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Tuesday, 2 April 2013

“My Marriage To JOKE SILVA Has Lasted This Long Because I’m A Damn Good Cook”

Veteran Actor, OLU JACOBS                                                    
Veteran actor, Olu Jacobs is one of the prominent acts in the Nigerian Movie Industry whose acting career spans over 40 years.  The highly revered actor who is also internationally acclaimed for his exploits in the Theatre and film industry has starred in several British Television series, Nigerian movies and several International movies.  Happily married to a renowned actress, Joke Silva, a  prolific Nollywood star who is regarded as a role model to younger actresses in the movie industry.  The union is the most celebrated in the entertainment industry.  The award winning actor spoke with VIVIAN ONUORAH  on the secret of his  successful marriage and how he feels being honoured with the Industry Merit award at the recently concluded Africa Magic Viewers Choice Awards.

How do you feel being honoured with an industry Merit Award?
You know any kind of award humbles one that people have made that decision that you are the one to be given this award; we have been in this battle to secure facilities for our industry.
It’s not easy at all because all sorts of  things are happening with the budgets year in year out, and the cultural areas is suffering but thank God that now the government is beginning to realize that is going to be our savior, our creativity and our culture, especially now that we now communicate with other countries, we are beginning to have more confidence in ourselves and enjoy what we are doing.  That is our hope and our saviour and I believe in it.  I have been at it for more than 40 years and I believe we are getting there.

Having been in the industry for over 40 years, in what areas do you think we are still lagging behind?
It’s a thing of joy right now that people from different countries are now talking about Nollywood.  It means we have just started, the revolution has started so we don’t have to just sit back, we have to buckle up and know what we want and how to go about it with one voice.  We are still weak in that sense because too many people are still poor so when carrots are dangled, people still eat.  People are now beginning to respond and from where we are coming from, we are confident we’ll get there.

What are the major challenges in  Nollywood despite the development?
Funding, and we don’t have the infrastructure, once we have these, the people are happy and will need very little convincing because they are already on our side.  You go in there with a project that they can see and they will end up asking  you why are you coming again because they are impressed with what they see, I am quite happy because it’s growing  every day.
I will say things are getting better.  I have been to Cameroun now and they want me to come back for another movie.  I am quite confident and I encourage then not to relent because news is coming from abroad and that should give us more courage.  You may not see it in your pocket yet but definitely the money is coming.

Any plans of retiring soon?
Not at all, there is still so much work to do, as an actor; there is a role for everyone.  There are things that I can still do that will benefit the industry.  In our industry we don’t retire, it’s a thing of joy you are doing, you see in the area of creativity and culture, it’s part of you because when you are doing well you can feel it and when you are not doing well you can feel it too because by the time you get there and the door is locked, you will understand better.

You are one of the most celebrated couples in showbiz, what is the secret that has kept you 2 together this long?
We are best of friends, and we are doing what we want to do so there are no hitches, were in the same profession, I encourage her and she encourages me too, and I’m a damn good cook too.  (Laughs)

Who is Olu Jacobs outside the acting  world?
Olu Jacobs outside acting is a patriot.  A man, who believes in hard work, has a fundamental understanding of every discipline and knows the value of family and friendship.  As these nourishes the soul…  Asides from acting, my wife and I own a school; Lufodo Academy of Performing Arts (LAPA).  We instruct people on Acting for stage and screen, movement and dance, improvisation, speech and make-up.  We can rightly say we are the best in our region based on the fact that our students always get jobs.

Currently our Alumni and graduating sets are performing every Sunday in March at Terra Culture.  4pm  and 7pm.  This helps them, especially the graduating set get hands- on experience to reinforce their education as well as understanding the dynamics of a performance.

How do you prepare yourself before you go on set and stage?
Of course spending a considerable number of hours a day learning, practicing and personalizing the character.  A few hours before going on set  or stage, practice deep breathing which helps’ relax the mind and body

How can you describe the experience so far?
Anything worth doing is hard at first.  Constant practice and always willing to develop new skills will take you a long way.
If you want to be a good actor, always put your best foot forward.  Never dwell on past mistakes except to make corrections.