Popular Nollywood Actress Joke Silva Interacts with Young Leaders

Actress Joke Silva, married to veteran actor Olu Jacobs, addressed the October 16 Emerging Leaders Academy session, where the Nollywood star talked on “Thinking Inside, Outside & Around the Box: A Focus on Creativity and Innovation.”


Stressing the role of creativity in leadership, Ms. Jacobs said, “The ability to lead in a diverse world would require that we do something a bit the same, more differently, a lot uniquely.”

She stated that to get a solution, we have to first think inside the box.  “Thinking inside the box means you need to get an understanding of the box or the environment… It is after you have understood the box and you refuse to go outside that there is a problem.”

Joke Silva underscored the place of having a new perspective on leadership.  This outside-the-box-thinking, which is unconventional, can be the edge they have as leaders seeking to make a difference.  “To have any kind of creativity, any kind of innovation in moving forward, we have to think outside the box…  Living with integrity and moral purpose can only be possible with renewed perspective and positive adaptation to change.”

As leaders, the students are going to face situations demanding they solve problems.  Ms. Silva was interested in ways in which the students have been thinking creatively to solve a problem and what innovations have come through from them.  During the interactive session, she encouraged them to hold on to their dreams.  “It is creativity and innovation that distinguish the extraordinary from the ordinary.”

Job security is one reason young people should think of being creative.  Joke opined that technology is moving at such an alarming rate that youths cannot catch up if they are not innovative in their thinking.  Her fear is that many jobs will be taken over by technology.  “That is the challenge of your generation.”

She shared examples of leaders who have made their marks in Nigeria, including her own mother, Adebimbola Silva, the first Nigerian female to have a medical degree, and Mrs. Funmilayo Ransome-Kuti, the first lady to own and drive a car in Nigeria and one of the leading women who fought for Nigeria's independence.

For aspiring leaders desirous to make a difference in the country’s politics, she encouraged them to participate in political activities.  She also cautioned them on the kind of friends they should keep.  “You need the kind of friends who can uplift you and you will have each other’s back.”

By Omorogbe Omorogiuwa

American University of Nigeria
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