4 times Olu Jacobs ‘died’

The fact that veteran actor Olu Jacobs is in poor health is not in doubt, what has become worrisome is people’s rush to see him dead.

As far back as June in 2020, colleagues of the legendary actor had occasion to debunk rumours of his passing. 

At that time, the Actors Guild of Nigeria (AGN) confirmed that he was indeed alive.

Olu Jacobs is alive, hale and hearty, the AGN had stated.

The legendary actor had trended on Twitter (now X) and Facebook only a night before with numerous posts claiming that he had passed on.

Monalisa Chinda-Coker, who was then the spokesperson of the AGN, debunked the rumour in a media interview.

“This is to inform the general public that our legendary Actor, Olu Jacobs is alive, very hale and hearty,” she had said.

“Disregard the malicious rumour about his death making rounds especially on social media. It is fake news”.

The National President of the Actors Guild of Nigeria, she had said, is in touch with the family.

“We use this medium to warn mischief makers and enemies of our industry to desist from this wickedness.”

Actress and producer, Lala Akindoju, who put a call through to the actor also confirmed that he was hale and hearty in a tweet on her handle. “Uncle Olu Jacobs is alive and well. Very much so. I just got off the phone with him. Please stop spreading fake news,” her tweet read.

There was quiet until November the very next year when the same rumours started to swirl once more.

This time around, Olu Jacobs made a public appearance at the AFRIFF Globe Awards 2021. 

Only in October, the news made rounds on the internet that the veteran actor was dead.

However, in a media interview, Joke Silva said her husband was hale and hearty.

The veteran actor received the Life Time Achievement Award for his contribution to the Nigerian movie industry at the awards ceremony.

Gracing the event, Jacobs was accompanied by his wife, Joke Silva, who took to her verified Instagram account to congratulate her husband.

Sharing a picture of her husband with his award, Joke Silva wrote, “Lifetime achievement award winner, Sir Olu Jacobs @_olujacobs, curtesy @afriff.”

The rumour mongers took a back seat until August of 2022, when they showed up again.

Joke Silva again took to her Instagram page to debunk the wicked rumours.

In a statement on her Instagram story the veteran actress said that her husband was alive and doing well.

She wrote, “Good day everyone, trust all is going well. The Jacobs Clan would love to inform you that Papa J (Olu Jacobs MFR), is alive and well; enjoying himself as always in the comfort of his home and loved ones.”

This time she threatened legal action against the propagators of the fake news.

“To all those who have decided to ignore our last warning regarding fake news, kindly prepare for legal action,” the actress added.

But it would seem that a day in court is not a deterrent to the rumour merchants as they are at it again. Olu Jacobs’ family has had the agonising task of debunking his death rumours once more.

Earlier on Sunday, reports of the veteran actor’s death dominated social media, prompting fans to panic and share condolences.

It is the fourth time since 2020 that the award-winning actor would be rumoured dead.

The family has since responded, assuring the public that the much-loved veteran actor is alive.

Soji Jacobs, the actor’s son, confirmed that his father is “very much alive.”

To further discredit the rumours, the younger Jacobs shared a video showing his father, though frail, in good spirits while having his beard shaved and engaging in light conversation with his barber.

The video shows the younger Jacobs informing his father about the death rumours that surfaced Sunday, and the actor appeared shocked, much like Alfred Nobel must have reacted upon reading his obituary on the pages of the newspapers.

Mr Jacobs, also speaking with QEDNG newspaper, expressed the family’s frustration with the recurring death rumours which surface yearly.

He mentioned receiving numerous calls from concerned people worldwide and described the situation as annoying and distressing for the family.

Betty Irabor, Genevieve Magazine publisher and a close friend of Joke Jacobs, the actor’s wife, also debunked the news. She tweeted, “Olu Jacob is well and alive. Please ignore all rumours of his passing. He is alive, please.”

The AGN spokesperson, Kate Henshaw, expressed displeasure over the death rumours that emerge regularly.

Since November 2021, Jacobs’ health has been a topic of concern after his wife revealed his battle with Dementia Lewy body (DLB), a degenerative disease that affects the brain.

In an interview, his wife explained, “It’s almost like Parkinson’s; it affects the brain, so you don’t see the shaking. It’s been hard on him and the family.”

Despite his health challenges, Jacobs continues to make occasional public appearances.


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