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Joke SilvaQueen of the silver screen ~Omonaijablog

By Sylvester Asoya

Joke Silva is a thoroughbred professional and lover of drama. Acting was inevitable when she returned from London many years ago after attending the Webber Douglas Academy of Dramatic Arts. So, she took a plunge into performing arts and got her groove within a very short acting experience. She worked on great scripts and scenes at a time things were tough for actors. It was also a period acting as a profession was struggling to make impact in the society. But she also lived her dream and met great people: colleagues and directors who sharpened her rough edges and made her the best possible actress from a reputable drama school.     

In no time, due to hard work and perseverance, she became a major voice, both on stage and the screen in Nigeria. That is the story of a strong Nigerian actress whose contributions to the stage, television, film and advocacy cannot easily be wished away.  

In the unpredictable and glamorous world of acting, Silva has had a fair slice of the industry’s cake.
Indeed, she is the queen of the silver screen. It is tempting but possible also to think that she never thought in her wildest imagination that she would receive so much from a profession that offered so little back at the beginning of her career. Today, she is not only sought after and famous, she is also fulfilled and comfortably well off. No doubt, life is good for this actress who is also a director and businesswoman.  

Born on 29 September, 1961, Silver is also a big player in the global film market. Aside her well known exploits in Nigeria’s movie industry, she has also appeared in big movies on the world stage. The Secret Laughter of Women, obviously her biggest hit outside Nigeria, says a lot about her training and professionalism. This 1998 British-Canadian film gave her a major role and the opportunity of acting with well known actors like Colin Firth and Nia Long. Though described as a “sweet and unrealistic love story” by some critical reviewers, The Secret Laughter of Women is still more than a story about love, adventure and hard choices. 

Joke Silva’s marriage to Olu Jacobs, a great actor, is not only fruitful and rewarding but also a blessing to the arts. Many believe that it is a worthwhile relationship that stretches beyond creativity and business, and they are happy for that. Together, they run Lufodu Group, a business concern that handles media jobs, asset management, film production and distribution. They also run jointly, the Lufado Academy of Performing Arts. 

Silva, daughter of Adebimbola Silva, a pioneer doctor and a father who was a lawyer has remained true to her calling. This first Managing Director of Malete Film Village, a facility that is connected with Kwara State University is a patron of many creative bodies and institutions across Nigeria. Her awards include Best Actress in a Leading Role at the 2nd Africa Movie Academy Awards for her understanding of her role in Women’s Cot, Best Actress in a Supporting Role at the 4th Africa Movie Academy Awards, 2008 for her role as a grandmother in White Waters and others.

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