Oludotun Baiyewu Jacobs, popularly called Olu Jacobs for short, is no doubt a household name in Nollywood and has been hailed by many as one of the greatest and most widely respected African actors of his generation.
A veteran who has conquered the movie scene with his enigmatic character, loved genuinely by fans and followers home and abroad.
The soon-to-be Octagenarian was born on the 11th of July 1942 and took a shot at acting when he joined the debating and drama society at the Holy Trinity School, Kano.
His passion for acting increased after attending the annual concert party of one of the pioneers of theatre drama in Nigeria, Chief Hubert Ogunde.
Olu Jacobs travelled to the UK to learn more about the trade, as he enrolled at The Royal Academy of Dramatic Arts in London.
During his training in the ’70s, he featured in British shows and series including, The Goodies, Till Death Us Do Part, Barlow at Large, The Venturers, Angels, The Tomorrow People and The Professionals.
Olu Jacobs also appeared in several international films, including John Irvin’s war film ‘The Dogs of War’, 1986 Roman Polanski’s adventure-comedy ‘Pirates’ and the family-adventure film ‘Baby: Secret of the Lost Legend’.
Olu Jacobs; A Cat With Nine Lives
The veteran who has graced our screen in over 120 Nollywood movies can be said to be “A Cat With Nine Lives”.
The description fits him well as he has on occasions been rumoured to have passed on but always made an appearance to disprove rumour mongers.
After one of that news surfaced in 2021, he made an appearance at the Africa International Film Festival (Afriff) in November 2021, with the support of his wife, Joke Silva, another veteran in the Nollywood industry.
The fears of his ailing health stared us right in the face after he struggled to understand what was happening around him as he was announced the winner of the ‘Lifetime Achievement Award’,
In an interview with media personality Chude Jideonwo, his wife, Joke Silva, later revealed the ever-vibrant actor is battling “Dementia with Lewy body”.
Dementia with Lewy Body (DLB), also known as Lewy Body Dementia, is one of the most common types of dementia that comes with old age.
It is the gradual changes and damage in the brain which develop slowly and get gradually worse over several years.
At different points of his acting career, Pa Olu Jacobs has deservedly been honoured with several awards including, City People Movie Lifetime Achievement Award, Africa Movie Academy Award for Best Actor in a Leading Role, Africa Movie Academy Award for Lifetime Achievement and many others.
Dementia might have succeeded in keeping him out of active service, his movies and personality throughout his acting career will continue to earn him recognition, as the smile he placed on our faces will linger for a lifetime in our memories.
Families, Lovers, Colleagues and Fans cannot wait to celebrate Pa Olu Jacobs as he prepares to hit the 80 years mark.