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People find my face strange to work with – Joke Jacobs

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By Ayo Onikoyi

Nollywood’s veteran thespian, Joke Jacobs, has had an illustrious career spanning over decades in the industry and  she’s probably the most adored and respected thespian in Nigeria, with many upcoming ones seeing her as a role model.

Joke Jacobs

She could wave a wand and things would start happening because of the profile she parades and the respect she commands. She’s a mother figure who has had an enviable career, with avalanche of achievements to show for it.

But all that has come to her has not come on the platter of gold, and if her revelations in a recent interview with Genevieve magazine is anything to go by, she’s had anything but a free ride to fame.

In the Interview, the evergreen thespian opens up on rejection, body shaming, ageing and what she wished she knew as a young actress. And more shockingly, she revealed she had lost many roles because she wasn’t deemed ‘fine’.

“Of course, I have lost a lot of roles, not because of my colour or body but because of my face. People find it a strange face to work with. It is not your conventional fine face and in the early years I didn’t know how to handle the face and as a result of that, people found it easier to use me as a character actress.

I was bothered because I was being cast for “mama” roles. At that age, I was meant to be diverse in my roles but I was already boxed in,” she said.

On the allure of social media, Joke Silva advises the younger ones not to take everything they see as it seems, saying there’s a starker reality than what is portrayed.

“Don’t be deceived by what goes on on social media. Obviously there is something else such actors are doing, perhaps other businesses to shore up their income.

The reality is that on the earning capacity of an actor in Nigeria, you cannot have that sort of lifestyle in this economy. Yes, part of our industry is to have glamour but also the other part is to have reality,” she quipped.

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