Oludotun Baiyewu Jacobs, Listen (born 11 July 1942), known professionally as Olu Jacobs, is a Nigerian actor and film executive.[1] He has starred in several British television series and international films.[2] 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, 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.[3] He is seen as the bridge between the old Actors and the new ones.

Olu Jacobs
Olu Jacobs
Olu Jacobs at the Africa Movie Academy Awards in Bayelsa State, Nigeria, March 2007
Oludotun Baiyewu Jacobs

(1942-07-11) 11 July 1942 (age 81)
EducationRoyal Academy of Dramatic Arts
Years active1970–present
  • The Goodies,
  • Till Death Us Do Part,
  • Barlow at Large,
  • The Venturers,
  • Angels, 1990,
  • The Tomorrow People and
  • The Professionals
SpouseJoke Silva

Jacobs has made his mark in Nigeria's movie industry, Nollywood. With more than 40 years of acting experience, he is seen as a bridge between the old and new breed of actors.[4][5] Trained at The Royal Academy of Dramatic Arts, England, he worked with various repertoire theatres in Britain and starred in some international movies.

In 2007, he won the Africa Movie Academy Award for Best Actor in a Leading Role.[6][7][8][9] Olu Jacobs has distinguished himself as a godfather in Nollywood, paving a successful path for many emerging actors and actresses in the industry. His love for acting was inspired by the late legendary film maker, Hubert Ogunde's annual concert party which held at Colonial Hotel in Kano, thereafter he travelled to England where he studied acting at the Royal Academy of Dramatic Arts in London. He has been described as 'one of Nollywood's finest actors, best role interpreter and the best manipulator of words'. For his dedication to his acting career spanning over five decades, he was honoured with the Industry Merit Award for outstanding achievements in acting at the 2013 Africa Magic Viewers Choice Awards.' MAA also conferred its Lifetime Achievement Award on him in 2016.

Olu Jacobs is married to veteran actress Joke Silva. The couple founded and operate the Lufodo Group, a media corporation that consists of film production, distribution assets and the Lufodo Academy of Performing Arts.

Biography edit

Oludotun Baiyewu Jacobs was born to parents from Egba Alake. He spent his early childhood in Kano[10] and attended Holy Trinity School where he was a member of the debating and drama societies.[11] He 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.[10] Afterwards, he secured a visa and travelled to England to study acting.

In England, Jacobs trained at The Royal Academy of Dramatic Arts in London. One of his earliest stage roles was to play the part of The Boy in 'A Taste of Honey' at the newly opened Crucible Theatre in Sheffield, in 1972. He then appeared in various British television shows and series in the 1970s (including The Goodies, Till Death Us Do Part, Barlow at Large, The Venturers, Angels, 1990, The Tomorrow People and The Professionals).[12] 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 appeared in several international films, including 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.[13]

Jacobs has subsequently starred in over 120 Nollywood films. He is considered one of the top Nigerian Nollywood actors.[3]

Personal life edit

Jacobs is married to Nollywood actress Joke Silva since 1989. They have children.[14] Asked why his wife still bears her maiden name, 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 began to say what they like. They have even written that we are separated and all sorts of stuff. When she was working, she is Joke Silva and as well as Mrs Joke Jacobs at home."[15] Rumour had it that Olu Jacob died in 2021, but he attended Afriff in November 2021, where he won the Lifetime Achievement Award.[16] His wife Joke Silva later revealed his health condition in an interview with Chude Jideonwo that he is battling Dementia with Lewy bodies .[17]

Accolades edit

Olu Jacobs was honoured with the prestigious Industry Merit Award for outstanding achievements in acting at the 2013 Africa Magic Viewers Choice Awards.[18]

In August 2022,he was presented an icon award and a membership certificate along with is wife by Audio-Visual Rights Society of Nigeria (AVRS) [19][20]

Stage (selected) edit

Year Show Role Notes
1971 Murderous Angels: A Political Tragedy and Comedy in Black and White (play) Written by Conor Cruise O'Brien and performed at the Dublin Theatre Festival in 1971
1972 Richard's Cork Leg Royal Court Theatre, London
1974 Black Mans Country Father Zachary Azuka Gate Theatre
1977 Julius Caesar One of the augerers Royal National Theater 1977 presentation directed by John Schlesinger
1976 Bar Beach Prelude and Transistor Radio Two shorts play adapted from the works of Bode Sowande and Ken Saro Wiwa
1976 A Kind of Marriage Obi Centre Play
1977 Old Movies Chris Hunter (gendarmes) National Theatre presentation
1978 Night and Day President Mageeba Phoenix Theatre (London)

Filmography edit

Olu Jacobs and wife, Joke Silva

Film edit

Year Film Role Notes
1979 Ashanti Commissioner Batak [21]
1980 The Dogs of War Customs Officer [22]
1985 Baby: Secret of the Lost Legend Col. Nsogbu [23]
1986 Pirates Boomako [24]
2012 Adesuwa Ezomo
2013 Potomanto Bankole [25]
2014 Dry Speaker [26]
2015 Oloibiri Timipre [27]
2017 The Royal Hibiscus Hotel Richard [28]

Television edit

Year Programme Role Notes
1971 The Goodies Season 2, Episode 4 – "Lost Tribe of the Orinoco"
1974 Till Death Us Do Part Television repair man Season 5, Episode 3 – "Strikes and Blackouts"
1975 Barlow at Large Motamba Season 4, Episode 8 – "Protection"
1975 The Venturers Mbela Season 1, Episode 10 – "Dangerous and the Lonely Hearts"
1976 Angels Musa Ladipo 3 episodes
1978 1990 Alan Msawi Season 2, Episode 2 – "The Market Price"
1975 The Tomorrow People General Papa Minn Season 6, Episode 5 & 6 – "The Thargon Menace: Part 1 & 2"
1979 The Professionals Sylvester Season 3, Episode 5 – "The Madness of Mickey Hamilton"
1982 Squadron President Gadin Season 1, Episode 10 – "Cyclone"
1983 The Witches and the Grinnygog Mr Alabaster Episodes 1–4, 6
1983 Rumpole of the Bailey David Mazenze Season 3, Episode 2 – "Rumpole and the Golden Thread"
1984 Play for Today David Mazenze Season 14, Episode 16 – "The Amazing Miss Stella Estelle"
1990 The Third Eye Inspector Best Idafa Lead role (1990–1993)

References edit

  1. ^ "July: Of Exuberance and Melancholy". THISDAYLIVE. 31 July 2021. Retrieved 21 August 2021.
  2. ^ "Filmography of Olu Jacobs". London, UK: The British Film Institute. Archived from the original on 22 May 2009. Retrieved 12 August 2010.
  3. ^ a b Njoku, Benjamin (4 March 2019). "Pete Edochie, Olu Jacobs: The living 'godfathers' of Nollywood". Vanguard News. Retrieved 10 July 2020.
  4. ^ "Olu Jacobs: Patriarch of the movie world". Vanguard News. 11 January 2022. Retrieved 11 January 2022.
  5. ^ "I disobeyed my dad to become an actor - Olu Jacobs". Vanguard News. 20 November 2009. Retrieved 17 July 2022.
  6. ^ Ogbu, Rachel. "A Race for Stars Only". Newswatch. Lagos, Nigeria. Retrieved 9 August 2010.
  7. ^ "Nominees & Winners of AMAA 2007 @ a glance". The Africa Movie Academy Awards. Archived from the original on 10 December 2007. Retrieved 11 September 2010.
  8. ^ Coker, Onikepo (4 May 2007). "Africa Celebrates Film Industry at AMAA 2007". Mshale Newspaper. Minneapolis, USA: Mshale Communications. Archived from the original on 3 March 2012. Retrieved 5 September 2010.
  9. ^ "AMAA Nominees and Winners 2007". Africa Movie Academy Awards. Archived from the original on 12 October 2010. Retrieved 17 October 2010.
  10. ^ a b Otagbo, Olasumbo (18 October 2014). "How Hubert Ogunde inspired me to become an actor -Olu Jacobs". The Nation. Lagos.
  11. ^ "My Happiest Moment In Acting – Olu Jacobs", Naijarules.com.
  12. ^ Njoku, Benjamin. "I disobeyed my dad to become an actor – Olu Jacobs". The Vanguard. Lagos, Nigeria. Retrieved 9 August 2010.
  13. ^ A BBC-2 series that traces the history of acting. (14 July 1983). The Stage and Television Today (Archive: 1959–1994), , 15
  14. ^ "How I met Joke Sylva – Olu Jacobs". Lagos, Nigeria: The Sun Publishing Limited. Retrieved 9 August 2010.
  15. ^ "Why My Wife Still Bears Her Maiden Name – Actor Olu Jacobs – MJ Celebrity Magazine". MJ Celebrity Magazine. 9 December 2013. Retrieved 8 December 2016.
  16. ^ Obey, Yinka (17 November 2021). "Pale-looking Olu Jacobs attends Afriff, wins lifetime achievement award". Legit.ng - Nigeria news. Retrieved 18 November 2021.
  17. ^ "'I miss di old Olu Jacobs well-well' - Joke Silva open up on her husband dementia and her life tori". BBC News Pidgin. Retrieved 22 November 2021.
  18. ^ "Olu Jacobs honoured at AMVCA awards as Genevieve, Funke Akindele lose out". Vanguard Newspaper. 10 March 2013. Retrieved 9 July 2014.
  19. ^ "From audio-visual rights society, garlands for legendary Olu Jacobs". The Guardian.
  20. ^ "AVRS honours Olu Jacobs & Ajoke Silva with membership certificates". Pulse Nigeria. 4 August 2022. Retrieved 9 August 2022.
  21. ^ Fleischer, Richard (21 February 1979), Ashanti (Action, Adventure, Drama, Mystery, Thriller), Michael Caine, Peter Ustinov, Kabir Bedi, Beverly Johnson, Beverly Films, Columbia Pictures, Warner Bros., retrieved 3 February 2021
  22. ^ Irvin, John (18 December 1980), The Dogs of War (Action, Adventure, Drama), Christopher Walken, Tom Berenger, Colin Blakely, Hugh Millais, Juniper Films, retrieved 3 February 2021
  23. ^ Norton, Bill (22 March 1985), Baby: Secret of the Lost Legend (Family, Adventure, Sci-Fi), William Katt, Sean Young, Patrick McGoohan, Julian Fellowes, Silver Screen Partners II, Touchstone Pictures, retrieved 3 February 2021
  24. ^ Polanski, Roman (8 May 1986), Pirates (Adventure, Comedy, Family), Walter Matthau, Cris Campion, Damien Thomas, Olu Jacobs, Carthago Films S.a.r.l., Accent Films, Cominco, retrieved 3 February 2021
  25. ^ "Sparrow Productions bounces back with 'Four Big Things' - MyJoyOnline.com". www.myjoyonline.com. Retrieved 3 February 2021.
  26. ^ Linus, Stephanie (14 August 2015), Dry (Drama), Ferdinand Afo, Rekiya Attah, Samuel Beavis, Liz Benson-Ameye, Next Page Productions, retrieved 3 February 2021
  27. ^ Graham, Curtis (21 October 2016), Oloibiri (Action, Drama, Thriller), Reeko Brooks, Michael Douglas Cake, Diana Colmar-Espinosa, Payton Dunham, retrieved 3 February 2021
  28. ^ Bako, Ishaya (10 February 2018), The Royal Hibiscus Hotel (Comedy, Romance), Zainab Balogun, Kenneth Okolie, Jide Kosoko, Rachel Oniga, EbonyLife Films, retrieved 3 February 2021

External links edit