Fabmumng had a rare encounter with veteran Nigerian actress, Joke Jacobs, and she opened up on motherhood, career, family and marriage
What sort of childhood did you have?
I had a very blessed childhood. I lacked nothing as a child; I was raised in Ikoyi, Lagos. Yes, I guess we can call it a privileged childhood but my parents were very strict yet accommodating.
Growing up, what are some of the virtues your parents instilled in you?
My parents taught me that there is dignity in hard work and labour. Whenever I am faced with challenges I will have a good cry and this was something my late mum also did. Having a good cry sort of eases a lot of the pressure off me. Afterwards, I can start thinking about to tackle the challenge and move forward.
How did you juggle motherhood and career especially when your children were much younger?
It really wasn’t easy and I thank God for the backup I had. We called my grand mom a Professional grandma because she just loved having her grandchildren all around her. So that helped a lot and I was happy I found a helper in her and I was also lucky enough to have good house helps. In addition, other relatives like my mom and my late aunty did a lot of babysitting for me. My late sister-in-law; my husband’s elder sister was also very helpful.
What are some of the greatest lessons you learnt from your late mum?
One of the things I learnt from my mom and all my other mothers as I call them was that you are not a super woman. Every single one of them had a form of helper in the home whether a paid cook or a paid steward. My mum and aunties never pretended to be super women. My mom usually got home at 4pm because she closes at the office by 3:30. And then, if she had a meeting afterwards, you know it had to be work-related. So, I grew up amongst working women. I recall waking to use the ladies at night to find my aunty catching up on her office work done and because we were never raised to believe that were super women we did what you could.
One of the things I learnt from my mom and all my other mothers as I call them was that you are not a super woman. Every single one of them had a form of helper in the home whether a paid cook or a paid steward. My mum and aunties never pretended to be super women
How have you managed to keep your marriage and career intact over the years?
It’s not easy especially because as actors, we lose a lot of of anonymity but it is a part of the job. Over the years, I have learnt to enjoy the free time my husband and I get to spend together. This is because a lot of time, one person is traveling this way and the other the other way. Some persons are also writing either of us in the media. I just believe that each marriage, each profession has its challenges and as human beings we must learn how best to navigate through these challenges. I think it’s also very important to ask your heavenly Father for guidance. It’s not easy but it’s definitely doable.
It’s not easy especially because as actors, we lose a lot of of anonymity but it is a part of the job. Over the years, I have learnt to enjoy the free time my husband and I get to spend together. This is because a lot of time, one person is traveling this way and the other the other way
Does the fact that your husband is also an actor make it a lot easier for your marriage to succeed?
There are some areas where it makes it easy and at other times it makes it difficult.
In what ways has your style evolved over the years?
I have always wanted to find that balance. I like elegance but I love to describe my style as elegant fun.
I know you love accessories
Yeah! I do. Then some people jokingly say that fashion accessories are my inheritance. I just think its one of my weakness. I love accessories and shoes.
How do you keep fit?
Umm, I keep fit by walking and I am getting to an age where I do need to engage in a lot of exercises. I exercised when I was much younger but I just let it go by the way.
What mantra do you live by and what guides you?
So many things, one would be holding on to dreams. That I live by a lot and it has guided my professional career as well. In addition, I believe that the future belongs to the young and that is why I have always loved to have young people around me. The idea is not to compete with them but to work together with them and this came about because I believe that children own the future. You can’t go into that future with them but you can help guide them. The temptation to compete is there because you feel that you can do it, but if one simply calms down and works with the young ones you will understand them better.
You look a lot like your late mom.
Yeah, I look a lot like her while some say I look like my dad. She had a special grace.
How did you cope when she passed on?
The lord kept me so busy. She was buried on July 30th and and by August 1st, I was already on Project Fame. Immediately I finished Project Fame in September, I got involved in another project.