While this Nollywood genius is still active, he definitely contributed to our more than 200 movie projects he has featured in, including British and award-winning Nollywood stage plays, and not forgetting popular film and television shows we will never erase from our memories.
Olu Jacobs is one of the most awarded actors in the history of the Nigerian film industry with 2 AMAAs, one AMVCA and one AFRIFF, and we have decided to mark his exemplary acting life by showing you the Most Iconic Olu Jacobs Films Ever (2022).
1. The Dogs of War:
This was another Olu Jacobs masterclass, and it was seen in this John Irvin 1980 movie that was based on Frederick Forsyth’s novel of the same title. In this war-themed drama, this Nollywood veteran played a role as an immigration officer that many will not forget for a very long time.
In the movie, mercenary soldiers Jamie (Christopher Walken) and Drew (Tom Berenger) were employed by a large corporation to liberate Zangaro, a small African nation, from those holding it captive. Jamie eventually ended up in jail when he got there, and after lots of torture, he got help from Dr Okoye (Winston Ntshona), a political prisoner.
The prisoner taught him more about the plight of the country’s people, and after Jamie got his freedom, he became angry with his rich employers and decided to join the Zangaro people on the revolutionary front. Olu Jacobs played a corrupt customs official in this project, and his acting was nothing short of world-class and convincing.
In this Shirley Frimpong-Manso-directed action project, Olu Jacobs played the role of Bankole, a very rich businessman who hired an ex-cop turned private investigator to monitor his wife. Olu’s mission was to catch his wife cheating but things turned really fatal when he runs into young hustlers involved with organ harvesting. It was a Ghanaian-Nigerian action thriller that many will remember the Nollywood veteran for.
The story was centred around Captain Red who ran a hardy pirate ship with help from Frog, a young French sailor. On a particular day, Red was captured and taken aboard a Spanish galleon, but his inventive nature helped him alert his crew to take over the ship and abduct the niece of the governor of Maracaibo. The adventure that transpired after is worth watching.
This 1986 adventure project directed by Roman Polanski premiered in the US and globally when it was released. It featured Olu Jacobs playing the role of one of the ship’s crew members named Boomako, and it was an unforgettable performance by the talented movie star.
4. Till Death Do Us Part:
Its story is centred around Michael and Madison Roland who plan to spend the rest of their lives together, however, Michael’s controlling ways made a sweet marriage turn into an abusive relationship that no woman wants. Seeking the help of her best friend, Madison decides to escape the marriage. She ended up getting a new identity and she eventually met Alex Stone, who made her experience love again. Everything seemed fine until Michael discovered where she was and re-creates her nightmare.
If you want to respect Olu Jacobs for his amazing delivery and memorable dialogues, this is the movie to watch. It is a successful BBC sitcom project that took the cinemas by storm not just because it had a good plot, but because the talented Olu Jacobs absolutely owned his character in it. He played the role of a TV repairman in this movie and it is one of his best role interpretations yet.
5. Soul on Fire:
This 2005 Tchidi Chikere-directed movie retold the Abraham and Sarah story with a beautiful Nigerian touch. Olu Jacobs played the lead role as “Ijendu” while Patience Ozokwo was “Azuka.” His performance was legendary again but he won the “AMAA Best Actor” award for his role in “Dancing Hearts,” another project by Tchidi Chikere.
Things You Did Now Know About The Legendary Olu Jacobs:
1. His parents are from Egba Alake, one of the 5 sections of Egbaland, but he spent his early childhood in Kano and attended the Holy Trinity group of schools at Tudun Wada, Kano, in a school owned by the Cathedral Church of Holy Trinity. During that educational journey, the actor was a member of the school’s choir, dance group and drama group.
2. He fancied acting after he attended one of Chief Hubert Ogunde’s concert parties, specifically, the first annual party of Chief Robert Ogunde. According to Olu Jacobs, he was actually sent on an errand around that location when he heard music coming from the back of a lorry which picked his interest. He then saw a leaflet lying on the ground which led him to the Ogunde Concert Party. The actor said the party entailed all kinds of dancing, talking and acting, and it inspired him to embrace movies.
3. Olu Jacobs secured a visa and travelled to England to study acting. According to him, his dad was never in support of him studying that in school and that led him to run away from home to meet up with his elder brothers in the UK just to fulfil that dream. The actor ended up training at The Royal Academy of Dramatic Arts in London, and the rest is history.
4. His acting career spanned over 5 decades, and he was one of the oldest actors in the Nigerian movie industry for a long time, even serving as the bridge between the old and new actors for a while. To prove his impact in the Nollywood industry, Olu Jacobs earned a “Lifetime Achievement Award” at the Africa Movie Academy Awards in 2016.
5. In 1989, Olu Jacobs married the beautiful Joke Silva. According to him, he met up with her when he returned to Nigeria from England to play a lead role in Wole Soyinka’s “The Trials of Brother Jero.” Olu further said that the first day they interacted, he immediately knew she would end up being his wife forever.
6. Despite his very advanced age, the veteran movie star has acted in various movies in the ’20s, including popular projects like Oloibiri (2015), Dry (2014), The antique (2014), Dry (2014), and The Royal Hibiscus Hotel (2017).
7. The legendary Nollywood figure has been honoured with several awards in his lifetime, and they include the prestigious Industry Merit Award for “Outstanding Achievements In Acting” at the 2013 Annual Africa Magic Viewers Choice Awards.
8. Olu Jacobs is considered by several media, film commentators, critics, and other actors to be one of the most influential Africans the world has ever seen. He is widely known as a cultural icon who practically grew on screen while displaying the acting talents many cannot boast of.
9. Olu Jacobs and his wife, Joke Silva founded the Lufodo Group, a media corporation that delivers film production services, distribution of assets, and it is also home to the Lufodo Academy of Performing Arts.
10. Olu Jacobs has once been described as the best role interpreter and the best manipulator of words that Nollywood has ever produced, and he has since distinguished himself as a godfather in Nollywood, paving the way for several emerging actors and actresses in the industry.
Olu Jacobs’ Recognition:
President Muhammadu Buhari recently hailed Nollywood veteran and icon, Olu Jacobs on his 80th birthday. He came out days ago to felicitate with the Jacobs’ family, including his wife, family and friends, calling for God’s care, guidance and protection as the movie guru marked a new age.
According to Nigeria’s President, Olu Jacobs should be applauded for setting a standard of professionalism that has earned him lots of recognition and awards over the years, alongside a lot of admiration and respect from his peers.
Buhari further hailed Olu Jacobs’ ingenious ability to interpret roles that both young and old can easily relate with. Saluting him for being a well-recognized household name all over the country and beyond, PMB prayed to the Almighty God that the pacesetter lives his remaining days with better health and more wealth.
Olu Jacobs and Joke Silva:
Nollywood legends, Olu Jacobs and Joke Silva met for the first time in 1981 at the National Theatre in Lagos where they were both set to undergo an audition for a play written by Wole Soyinka titled “Jero’s Metamorphosis.” The meeting led to an exchange of pleasantries that eventually led to them getting married in 1985, and they have since been blessed with two beautiful children.
They were not just lovers in real life, they acted as a couple in a few movies as well, including “Curse From Beyond,” where they played the role of Mr. and Mrs. Raymond. In that successful film, Olu Jacobs and his wife featured a couple who did everything possible to end their daughter’s spiritual problem.
Olu Jacobs Sickness:
In a recent interview with Chude Jideonwo, Joke Silva revealed that her husband is suffering from dementia with Lewy bodies, a deadly degenerative disease. According to her, Olu Jacobs has been dealing with the sickness for a couple of years now and it has been a very tough period for their marriage.
Joke Silva said it has been really hard on the Nollywood actor because he does not even understand what is going on with him anymore, a reality that has been very hard on his kids and family members. The actress went as far as saying she definitely misses the times they worked together but she remains grateful for the grace to be there for him during this trying time.
Mummy J, as she is fondly called, added that she has kept on loving him by protecting him against those who were ready to feast on his illness, and even when rumours falsely spread that he was dead, she quickly stepped in to set the story straight and protect his image.