At the recent Annual Conference of Heritage Adoption Support and Advocacy Group (HASAAG) in Lagos, Nollywood veteran, Joke Silva shocked many when she revealed that she was not a natural child of late lawyer, Chief E.A Silva who was the then Babajiro of Lagos and his late wife, Dr Abimbola Silva, reputed to be Nigeria’s first female medical doctor.
The 56 years old actress said before her adoption decades ago, she lived in a foster home of the Red Cross in Yaba, Lagos.
Joke narrated: “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.
“I have memories of going to Holy Child College Lagos because my parents insisted on me going to Holy Child because that is where Julie Coker, Pearce Olusola and Ibidun Allison went and they believed with all my performing talent skills, that is the kind of school I should go to too.
“I remembered going out with my cousin and we met a big cousin She introduced me as ‘my cousin’s daughter and this is Dr Silva’s daughter.’ Then, the older cousin was like, ‘Dr. Silva ke? Se Doctor Silva bimo ni? (meaning does Dr. Silva have a child?) . Did Dr Silva ever have a child?’
“I was so confused and when I got home I told my mum, ‘I met this lady that says you never had a child.’ My mum froze and she said, ‘don’t mind them, they are used to rubbish talk.’
“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 favourite 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”