Silva is married to actor Olu Jacobs. The couple founded and operate the Lufodo Group, a media corporation that consists of film production, distribution assets, and the Lufodo Academy of Performing Arts where she serves as Director of Studies. She is also the pioneer managing director of Malete Film Village, in association with Kwara State University.
Silva attended Holy Child College in Lagos.
A graduate of the University of Lagos and the Webber Douglas Academy of Dramatic Art in London, Silva began her career in film in the early 1990s. At university she was part of a cultural group that included the playwright Bode Osanyin and the singer Stella Monye.
She took a year off from her studies, during which time she began working as an actress before relocating to England where she studied Drama at the Webber Douglas Academy of Dramatic Art in London. Initially, her parents were opposed to Silva’s decision to go into the theatre but they soon began to support her, happy at the success she made of her career. During a slow period of her career, Silva returned to school, studying English at the University of Lagos.
Silva has starred in numerous films and television series in both the English and Yoruba languages..One of her earliest roles was in the 1990 English television series Mind Bending. In 1993 she appeared in Owulorojo, followed by Violated in 1996. In 1998 she starred opposite Colin Firth and Nia Long in the British-Canadian film The Secret Laughter of Women, in which she portrayed Nene. Author Finola Kerrigan noted that Silva stood out as an exceptional actress in the Nigerian film industry after mentioning her role.
In 2002, Silva starred opposite Bimbo Akintola in Keeping Faith. Akintola later cited Silva, whom she refers to as “Aunty Joke”, as a major career influence, adding, “Silva has done a lot, but it’s not even about the things that she did, it’s about the things she didn’t realize that she did”. Also in 2002, Silva co-produced and starred in The Kingmaker with Olu Jacobs. This was followed by roles in pictures such as A Husband’s Wife (2003), Shylock (2004), and A Past Came Calling (2004).
Joke Silva is a testament of the saying that “do not allow your background to put your back on the ground” as she revealed in December 2019 what was hardly known about her: she was an adopted child.
Silva is married to veteran actor Olu Jacobs and has two children. The couple met in 1981 at the National Theatre, Lagos during the 21st Independence anniversary.
Silva is Director of Studies at the Lufodo Academy of Performing Arts, while her husband served as chairman. Lufodo Academy as one of several assets the couple own as part of the Lufodo Group, including Lufodo Productions, Lufodo Consult, and Lufodo Distribution. She has curated for the Bank of Industry (BOI) in Theatre, Film, Documentary and Poetry and the 2012 London Olympics, and is also the pioneer managing director of Malete Film Village, in association with Kwara State University.
In addition to her work as an actress, Silva is a philanthropist and a strong supporter of women’s emancipation and empowerment, contributing to their education, training and progress.
Silva, in the year 2020, led the campaign supporting ailing Nigerian actors soliciting for funds to pay for medical bills. She did that through the instance of the Actors Guild of Nigeria, AGN, which revealed plans to inaugurate health insurance schemes for its members.
Born September 29 1961, Joke Silver clocks 62 today and she has been the toast of many homes, a brand and role model for young ones.