Joke Silva: Biography, Career, Movies & More

Popularly called Aunty Joke by the younger acts in the industry, Joke Silva is a veteran Nollywood actress.

Joke Silva is married to actor, Olu Jacobs and their marriage has produced two wonderful boys and spanned over 30 years.

In this post, we take a look at the life of this delectable legend which includes her career, personal life and the movies she has featured in over the last 3 decades.

Early Life
Joke Silva was born on the 29th of September 1961. She is a graduate of the University of Lagos and the Webber Douglas Academy of Dramatic Art in London.

The actress revealed that she was an adopted child. She was adopted into the Silva family and she has a three other siblings. She is the eldest child.

Silva further disclosed that she used to live in a foster home in Yaba in Lagos owned by the Red Cross Society of Nigeria.

Her mother, Adebimbola Silva was a medical doctor. Her father, Chief E.O Silva was a lawyer and the Babajiro of Lagos

The actress also revealed that it took her quite some time before she knew she was an adopted child as her mother never told her until she found out on her own.

According to the actress, she found out when she wanted to travel and was looking for her passport. But she never mentioned it to her adopted mother. She died in 2015 at the age of 89.

Silva attended the Holy Child College in Lagos before proceeding to England for A-Levels. The actress studied at the University of Lagos where she was part of a cultural group that included playwright, Bode Osanyin and singer, Stella Monye.

Silva suspended her studies to work as an actress. Shortly after, she relocated to England where she studied Drama at the Webber Douglas Academy of Dramatic Art in London.

Her parents initially opposed her decision to become a film actress but they soon supported her when they saw her conviction.

Silva’s movie career began in the early 1990s. She featured in films and TV series in English and Yoruba language. One of her earliest movies was Mind Bending, an English movie that was released in 1990.

The actress also featured in the movie, Owulorojo in 1993 and Violated in 1995.

In 1998, she starred in the British-Canadian film, The Secret Laughter of Women where she starred alongside Colin Firth and Nia Long. She played the role of Nene in the movie.

In 2002, Silva featured alongside Bimbo Akintola in the movie, Keeping Faith. That same year, the actress co-produced and starred in The Kingmaker with Olu Jacobs.

Some of her other movies include A Husband’s Wife (2003), Shylock (2004), and A Past Came Calling (2004).

The actress won the award for the Best Actress in a Leading Role in 2006 at the 2nd Africa Movie Academy Awards for her performance in Women’s Cot. She also won the Best Actress in a Supporting Role at the 4th Africa Movie Academy Awards in 2008 for her performance as a grandmother in White Waters.

In 2006, the actress starred alongside Genevieve Nnaji in the Mildred Okwo’s action thriller 30 Days. This movie received 10 nominations at the Africa Movie Academy Awards in 2008.

Silva was the voice behind the narration in the movie, Amazing Grace which was produced by Jeta Amata. This movie also received 11 African Movie Academy Awards.

In 2007, Silva featured in the movie, ‘To Love and to Hold’ alongside Kate Henshaw-Nuttal, Michael Okon and Fred Essien. That same year, she featured in White Water, and her role in this movie earned her the award for Best Supporting Actress in 2008.

The actress is also the recipient of an EMOTAN Award from African Independent Television (AIT) and the SOLIDRA Award for Visual Art.

In 2011, the veteran actress featured alongside Nse Ikpe Etim, Wale Ojo and Lydia Forson in Kunle Afolayan’s awarding winning movie, Phone Swap.

The movie received 4 nominations at the 8th Africa Movie Academy Awards, including a nomination for Best Nigerian Film.

Silva has also featured in stageplays. She starred in the Thespian Family Theatre and Productions – Mad King of Ijudiya in 2013. The play held at the Agip Hall of Muson Centre of Lagos at Christmas. It was a blend of folklore, traditional dance and music in a typical African village setting.

In October 2012, the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime appointed Silva as the organization’s goodwill ambassador. Her role was focused on her participation in the fight against human trafficking in Nigeria as she was part of the “I Am Priceless” campaign. Her tenure as an ambassador was 3 years.

In September 2016, Silva was appointed by AIICO Pension Managers Limited (APML) as their brand ambassador.

The actress met her husband in 1981, at the National Theatre, Lagos. At that time, they were both on the cast of Professor Wole Soyinka’s stage play, Jero’s Metamorphosis.

Her husband revealed that he knew he was going to marry the actress from the day he set his eyes on her.

They got married on the 16th of November, 1985. Their union has been blessed with 2 boys and Joke Silva and her husband have been together for over 30 years.

In 2011, the couple renewed their vows in the midst of friends and family.

Joke Silva and her husband are business partners as they are the founders of the Lufodo Group. The group comprises an academy and a film production and distribution assets unit. She is the Director of Studies at the Academy.

Silva is also the pioneering Managing Director of Malete Film Village which is association with Kwara State University.

The actress was recognized by the Federal Republic of Nigeria with the honorary award of Member of the Order of the Federal Republic on the 29th of September 2014. She received the award at the International Conference Centre in Abuja.

Silva is a tireless philanthropist and an active supporter of programmes that are involved in women’s emancipation, empowerment, education and progress.
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