“How I Discovered I Was Adopted” – Veteran Actress Joke Silva
Speaking at the August occasion of the Annual Conference of Heritage Adoption Support and Advocacy Group (HASAAG) which had the wife of the Vice President, Mrs Dolapo Osinbajo in attendance, Joke Silva-Jacobs gave a vivid account of her experience as an adopted child.
Born 56 years ago, not many knew that Olu Jacobs’s pretty wife, Mrs. Joke Silva-Jacobs was adopted by the Silva Family.
According to kemiashefonlovehaven, Joke was living in a foster home of the Red Cross in Yaba, Lagos, and she recalled that her foster parent was Mrs. Desalu.
“Everybody would be calling me whenever my adopted mum (Dr. Silva)came with cakes and a lot of things during her visit. I went to YWCA Nursery, which was not too far from the Silva’s home in Yaba. I also have memories of moving in with them when they moved to Glover Road in Ikoyi.
I remember reading newspapers to my Dad in our sitting room and pronouncing Brig-General Aguyi Ironsi, the then Nigeria Head Of State, Agolo Iresi! My father could not stop laughing at my hilarious interpretation of the newspaper.
Also I remember making them proud, when performing at St. Saviour School. My parents would be standing and were congratulated by other parent too for my acting skills. My parents were so excited that this child was incredibly talented.
At Holy Child Lagos
I have memories of going to Holy Child College Lagos because my parents insisted on me going to Holy Child because that is where Julie Coker, Pearce Olusola and Ibidun Allison went and they believed with all my performing talent skills, that is the kind of school I should go to too.
I remembered going out with my cousin and we met a big cousin She introduced me as ‘my cousin’s daughter and this is Dr Silva’s daughter.’ Then, the older cousin was like, ‘Dr. Silva ke? Se Doctor Silva bimo ni? (meaning does Dr. Silva have a child?) . Did Dr Silva ever has a child?’
I was so confused and when I got home I told my mum, ‘I met this lady that says you never had a child.’ My mum froze and she said, ‘don’t mind them, they are used to rubbish talk.’
But I got to know years later when I wanted to travel and was looking for my passport where my mum kept it. Since she was not around, I opened the box in her absence and I saw my adoption papers. I never discussed it with my mum because I felt it was something that would hurt her, that was why, it was kept secret from me.
Joke’s Mum, Dr Silva
Amazing Parents But I had incredible memories of my amazing parents for allowing me to do my A Level in England and going to one of the best schools in Bournemouth (a seaside resort on the southern coast of England) coming back after my A level with two of them having an argument on what I was going to do because I had failed my A level having done it for the third time then.
I had done it thrice because I changed from science to Arts— I didn’t do well at all.
My father said, ‘Joke, go back and do your A levels again and my Mom said, let this girl go and do the drama.’ They came into middle ground, and as you can see I am still in drama today.
Bringing Olu Jacobs home
Several years later, I brought home the one I wanted to marry and my mum asked my husband, if he knew I was adopted and he answered in affirmation that I had already told him.
Many years later, there was another memory of a very nasty member of our family. My mummy always very supportive of her relatives sat on our balcony and said my aunty would never be supportive of her because in the Yoruba language, ‘won o kuku bimo’ (she never supported her because she didn’t have a child of her own.)
When I heard about it I did what Pastor Rapu called the unchristian thing. (May God forgive me. I dealt with her, till today, she never believed what I did that day to her, but I dealt with her by being so cold towards her. She would never forget it.”