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
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
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
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.