It is until he narrates his story with fate that one understands the secret of his successful acting career. He studied abroad, but like the legendary Fela Anikulapo Kuti, he graduated in a course that his father never liked. He followed his passion and is happy today because of the recognition, fortune and, most importantly, satisfaction his earlier decision offers him today.
With his bulky size, baritone voice, and almost majestic look, Oludotun Jacobs is one actor that keeps viewers’ eyes clued on the screen as long as the movie lasts. His perfect delivery of his script, good command of English language (of course, he studied in the UK), and his suspenseful roles in almost every movie he stars give him an edge over others.
Yet, he is a good husband and father.
Olu, as Joke Silva, his beautiful wife and accomplished actress, will call him, smiled yet again as viewers, the African movie industry and African Magic celebrated him at a larger platform at the maiden edition of African Magic Viewers Choice Awards held over the weekend at the Expo Hall, Eko Hotel & Suites, Victoria Island, Lagos.
Olu bagged the Industry Merit Award, the highest honour at the awards whose winners were decided by the votes of the viewers except a few behind-the-scene awards.
“Why did I win?” he asked rhetorically during a post-media briefing. He won from the day he chose to read Theatre in the UK instead of what his father wanted him to read. However, his determination to make a difference and to prove his father wrong on looking down on entertainment as a career all culminate in making Olu a beautiful and must-watch bride of African movies.
“I congratulate African Magic, Multichoice and Amstel Malta for putting up this platform that and giving me this very recognition that is dear to me. Frankly, they have made my day and given me reason not to regret my sojourn in the world of entertainment,” Jacobs said, urging upcoming actors and actresses to learn, be patient and, above all, determine to success even when encouragement is not forthcoming.
But the smile on Joke’s broad face told more of a supportive wife. “Yes, it is our award, and it is well deserved. Olu truly deserves it,” she chipped in.
For Biola Alabi, managing director, M-Net Africa, the award has done well in recognising and celebrating the best in African movie and entertainment industry. “The fact that the awards all went to well-deserved movie personalities both on screen and behind the screen means the viewers and judges that voted and selected the nominees and eventual winners did a very good job,” she said, while also assuring on sustenance of the awards because of the healthy competition it will engender on African movie production, the improvement on quality, rich and local content that also appeals to global viewers, and, most importantly, the jobs it would create and its economic benefits on the continent.
Amstel Malta, the lead sponsor, was also impressed with the successful hosting. It hopes to continue the partnership and sponsorship of the event after the expiration of the first two years’ deal it signed with Multichoice.\
“We are deeply pleased to be at the forefront of this spectacular event that celebrates truly talented individuals whose valuable contribution to the African film and television landscape is immeasurable. We congratulate them on their success and noteworthy achievement tonight. Our brand has always believed strongly that everyone has what it takes to be the best and this group of winners symbolises that,” said Walter Drenth, marketing director, Nigerian Breweries Plc., brewers of Amstel Malta.
Other big individual winners on the night included Nigeria’s Mercy Johnson (Best Actress – Comedy) for ‘Dumebi – The Dirty Girl’; Ghana’s Jackie Appiah (Best Actress – Drama) for ‘Perfect Picture’, Nigeria’s Hafiz Oyetoro (Best Actor – Comedy) for ‘House Apart’; and his compatriot OC Ukeje (Best Actor – Drama) for ‘Two Brides and a Baby’. Ivie Okujaye emerged the AMVCA’s Trailblazer of the Year winner.
Of course, biggest ovation of the award night was when ‘Otelo Burning’ was announced the Best Movie Overall and ‘The XYZ Show’ as the Best Television categories. Recalling Femi Odugbemi’s assurance before the awards that only the best would emerge, the qualities, personalities and competences that were honoured at the awards truly deserve the honour.