Biography of Olu Jacobs: Career, Movies and More

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Oludotun Jacobs is arguably a Nollywood legend. He is popularly called Olu Jacobs.

The actor has featured in British Television Series, International Films as well as Nollywood movies.

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In this post, we take a look at the life of this screen legend and other interesting details.

Early life

Olu Jacobs was born on the 11th of July 1942. His parents are from Egba Alake. Jacobs spent his childhood in Kano where he attended Holy Trinity School. He was also a member of the debating and drama societies. His interest in acting was triggered when he attended one of Hubert Ogunde’s annual concerts in Kano.

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Education

Jacobs travelled to England after his education in Nigeria. He was trained at the Royal Academy of Dramatic Arts in London.

Movies

Jacob went to England first in 1964 then in 1966 on the invitation of his brother who was already living there.

When Jacobs moved to England, every black actor he knew was based in London.

His first movie was Vigilante. The actor also starred in various British television shows and series in the 1970s, some of which include The Goodies, Till Death Us Do Part, Barlow at Large, The Venturers, Angels, 1990, The Tomorrow People, The Professionals).

In 1978, the actor played the role of President Mageeba in Michael Codron’s presentation of Tom Stoppard’s play Night and Day.

The actor also starred in international movies like 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). He was also on the cast of the 1983 Series, the Witches and the Grinnygog.

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After over 20 years of working in London as an actor, he returned to Nigeria. When Jacob got to Nigeria, the movie industry was structureless but he was certain he had made right decision. It was the year after he returned that he met his wife to be. In Nollywood, Jacobs has featured in over 100 movies.

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The actor has this to say about what makes acting look effortless to him. He says repetition is what makes performance look automatic. According to him, the more you do something the better it gets. He also attributes patience and curiousity as the necessary trait for any actor that wants to be successful.

Awards

He won the African Movie Academy Award for Best Actor in a Leading Role.

Accolades

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

Marriage

Olu Jacob met his wife in 1981, at the National Theatre, Lagos. At that time, they were both rehearsing for Jero’s Metamorphosis by Professor Wole Soyinka.

According to him, from the day he set his eyes on her, he knew she was the woman he was going to marry.

The couple got married on the 16th of November, 1985. He recalls his mother’s prayer on his wedding day. According to him, he remembers every word of it. Jacobs also added that he was 2 hours late on his wedding day. It was the bachelor’s eve that was responsible for his lateness. The couple have been together over 30 years and their union has produced two sons.

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Olu Jacobs has this to say about a successful marriage. According to him, it takes the grace of God, patience and friendship to sustain a marriage.

In 2011, the couple renewed their vows and it seems their love has continued to grow stronger ever since.

Joke Silva-Jacobs

She is an actress and a businesswoman. She is a graduate of Webber Douglas Academy of Dramatic Arts, London and the University of Lagos, Nigeria.

She played one of her earliest roles when she featured in the 1990 English movie, Mind Bending. In 1993 she starred in Owulorojo then Violated in 1995.

In 1998, she featured opposite Colin Firth and Nia Long in the British-Canadian film, The Secret Laughter of Women. She played the role of Nene in the movie.

The actress was awarded the Africa Movie Academy Award for Best Actress in a Leading Role and Best Actress in a supporting role in 2006 and 2008 respectively.

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In 2014, she was honoured as a Member of the Order of the Federal Republic in 2014. The actress is also a brand ambassador for AIICO Pension Managers Limited (APML). She is also a member of the faculty and principal of the popular reality show, MTN Project Fame academy.

Children

The actor has two sons, Olusoji and Olugbenga. They both live in the United Kingdom. Olusoji is the General Manager of Lufodo Production. Lufodo is a part of Lufodo Group which is a company owned by the Jacobs family.

When he saw her, he was attracted to her and he did all he could to get her after some meandering he finally did.

Religion

Jacob is a Christian and he recently spoke about one of the religious practices that have become quite controversial in recent times.

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The actor revealed that he doesn’t see anything wrong in tithing, and he even tithes but he claims does it anonymously because he believes it is between him and God.

According to Jacobs, the income from tithe is used to maintain the association or organisation but some churches go overboard by making different demands in the name of tithing.

The actor also linked the complaints over paying tithe to the poor economic condition in the country.

Racism

The actor revealed that he experienced some form of racism when he was in England. According to the actor, a white woman he had approached for an accomodation called him a dog for no reason except that he was black. 

Influence

The likes of Julie Coker, Ted Mukoro and Hubert Ogunde influenced Jacob’s decision to become an actor.

But prior to that he had always been an innate art aficionado but he didn’t get an epiphany until the day he was “sent on an errand” by his mother. “I saw a lorry, people sitting, playing music and the music was good.

The concert was organised by the legendary Hubert Ogunde and this was the beginning of the acting journey for Jacobs.

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