VETERAN actor, Olu Jacobs clocked 70 recently. In an interview with ENCOMIUM Weekly on Thursday, August 30, 2012, the ever relevant septuagenarian talked about his life, recent trip to London and many more…
Congratulations on your 70th birthday.
So, how does it feel to be 70?
It feels good. I can tell you that my joints are not aching. I take calcium and protein and they are working well for me.
What is the greatest thing about clocking 70?
First, the greatest thing is that you have seen the age right from the age of one. And that you’re conscious of all you do and also grateful to God for His good works upon your life. I am also happy about my family. I thank God.
Are there things you do before that you can no longer do because of old age?
Yes, I can no longer play football as I used to do before. But I still do some exercises.
At 70, you still look strong and healthy, what is the secret?
I do everything in moderation, both eating and drinking. I equally make sure I jog every morning in order to keep fit.
How far have you accomplished the targets you set out to achieve before now?
Right from childhood, I have always wanted to be in the movie industry. So, I am happy that right from age seven, that dream has been accomplished. I have been able to put smiles on people’s faces through my roles in the movies. And I am happy about that.
What is your greatest wish at 70?
At 70, I wish that the movie industry will get better. Producers will work very hard to produce quality movies, and not just churn out movies which are substandard. They should enroll themselves in school and undergo more training which will in turn help them to produce quality movies. They should not settle for less. I also wish that piracy would be eradicated so that we will be able to eat the fruits of our labour.
Are you still active in the industry?
Yes, of course. I have featured in many movies of late. This Saturday (September 1, 2012), I will be on Stephanie Okereke’s set in Abuja for her new movie.
Recently, you were in London, how was the experience?
The movie industry decided to use the period of Olympics in London to sell herself to the rest of the world having realized that they are the ones to it, not foreigners. So, the cultural aspect of our life, our clothes, food and way of life were on display at Theatre Royale, Stratford, East London where the Bank of Industries contracted my production outfit, Lufodo Productions to stage three plays, Lion and the Jewel by Wole Soyinka, The King Must Dance Naked by Fred Agbeyegbe and The Naming Ceremony by Sefi Attah. The good thing about it was that Professor Wole Soyinka was present the day his play was presented and people were happy to see him. Some Nollywood directors were equally present and the response was awesome. But let me be quick to remind you that it was not my first time of visiting London. I lived there while I was still a bachelor but it is amazing that the city has been transformed totally by her government.
How did you celebrate your birthday over there?
It was a secret one organized by my wife and some friends. The children were there with us as they were on vacation. It was really wonderful.
How best would you describe your wife?
She is my best friend.
Do you still keep your childhood friends?
Yes. They are always the first to recognize me, maybe because I am in the public eyes.
How romantic is Olu Jacobs at 70?
Please, I don’t have an answer to that.
What differentiates the real Olu Jacobs from the one in movies?
They are made up of different characters but the same carcass.
What will you like to be remembered for?
That I tried to mould people as much as I can. Again, that I put smiles on the faces of people through the provocation of laughter. In fact, that was what brought me into the industry at age seven –seeing people laugh gives me so much joy. I shall be honoured if I’m remembered for that.
- This story was first published in ENCOMIUM Weekly on Tuesday, September 4, 2012