Nollywood will forever remain grateful to the likes Olu Jacobs and other veteran actors who pushed Nollywood to what it is in Africa today. The name ‘Olu Jacobs’ is not new to Nigerians as the veteran Nollywood actor has graced the silver screens for over four decades. He is one of Nigeria’s most respected and oldest actors.
‘Uncle Olu Jacobs’, as many of his younger colleagues in the industry call him, has paved a successful path for many actors and actresses in the entertainment industry. The likes of him and some other older actors that first went through the hurdles of film production at the time the business was unfavourable.
Olu Jacobs has been hailed by many as one of the greatest and most widely respected African actors of his generation. Together with Pete Edochie, Justus Esiri, Enebeli Elebuwa and Sam Loco Efe, he is considered by several media, film commentators, critics, and other actors to be one of the most influential African actors of all time, and is widely regarded as a cultural icon.
Olu Jacobs Biography
Oludotun Baiyewu Jacobs, (born July 11, 1942), known professionally as Olu Jacobs, is an award-winning, internationally acclaimed Nigerian veteran actor and film executive born in Ogun State to Egba Alake parents. He grew up in Kano and also schooled in the northern state. His love for acting started at a young age when he was a member of the debate and drama society at Holy Trinity school were he got his secondary education. He has starred in several British television series and international films.
Olu Jacobs was inspired to take a chance with acting when he attended one of Chief Hubert Ogunde’s annual concert party at Colonial Hotel in Kano. Afterward, he secured a visa and traveled to England to study acting.
In England, he trained at The Royal Academy of Dramatic Arts in London. He then starred in various British television shows and series in the 1970s (e.g. The Goodies, Till Death Us Do Part, Barlow at Large, The Venturers, Angels, 1990, The Tomorrow People, The Professionals). In 1978, he played the role of President Mageeba in Michael Codron’s presentation of Sir Tom Stoppard’s play Night and Day.
In the 1980s Jacobs starred in several international films some of which include John Irvin’s war film The Dogs of War, Roman Polanski’s adventure-comedy Pirates (1986) and the family-adventure film Baby: Secret of the Lost Legend (1985). On television, he was a cast member in TVS’s The Witches and the Grinnygog.
Jacobs has subsequently starred in over 120 Nollywood films. He is considered one of the top Nigerian Nollywood actors.
Thereafter he travelled to England to study arts and enrolled into The Royal Academy of Dramatic Arts in London. He starred in several British television series and international films between the 1970s and 80s. While he was still in England, he featured in underground TV shows like Till Death Us Do Part, Barlow at Large, The Goodies -this was in the 70s.
Jacobs went international in the 80s when he starred in movies like; The Dogs of War, directed by John Irvin, Roman Polanski’s adventure-comedy Pirates, those old enough in the 80s would also remember the family adventure film Baby: Secret of the Lost Legend, which also featured the veteran actor. Olu Jacobs’ other international works include ‘Barlow at Large,’ ‘The Venturers,’ ‘Angels,’ ‘1990,’ ‘The Tomorrow People,’ ‘The Professionals.’
On television, he was a cast in TVS’s The Witches and the Grinnygog (1983 series). In Nigeria, Olu Jacobs has starred in over 150 Nollywood films.
Today he has become an inspiration to younger actors in the industry as well as aspiring actors.
In 2007, he won the African Movie Academy Award for Best Actor in a Leading Role and in 2013, he was honoured with the Industry’s Merit Award for outstanding achievements in acting at the Africa Magic Viewers Choice Awards.
Olu Jacobs’ Family
Olu Jacobs is married to Nollywood actress Joke Silva since 1989 and they have two sons. together Asked why his wife still bears her maiden name, Olu Jacobs answered:
She is her own individual. When I met her, she was an actress known as Joke Silva so why should marrying me now deny her and her audience her name. She is Miss Joke Silva who is Mrs. Joke Jacobs. It is as simple as that. People now begin to say what they like. They have even written that we are separated and all sort of stuff. When she is working, she is Joke Silva but she is Mrs. Joke Jacobs at home.
Olu Jacobs is not one who leaves his personal life bare to the public. The veteran actor has been married to co-thespian and popular actress, Joke Silva for over 30-years and they are blessed with two sons.
Joke Silva still uses her maiden name run a school called Lufodu Academy of Performing Arts which caters for upcoming actors.
Telling the story of how they met, Jacobs says that he met Joke in 1981 at the Lagos National Theatre. It was during a rehearsal for Wole Soyinka’s Jero’s Metamorphosis, that he first laid eyes on her and knew they were both meant to be.
Olu Jacobs Net Worth
Veteran actor, Olu Jacobs who is regarded by many as one of the greatest and most widely respected African actors of his generation has an estimated net worth of $2 million.