Nollywood Actor Olu Jacobs Says ‘No Retirement for Him’
Nollywood veteran, Olu Jacobs has said he has no intention to retire from acting anytime soon although he turned 71 this year.
He made this revelation when he talked to Nigeria Entertainment Today (NET) recently about his love life, career, Nigeria movie industry among others.
Here are excerpts of the interview:
Considering your age, do you plan to retire anytime soon?
I don’t know. Does one retire from life? My job is life so why should I retire from it. There is no retirement because everything I am passing through is life. Where do I retire from, from being granddad, uncle or dad?
Do you plan to take up other roles such as producing and directing?
Is there any other role for a character like me? I can still play the role of a father, grandfather, uncle and the likes. I would not go and play a school boy. It is as simple as that.
I am not taking any role from anybody so why should you be expecting me to write. I could write or direct but my main passion is acting.
Crying on set doesn’t seem to be a problem for you. How do you do it?
It is called ‘emotion recall‘. It is something you have to practice on your own in your own room with the mirror. You must have a mirror that is long- that is one friend that will never lie to you.
Aside acting, what do you derive happiness in doing?
It is still the same thing, I love anything to do with the business of acting, whether performing, producing, directing.
Singing is another area that I like. I used to sing when I was much younger but I haven’t done that for a while.
How fulfilling has your career been?
When we started, I remember that a lot of my friends didn’t respect what I was doing.
At the end of the day, I am what I am today and to the glory of God it has been a very fulfilling experience.
You and your wife are usually tagged Nollywood’s most celebrated couple. How did you meet?
I was having a meeting at the National Theatre when the door opened and a young lady came in. I looked at her. I had 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 and that was 27 years ago.
With the rate at which celebrity marriages are crashing, how have you been able to keep it together?
It is God. There are other forces outside that you need to take cognisance of but when you do, you have to make sure that they don’t take control over your life.
You are now thinking for two. No decision you take should be for yourself alone. It’s for two and it must remain for two. You have to always remember that.
So who cooks for you when she is not around?
I am very familiar with the kitchen. I was a bachelor for a long time and I made sure that no woman would come and do ‘iyanga’ for me.
I can cook anything; fish, chicken, different types of dishes, I can cook them.
Since you got married, your wife has maintained her maiden name. Why has she not adopted your own name?
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. When she is working, she is Joke Silva but she is Mrs. Joke Jacobs at home.
As Nollywood celebrates 20 years, what is your assessment of the entire industry?
In 20 years, a lot has happened. We have seen a lot of talented people, we have seen a lot of ‘cowboys’, and we have seen a lot of people coming and get thrown out by situations.
Some cannot cope while some can cope. Some are still fighting to survive but above all, the ‘baby‘ is very much alive and is 20 years old.
A 20 year old baby is a damn young man. Our baby is doing well.
What are some of those gray areas in Nollywood that need to be tackled?
You see, our problem is not so much the product, we have, it is the marketing and distribution- that is our problem. When you say, this film is coming out next Tuesday, it should be nationwide.
At the moment, we cannot do that. So the pirates have filled in the gap and then we are blaming them. But we cannot blame them until we are able to fashion out a proper distribution system.
All through your career, which moment has been the most memorable?
Any award is humbling. I feel humbled that in fact I have been able to touch people, which is why I came into the business. so every award does that, even more so when you least expect.
-Interview by Nigeria Entertainment Today (NET)