Nollywood Veteran Actress, Joke Silva fondly knowns as Mummy J is one of Nigeria’s most successful actresses. She has featured in over 300 Nigerian movies and is most popular for movies like Phone Swap, The Secret Laughter of Women and as one of the Faculty members on the MTN Project Fame TV Series.
The mother of two is also a director, businesswoman, Silva is a philanthropist and a strong supporter of women’s emancipation and empowerment, contributing to their education, training and progress.
Looking at all these, Mummy J definitely deserves some accolades. That’s why we have chosen to share a few notable facts about her.
Early Life and Education
Ajoke Silva was born on 29th September 1961 in Lagos, into a family of four children. Her father Chief E.A Silva was a lawyer while her mother, Abimbola Silva was a doctor; one of the first female doctors in Nigeria.
In 2017, The 56-year-old actress revealed that she was adopted. She also said that before her adoption, she lived in a foster home of the Red Cross in Yaba, Lagos.
She had her secondary school education at Holy Child College in Lagos. After completing her secondary school education, Joke proceeded to the University of Lagos to study English Langauge. Afterwards, she moved to London to study drama at Webber Douglas Academy of Dramatic Art.
She began a career in film in the early 1990s. One of her earliest roles was in the 1990 English film Mind Bending. In 1993 she appeared in Owulorojo, followed by Violated in 1995.
In 1998 she had a major role starred opposite Colin Firth and Nia Long in the British-Canadian film The Secret Laughter of Women. Silva has starred in numerous films and television series in both the English and Yoruba languages.
In 2002, Silva starred opposite Bimbo Akintola in Keeping Faith. Akintola later cited Silva, whom she refers to as “Aunty Joke”, as a major career influence, adding, “Silva has done a lot, but it’s not even about the things that she did, it’s about the things she didn’t realize that she did”.
Also in 2002, Silva co-produced and starred in The Kingmaker with Olu Jacobs. This was followed by roles in pictures such as A Husband’s Wife (2003), Shylock (2004), and A Past Came Calling (2004).
She has received several awards and nominations for her work as an actress including the awards for Best Actress in a Leading Role at the 2nd Africa Movie Academy Awards in 2006 for the movie, Women’s Cot.
She won the award for Best Supporting Actress for her role in the movie ‘White Waters’ at the 4th Africa Movie Academy Awards in 2008. She has also received the EMOTAN Award by African Independent Television and the SOLIDRA Award for Visual Art.
In October 2012, the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime appointed Joke Silva as the goodwill ambassador.
Silva’s role was focused on her participation in the fight against human trafficking in Nigeria. Work fighting human trafficking was part of the “I Am Priceless” campaign, which had also received support from the Nigerian authorities. Silva’s appointment was for a period of three years.
Silva is also Director of Studies at the Lufodo Academy of Performing Arts, while her husband acts as chairman. Lufodo Academy is one of several assets the couple own as part of the Lufodo Group, including Lufodo Productions, Lufodo Consult, and Lufodo Distribution.
Silva is married to veteran actor, Olu Jacobs, and they have two children. The couple met in 1981 at the National Theatre, Lagos during the 21st Independence anniversary.