While speaking in an exclusive interview with Love Haven magazine at the sidelines of first Annual Conference of Heritage Adoption Support and Advocacy Group (HASAAG), veteran actress, Joke Silva, opened up on her adoption and how she got to know she was adopted by her parents.
The 56-years-old movie star revealed that she was adopted by the late Chief E.A Silva, a reputable lawyer, the then Babajiro of Lagos and his wife late Dr Abimbola Silva a pioneering female doctor, who died in July 2015.
Living in a foster home of the Red Cross in the Yaba area of Lagos, the actress recalled that her foster parent was Mrs. Desalu.
She said: “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.”
The actress revealed how her husband, also a veteran actor, Olu Jacob got to know about her adoption story before they got married.
She said: “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.”
On letting her kids know that she was adopted, she said: “I then realized that I needed to tell my children about my adoption. I don’t want anybody to tell them in a way it wouldn’t be supportive. I called my children and I told them the ABC of my adoption story. They now told me that grandma had already told them.
“It was then I learn that somebody in my son’s school had told him about his mum being adopted. He told grandma and grandma told him everything. Little wonder, my mum and Soji, my son were very close. Till she died, my mum my son remained inseparable.”
The actress also spoke on the Silva’s Will where she was also protected despite being adopted;
She said: “Even in their wills, I was well protected. My Daddy being a lawyer said in his will that all his children, both adopted and biological, should be treated equally. I was not stressed in anyway. We were all well taken care of till my mum died at the age of 89. At 56, I still miss her but I know she has definitely gone back to her father.
“On her sick bed I always sang her favorite tunes, she would be imputing the melodious tunes and she died singing to her Lord. She had prepared her family before my coming into her life because I had an incredible big Silva family.
“I have a very big family I am the first daughter, I carried the responsibility of a first daughter. Everybody in my family cannot take any decision until sister Joke has come. I can’t call my parents adopted parents. They are my parents.”