Queens Of Nollywood: Joke Silva

September 18, 2019

When it comes to old Nollywood realness, we all know that the women were the ones who came on the scene and served hard. We’ve decided to take a week to honour seven legendary actresses who still impact the movie industry decades after their debut.

Today, we honour the eloquent Joke Silva.

Born on the 29th of September 1961, Joke Silva attended the secondary school Holy Child Girl’s College in Lagos, after which she went into acting. During this time, she moved to London to study drama at Webber Douglas Academy of Dramatic Arts, a decision her parents were initially opposed to but eventually came to terms with (when her career began to take off). She later returned to Nigerian to study English at the University of Lagos.

Silva has starred in many English and Yoruba movies. Her earliest known role was in the 1990 English language movie titled Mind Bending. In 1998, she starred in the British-Canadian film titled The Secret Laughter of Women alongside Colin Firth and Nia Long. Some other movies she appeared in around that period are Owulorojo (1993), Violated (1995), Keeping Faith (2002), Shylock (2004), and many others.

Her performances have garnered her critical acclaim and many awards. For her role in 2006’s Women’s Cot, she won the award for Best Actress In A Leading Role at the Africa Movie Academy Awards (AMAA). She won another AMAA – this time for Best Supporting Actress – for her role in 2007’s White Waters, and again for her role in 2018’s Potato Patahto. She has a knack for appearing in critically acclaimed movies like 30 Days (2006), Amazing Grace (2008), Phone Swap (2011) etc.

In 2016, She won the lifetime achievement award from the AMAA.

Silvia is married to fellow thespian, Olu Jacobs, who she met at the National Arts Theatre in 1981, and together, they have two children. Below is an excerpt from an interview in which Jacobs describes his first meeting with Silva:

“I was having a meeting at the National Theatre and the door opened a young lady came in. I looked at her. I have never met her before in my life and I said to the people in the room ‘ladies and gentlemen, this is the lady I am going to marry’. Everybody laughed. She looked at me up and down, hissed and left. Today, she is my wife.”

Jacobs and Silva in 1988, performing at the National Arts Theatre in a play titled Holy Child.

In addition to her continued work as an actress, Silva is a strong supporter of women empowerment and emancipation. She helps the cause by contributing to their education at the Lufodo Academy of Performing Arts, at which she is the director of studies.

Here’s to many more years of this once in a lifetime talent gracing our screens.

Check back tomorrow (19/9/2019) when we honour another Nollywood actress.

Astor George

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