I was reminded of home when I saw two Nigerians fighting in an Australian club — Mr. Ibu
Nigerian actor, John Okafor, popularly known as Mr. Ibu, shares fond memories of his trip to Australia with JOY MARCUS
Where is the most memorable place you have been to?
The most memorable place I have been to is Australia; I had an awesome time there.
When did you travel there and how long did you stay?
I travelled to Australia in 2015. I went for a show and I stayed there for about a month with my manager.
Where did you stay during your trip?
I stayed at a very fantastic hotel and the experience was magical.
When you got to Australia, what was the first thing that impressed you?
I was impressed by their weather and the fact that they are some hours ahead of us. They love entertainment and I have lots of fans over there. I was recognised by almost everyone I came in contact with and the reception was wonderful. They have beautiful buildings and everything I saw there was top-notch.
What cities did you visit while you were in Australia?
I visited Sydney, Melbourne, Brisbane and Adelaide. I had shows in all the cities. Though it was stressful, I had a lot of fun.
Did you taste any of their local dishes?
No. I am allergic to any food that is not Nigerian. The only foreign food I eat is Singapore noodles. I was able to get all the Nigerian food that I wanted and people volunteered to prepare food for me; so, that they could come to my hotel.
Was there any downside to your trip?
The only thing I was angry about during my trip was that my manager bought me an economy class ticket when we were to travel to Brisbane because that was the last flight and the first class tickets were sold out. Apart from that, the rest of the trip was fun.
Are there any similarities between Nigeria and Australia?
Not in any way. Australia is the best country/continent I have ever been to. In Australia, whether you are rich or poor, you can always ride a car. You just need your identification card and about a hundred dollars and you are free to ride the car for about one week before you take it back.
What do you think the Nigeria government can learn from Australia?
A whole lot like caring for their citizens, especially the women, because I have a lot of respect for them. In Australia, they take care of their women.
How hospitable are they compared with what is obtainable here?
Their hospitality is out of this world. Apart from the fact that they showed me a lot of hospitality because of the show I had, I could also see how they treated other people that are not celebrities. They pampered me like a baby and I really enjoyed myself.
Did you see anything that reminded you of Nigeria?
I was only reminded of Nigeria when I went to an African club and I saw two Nigerians fighting. That made me smile to myself. Nigerians would always cool off their steam. When they noticed that I was around, they began to adjust because they thought I was going to come back to Nigeria and tell everyone how they were living. But I pretended as if I didn’t see them.
What is your dream travel experience?
I have visited many countries. In fact, if there is a flight going to heaven, I think I would travel there. Travelling is one of my hobbies. Another place I would love to visit again is Venus in Italy.
What is the best travel advice you can give?
Before you travel, make sure all your papers are complete because the way they treat Nigerians at international airports is alarming. It is so sad that some of our countrymen may have killed or committed crimes over there and these acts have destroyed our identity as Nigerians. Before you travel, make sure you are financially prepared so that if any emergency occurs during your trip, it won’t affect you badly.
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