Iyabo Oko (Real Name; Odukanmi Kudirat, born on 15th November 1960) is a 63-year-old Nigerian actress who is very much alive despite the death rumors. She came to the limelight for the role she played as Iyabo Oko in the movie Oko.
Iyabo is a very popular face in the Nigerian movie industry, especially in Yoruba films, and she has appeared in a lot of them. Some of her movies include Adesoro, Idunnu Okan, Mayowa, Abo, Okobo Dimeji, etc. She has also won a couple of awards for some of her successful works. In this article, we revealed everything there is to know about the actress and her health challenges which raised rumors of her death.
Iyabo Oko was Born 63 Years Ago in Osun State
Odukanmi Kudirat, professionally known as Iyabo Oko, was born on 15th November 1960, in Rivers State, Nigeria. She is a native of Iwo local government area of Osun State in the southwestern part of Nigeria. Iyabo spent a good part of her early life in Port Harcourt city. Her father was a soldier in the Nigerian army, while her mother was a petty trader.
She attended her primary school at Oke-Ola Primary School, Iwo in Osun State, before relocating to Port Harcourt, where her family was permanently residing. At Port Harcourt, she enrolled at St. Andrews Secondary School, where she completed and obtained her Senior Secondary School Certificate.
How Her Journey into Nollywood Began
Iyabo developed an interest in acting from her teenage days. According to records, she ran away from their home during her secondary school days because she wanted to join a theatre group, and her father wouldn’t let her. At some point, she had to run to veteran actor Baba Eda’s house. Her father also came there and took her away, and this particular incident happened on two different occasions.
Iyabo did not give up but insisted that she wanted to act. Eventually, she joined the Eda Onileola theatre troupe, Oga Bello’s theatre group, and today the rest is history. Sadly, her father died as she went on to become successful in her acting career. Her mother, on the other hand, was alive to witness her success and breakthrough in the industry.
Iyabo started featuring in Nollywood movies in 1973. She has featured in quite a lot of movies, but the one that launched her into the limelight was Oko, a film directed and produced by Oga Bello. It was this movie that earned her the name Iyabo Oko.
Iyabo Oko took a break from the movie scene in 2018 as a result of her health conditions. But, she is back on the screens to continue putting smiles on the faces of her viewers with her unique acting skills.
Iyabo Oko Has Since Established Herself as an Actress in Nollywood
The 63-year-old actress has grown to become quite versatile in her career such that there is no role she cannot interpret. She is notable for her remarkable acting skills and has really come a long way in the Yoruba film industry. As a result of her immense contribution to the growth of the industry, City People Magazine honored her with the Special Recognition Award. The award ceremony took place on 24th July 2016 at Kudirat Abiola Way, Oregun, Lagos.
She is also into Politics
Actress Iyabo Oko has also been active in politics for some time. She is a card-carrying member of the Alliance for Progressive Change (APC). Also, she was one of the Nollywood stars that canvassed for people to get their voters cards in 2015. During the campaign, the actress revealed that she was once a PDP member but left the party because they had nothing to offer her.
Iyabo Oko’s Husband is Late
Actress Iyabo Oko lost her husband some years ago and has since not remarried. There are no details about her late husband or how long their marriage lasted. She had three children with her husband; two sons and a daughter. However, her first son, Tajudeen Akanmu, died in 2018 after a brief illness. The actress now has only two children.
Her daughter, Bisi Aisha, is a Nigerian soldier, while the remaining son, Oduola Olamide, is a businessman. Iyabo said that despite the fact that she sometimes plays sexy roles in movies, her children see her as a very responsible mother because she does not go out with men even after the death of her husband.
Controversy Over Iyabo Oko’s Health Status
Sometime in 2016, Iyabo Oko took a sudden break from the acting scene as a result of a serious health challenge she had been battling with. Shortly after, reports went viral that she had been flown to India and was diagnosed with an Ischaemic Stroke. Though she claimed the sickness was a spiritual attack, the doctor reportedly disclosed that it was due to hypertension. Meanwhile, she first began treatment in a hospital in Yaba Lagos before her son flew her overseas for proper treatment.
While she was receiving treatment in India, her daughter Bisi announced on her Instagram page that her mother is dead. “My mum is gone. Rest well mummy. May ur soul Rest In Peace mummy”, she posted. However, after about three hours, she updated the post and said, “Wonderful being, she moved her hand after being confirmed dead three hours ago. God, we will forever praise your holy name.”
Iyabo’s death was also announced by actress Foluke Daramola-Salako when she took to social media and wrote, “And finally we lost her… RIP Iyabo Oko, we did our best but God knows best”. After three hours also, she updated that the actress is no longer dead, “Just heard from her daughter again that she moved her hand and she is still alive. Hallelujah! She is alive.
These reports trailed a lot of confusion among fans and the general public, but after all, Iyabo Oko returned to Nigeria alive. Upon her return, it was found out that the actress, who is known to be well-endowed and robust, really shed significant weight. According to her, it was really a frightening experience, but she is thankful to God that she is now well. She also made it known that her doctor advised her to reduce work with stress.