT DEATH EVEN IN THE MOST FIERCESOME BATTLE.

May God Almighty grant Ibu a speedy recovery.”

Mr Ibu has been in the hospital for weeks over a protracted ailment. Last week, doctors attending to him amputated one of his legs for him to have a better chance at living. There are plans to fly him abroad for proper medical care.

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