From a relatively unknown place in 2012 when he starred in Mildred Okwo’s The Meeting as Mr Makinde, Femisola Jacobs is fast becoming an actor to reckon with in Nigeria. Last year, he featured prominently in The Visit and Taxi Driver, two of the most commercially successful movies that year and is said to have been the only actor who had the fortune of being in two of the top ten of such movies within that period.
Asked to speak on which of these roles held the most challenge for him, Jacobs, whose latest work, Remember Me, an Izu Chukwu production is due for release any moment from now, explained that it was dangerous for any actor to trivialise any role “no matter how simple the character seems, I tend to be hard on myself in portraying them.” For the character Chidi, in The Visit, I used a bit from watching footage of Steve Jobs to catch that nerdish calm edginess. Then I mirrored how a Nigerian working for Google or in the tech industry would be. I used a popular tech entrepreneur to channel Chidi’s thoughts and subtext.
“For Oko Ashewo, it was another awesome script. I liked its uniqueness in that for once, it’s a script that treated a subject matter that ordinary people can relate with. I watched a lot of Yoruba films to relearn the language and catch some of the newest phraseology. I focused on the Oyo dialect.“
Jacobs says the didactic and functional essence of a movie, and not budget, are his main point of attraction to scripts. He expressed optimism that the industry would soon have the capacity to reward practitioners judiciously as that is not the exact case at the moment.
What would be the next phase of his career, the actor; musician and motivational speaker says he would, “want to greatly influence culture. I will gladly join forces with anyone and any cause that’s focused on raising the quality of a typical African mindset and who wants to help shape a new way of thinking. And I will pursue any angle in this very influential media and arts sectors that can help me achieve that.”
And on a final note, Jacobs inspires his fans, apparently in the same way he inspires himself. Hear him:
, “Be your own biggest fan, give yourself a chance, , share freely. nurture your spirit, follow your heart, fear less and you’re free to fly.