Born, Oludotun Baiyewu Jacobs but fondly referred to as Olu Jacobs, is a professional movie actor and film executive who has featured in hundreds of movies, both at home and abroad. The veteran actor is known to be one of the greatest and most respected actors across Africa
Here are eight things to know about the legendary thespian:
- His parents are from Egba Ake, otherwise known as Egba Alake, a town which is one of the five sections of Egbaland. However, he spent his early childhood in Kano and attended the Holy Trinity group of schools at Tudun Wada, Kano, a school owned by the Cathedral Church of Holy Trinity. In school, he was a member of the choir, dance group and drama group.
- The thespian was first inspired to act after he attended one of Chief Hubert Ogunde’s concert parties, now known as Ogunde Theatre at Colonial Hotel in Kano. In an interview, Jacobs explained how the first annual party of Chief Robert Ogunde which he attended, inspired him to be an actor, he said; “One day, I was sent on an errand and I heard this music coming from the back of a lorry. I picked one of the leaflets and saw Ogunde Concert Party. Then I put it in my pocket. When I got home, I called my mother and said I saw this, and she said they always come every year. I said I would go, and we all went. It was played in one hotel called Colonial Hotel. They were dancing and talking and everywhere was booming. My dad and the family were talking, but I didn’t talk. I was watching the atmosphere. Then the light went off and the stage light came up. And they did what Ogunde called the opening glee (beginning of the show). That was the point I made up my mind I would be an actor.”
- Olu Jacobs later secured a visa and travelled to England where he studied acting. The actor explained that his father was never in support of him studying acting, he also disclosed how he ran away from home to England with the help of his elder brothers. Jacobs trained at The Royal Academy of Dramatic Arts in London.
- During his stay in London, Jacobs featured in several British television shows and series in the 1970s including The Goodies (1971), Till Death Us, Do Part(1974), Barlow at Large(1975), The Venturers(1975), Angels(1976), 1990(1978), The Tomorrow People (1975), The Professionals(1979) and many more).
- Olu Jacob’s acting career can be dated back to over five decades, being one of the oldest actors in the Nigerian movie industry, and being the bridge between the old and new actors. In 2016, he was conferred with the Lifetime Achievement Awards by The Africa Movie Academy Awards, popularly known as AMAA.
- In 1989, Olu Jacobs married Nollywood diva Joke Silva. During an interview, he explained that he first met the actress when he returned to Nigeria from England to play a lead role in Wole Soyinka’s The Trials of Brother Jero. He further explained that the first day he met Joke Silva was when he knew she was the woman for him, describing how attracted he was to her.
- Despite his old age, the veteran actor has featured in several movies in the ’20s, popular movies including, Oloibiri(2015), Dry(2014), The antique(2014), Dry(2014), and The Royal Hibiscus Hotel(2017).
- The octogenarian has been honoured with several awards in his lifetime among which include the prestigious Industry Merit Award for outstanding achievements in acting at the 2013 Annual Africa Magic Viewers Choice Awards.