MARITAL STATUS: Married INTRODUCTION Joke Silva is a popular award winning Nigerian actress and movie director who started her acting career as far back as 1981. She acts in both English/Yoruba speaking films. She is an ambassador to many big brands and she’s respected by many young actresses in the industry. She is married to co-actor Olu Jacobs.
EARLY LIFE AND BACKGROUND
Joke was born in Lagos, Nigeria, the second child in a family of five children and she spent most of her early days in Lagos. She attended Holy Child College in Lagos for her secondary school education after which she proceeded to study English at the University of Lagos. After her tertiary education in Lagos, she then moved to England where she attended Wentworth Milton, Mount Bournemouth to obtain her A levels and after that, she went ahead to study drama at the Webber Douglas Academy of Dramatic Art in London. Speaking On How She Started:
What made you go into acting?
I don’t know. It’s something I have always wanted to do. I believe I am wild. It is crazy to be an actor and after asking the Lord if that is what He wanted me to be and He gave me a positive answer, I took the bull by the horns.
How did you get started?
Professionally, I started acting at University of Lagos Cultural Centre. There was a cultural centre in those days. And I was part of the cultural group. I studied in Unilag, but that was much later, after I got married. My first degree is from Unilag. I actually went to a drama school first. I studied Theatre at the drama school and when I went to the university, I studied English.
CAREER AND LIFE
Joke Silva started acting in 1981 and had her first appearance was in an English movie titled “Mind Bending” in 1990. In 1993, she featured in a Yoruba movie titled “Owurolojo” after that. Silva has starred in several films and television series of both English and Yoruba languages, some which include Secret Laughter of Women, 30 Days, Letters to a Stranger, Widow’s Cot, For Coloured Girls and the Africa Movie Academy Award-nominated films White Waters and The Amazing Grace. She also starred in two critically acclaimed movies that earned Africa Movie Academy Award-nominations, White Waters and Amazing Grace. During her days at the University of Lagos, she belonged to a cultural group which comprised of the likes of Bode Osanyin, Stella Monye and others.
Speaking On Her Journey So Far: The journey has been gracious. It has been interesting because of the kind of beginning I had. I was so lucky with my start off because I started with the core professionals; the best hands in the movie industry. I am talking about the likes of Jide Ogungbade, John Chukwu, Segun Bankole, Bode Osanyin to mention a few. I went through professional training with these people. So you discover that with all these professionals as my trainers, I could have nothing but the best. I was very lucky. They helped me to achieve professionalism. I remember that I started out at the University of Lagos Cultural Group with Bode Osanyin, Stella Monye and others.
Mrs Joke Silva who hails from Isale-eko (Lagos Island), is married to veteran Nollywood actor Olu Jacobs and the union is blessed with 2 children. They have been married since 1985. Together, they both run the Lufodo Group, which houses Lufodo productions, Lufodo Academy of Performing Arts, Lufodo Consult, and Lufodo Distribution. She serves in the capacity of Director of Studies at the Academy.
She has received several awards and nominations for her work as an actress including the awards for Best Actress in a Leading Role at the 2nd Africa Movie Academy Awards in 2006 for the movie, Women’s Cot. She won the award for Best Supporting Actress for her role in the movie ‘White Waters’ at the 4th Africa Movie Academy Awards in 2008. She has also received the EMOTAN Award by African Independent Television (AIT) and the SOLIDRA Award for Visual Art. She has also curated for the Bank of Industry (BOI) in Theatre, Film, Documentary and Poetry and also for the 2012 London Olympics.
SPEAKING ABOUT ACTING AND LIFE IN AN INTERVIEW:
Can you remember your first Nollywood home video?
I know. It’s Iwu Olojo, a Yoruba home video and a classic as far as I was concerned. Iwu Olojo was absolutely memorable.
How do you manage being on locations always and taking care of your family?
I think one of the things you have to handle is the guilt factor of leaving the child or the children. At the moment, there is only one child at home. The others are in the university. The guilt can sometimes get to you, especially when they have events in school and because you are on location, you cannot attend such events. But I try as much as possible. I guess that is one of the good things that the job does because we don’t work all the time. There are times when you are free and you try to spend that time with the family.
Were you ever sexually harassed as an actress?
When you talk of sexual harassment, as I understand it, it’s a question of, ‘it’s either we do it my way or you hit the highway.’ My answer to that is absolutely, No! It has never happened to me.
Would you play a nude role in any movie?
At this age, with most parts of my body going South-North. It will be most unfair to the audience. (laughs)
Aside your age, would you consider it?
I really don’t know. There are times when a part demands it. There has to be an extremely good reason to play a nude role. It must be an integral part of the scene before I would say any actor should go nude, whether male or female.
What was the turning point in your life?
I have had several. One would be the role of Omajuwa in The King Must Dance Naked. It was a stage play and that was when I came to my own as a stage performer. I acted the lead role of the king.