A graduate of the University of Lagos and Webber Douglas Academy of Dramatic Art in London, she began a career in film in the early 1990s. In 1998 she had a major role starred opposite Colin Firth and Nia Long in the British-Canadian film The Secret Laughter of Women. In 2006 she won the “Best Actress in a Leading Role” award at the 2nd Africa Movie Academy Awards in 2006 for her performance in Women’s Cot, and “Best Actress in a Supporting Role” at the 4th Africa Movie Academy Awards in 2008 for her performance as a grandmother in White Waters.
Silva is married to actor Olu Jacobs. The couple founded and operate the Lufodo Group which include film production and distribution assets and the Lufodo Academy of Performing Arts, where she is Director of Studies. Silva was bestowed with the National Honours Award (MFR Award) at the International Conference Centre in Abuja.
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 withOlu Jacobs. This was followed by roles in pictures such as A Husband’s Wife (2003), Shylock (2004), and A Past Came Calling (2004).
In 2006, Silva was awarded the “Best Actress in a Leading Role” at the 2nd Africa Movie Academy Awards for her role in Women’s Cot. Later that year, Silva starred opposite Genevieve Nnaji in Mildred Okwo‘s action thriller 30 Days, which received 10 nominations at the Africa Movie Academy Awards in 2008. She also narrated for Jeta Amata‘s Anglo-Nigerian production The Amazing Grace, which was shot in Calabar. The film was lauded by the critics, and was nominated for 11 African Movie Academy Awards. The News noted Silva’s “song-like voice, [which] provides insight to the actions”.
With all her achievements their is no doubt Joke Silva is on a league of her own in the industry