Explore the life and career of Iyabo Oko, a prominent Nigerian actress. Learn about her biography, net worth, state of origin, age, early life, education, and more in this engaging article.
Iyabo Oko Biography
Iyabo Oko, also known by her real name Odukanmi Kudirat, was a highly regarded Nigerian actress. She gained prominence for her role as Iyabo Oko in the film “Oko.”
With a notable presence in the Nigerian film industry, particularly in Yoruba films, she appeared in numerous productions, including “Adesoro,” “Idunnu Okan,” “Mayowa,” “Abo,” “Okobo Dimeji,” and many others.
Early Life and Education
Odukanmi Kudirat, born on November 15, 1960, hailed from Iwo local government in Osun State, Nigeria. She attended Oke-Ola Primary School in Iwo before relocating to Port Harcourt, where her father, a Nigerian Army soldier, was stationed. In Port Harcourt, she enrolled at St. Andrews Secondary School, where she continued her education.
Rise to Prominence
Iyabo Oko’s journey in the entertainment industry began at a young age. Driven by her passion for acting, she ventured into a theatre group despite her father’s attempts to discourage her. In 1973, she joined Nollywood under the Eda Onileola Theatre Troupe.
Her talent caught the attention of renowned actor Oga Bello, who played a pivotal role in her career. She gained recognition through her work with Oga Bello’s Theatre Group in Lagos, particularly in the film “Oko” directed and produced by Oga Bello himself. It was from this film that Iyabo Oko acquired her nickname.
Personal Life and Family
Iyabo Oko was married twice in her lifetime. Her first marriage is not widely known, but she blessedly welcomed two children from her second marriage. Tajudeen Akanmu, also known as Koledowo, was her husband and a prominent actor in the Nigerian entertainment industry.
They had two children together. Unfortunately, their first son, Tajudeen Akanmu, passed away in 2008 after a brief illness. Iyabo Oko’s surviving children include Bisi Aisha, who serves in the Nigerian military, and Oduola Olamide.
Health Challenges and Break from the Industry
In 2018, Iyabo Oko faced health challenges that compelled her to take a break from the film industry. She battled an undisclosed illness in 2016 and later sought medical treatment overseas with the assistance of her son.
Upon her return to Nigeria, she announced her decision to reduce stress-inducing activities, including acting. However, during her career, she left an indelible mark on the Nigerian film industry.
Iyabo Oko’s Political Involvement
Iyabo Oko was an active participant in Nigerian politics. She joined the Alliance for Progressive Change (APC) and actively campaigned for the acquisition of Permanent Voter Cards (PVCs) in 2015.
She voiced her reasons for leaving the People’s Democratic Party (PDP) and expressed support for the APC alongside other Nollywood stars and actresses such as Moji Olaiya, Remi Shitta-Bay, Remi Oshodi (Surutu), Ronke Oshodi-Oke, Eniola Badmus (Omo-Ghetto), Fadeyi Oloro, and L’Awori.
The Demise of a Veteran Actress
On June 29, 2023, Iyabo Oko passed away at the age of 62. The details surrounding her death remain undisclosed, but it is known that she battled health issues for an extended period. Her daughter, Bisi Aisha, confirmed the news of her demise.
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)
What Is Iyabo Oko’s Real Name?
Her real name is Odukanmi Kudirat.
When and Where Was Iyabo Oko Born?
Odukanmi Kudirat was born on November 15, 1960, in Iwo local government, Osun State, Nigeria.
What Are Some of Iyabo Oko’s Notable Films?
Odukanmi Kudirat appeared in several films, including “Adesoro,” “Idunnu Okan,” “Mayowa,” “Abo,” and “Okobo Dimeji,” among others.
Did Iyabo Oko Have Any Health Challenges?
Yes, Odukanmi Kudirat faced health challenges and took a break from the film industry in 2018 due to her health condition.
What Political Party Was Iyabo Oko Affiliated With?
Odukanmi Kudirat was a member of the Alliance for Progressive Change (APC) and actively participated in political campaigns.
Odukanmi Kudirat, known for her exceptional talent and contributions to the Nigerian film industry, left an indelible mark on the hearts of many. Her journey from humble beginnings to prominence serves as an inspiration to aspiring actors and actresses.
Though she faced health challenges and took a break from acting, her legacy lives on. Odukanmi Kudirat’s dedication to her craft and her involvement in Nigerian politics will always be remembered.