Revered actor Olu Jacob has been in the industry for ages and still waxing stronger by the day and this is partly because he is married to his soul mate who also shares the same passion with him. The UK trained seasoned thespian is married to another big star in Nollywood Joke Silva. They are among the most celebrated couple in the entertainment industry. They have been married for 31 years and the union is blessed with kids. The couple, who met in 1981 at a rehearsal and wed in 1985, have shown that truelove can truly last a lifetime. On their sweet love story, the couple finally let the sweet story of their love journey out when they marked their 30th wedding anniversary and renewed their vows in an elaborate celebration. In an interview with the veteran actress Joke Silva , she revealed how they met and fell in love. In her words ““People had been talking about him before I arrived the country because he was based in the UK at that time. Everybody was talking about him, especially Miss Ene, the then Artistic Director of the National Theatre and Dr. Ashiwaju.They had met in England and I guess he would have been the Chiwetel Ejiofor of that time. Just as what Chiwetel is to this present generation, so he was then. He was one of the top African actors in England at that time, whether on stage or on screen. He was the talk of the town. So, I was looking forward to meeting him; when I finally saw him, he was quite a handsome man. Our first meeting, if I could remember vividly, I went to call Miss Ene to come and watch our rehearsal. They were in a production meeting, and, when I entered the office, the first thing he uttered was, “This is the woman I am going to marry. “When I left the office, I said to myself, `How can anybody say it just like that?’ He always insisted that I eyed him every now and then. We started out as very good friends. Four years later we got married. We met in 1981 and married in 1985” She says On keeping the marriage going: “Friendship. We are each other’s very close friend. It’s not as if we don’t have close friends outside our marriage, but I think we are both each other’s number one close friend. The other thing is mutual respect, the fact that we both share the same passion about the area of entertainment that we are in.Of course, the various challenges that we’ve faced over the years , we’ve learnt how to surmount them together. At different times when it is necessary, we have both learnt to forgive each other. I guess the sum total of what I’m saying is that God’s grace has been present in our marriage.”
On the secret of their strong marriage, she revealed that intimacy is a key factor “I don’t think it’s possible for you to have marriage without intimacy, because if there’s no intimacy, why bother with marriage? Most people think intimacy means just sex, there’s more to it than that. There’s a meeting of minds, there’s that bonding. Sometime ago, I used to tell him (my husband) that ‘one of the reasons why I find that I can’t leave you is that the next morning, I’m likely to call to find out how you are’. There is just this closeness. I really don’t think marriage is possible without intimacy. I think it is very important that there is trust in marriage. Trust can be broken, but it can be healed. Some people believe in polygamy, I don’t. I don’t believe in sharing. It has to do with what works for you as a couple.”
The debonair actor also gave his own account of their love story, in his words
“Yes, it was the case of love at first sight. Our story runs like a novel. We were doing a production meeting for Jeri’s Metamorphosis at National Theatre, Iganmu. I was playing Brother Jero and, at the same time, co-directing the play. Suddenly, the door opened and the lady came in, I looked at her and said, ‘Ladies and Gentlemen, this is the woman I am going to marry’. She just looked at me up and down and left. Four years later, we got married. That was how sure I was when I saw her and I have never been that kind of sure in my life. I’m not an extrovert when it comes to that. I keep my relationship quiet. But that was how I saw it at the moment when I saw her.”
On what he doesn’t like about Joke: he says “She used to keep things in mind, I never realised this on time. When you think everything has been forgotten, all of a sudden she reminds you of it. At first, I used to be very upset, and then I realised that I used to be like that. Memory is good, but at the same time, we must make sure that we use it for good. Instead of looking for something bad that she has done, use that same time to look for something good that she has done, then you’ll find that she has not done anything bad, when you compare both. But we exaggerate what we consider bad. The challenges are challenges and they must come in life. It is very easy to talk about the bad things but the good things are the ones that inspire. The bad things should be remembered in order to warn you to change for the better. Use them for change. My wife is very generous, very kind and caring. If you’re having a problem, she’ll listen and take it up as her own. If you need something and she has it, she’ll give it to you. I’m very happy with her and she’s my best friend. When you have a friend at home, you want to go home. Wherever you are, you want to finish whatever you are doing and go home. The home is attractive to you and that’s the kind of person she is. Sometimes, when we are working separately, we try to always be on phone with each other two to three times a day. If it is possible on our way to branch and say ‘hi’, have a cup of tea together which we do sometimes and spend the night. Then the next day, she’s off to her station and I’m off to mine. We keep in touch.”
The respected actor also revealed in an interview with City People that part of the secret of their long lasting relationship is that they are best friends and she admires his culinary skills. In his words “We are best of friends, and we are doing what we want to do so there is no hitches, we are in the same profession, I encourage and she encourages too, and am a damn good cook too”. The couple have been married for 31 years and they remain the most revered couple in the entertainment industry in Nigeria.