Nollywood veteran, Olu Jacobs, has recounted his experience with a racist homeowner during his early days in the United Kingdom.
Speaking in an interview with Punch, the actor who trained at the prestigious Royal Academy of the Arts in London listed racism as one of the challenges he faced while starting out.
“I was a victim of racism all the time. You felt it in the way the people looked at you and in their attitude toward you. But you could not do anything about it. I could not take somebody to court for that,” the actor said.
Recalling an incident that occurred in the first year of his stay in London, he added, “A white woman once called me a dog. She had a vacant room for rent. But when I approached her, she asked if I didn’t see the ‘No dogs’ sign on her door. Before I could respond, she said that a dog was better than me and then slammed the door in my face. I felt so bad that I almost decided to return to Nigeria.”
Undeterred, the Dogs of War actor stayed in the UK, appearing in various British television shows and series in the 1970s including The Goodies, Till Death Us Do Part, Barlow at Large, The Venturers, Angels and The Professionals.
Olu Jacobs was inspired to travel to the UK after seeing one of Hubert Ogunde’s annual concert parties at Colonial Hotel in Kano.
He did that without his father’s blessing.
“My Dad did not want me to go to England. I was his favourite child. When I said that I wanted to act, he said I should do something else and not anything that would take me away from him.”
The 75-year-old, however, added that he was able to pacify his father knowing his love for tobacco.
His words: “As the closest person to him in the family, I knew the right thing that would calm him was tobacco. My father loved tobacco. He was a piper. So I bought him a new pipe and some tobacco and sent them to him through somebody who was travelling home. And he forgave me for disobeying him.”