Magaret Olajumoke Olatunde, who is popularly known as Jumoke George (born: on 18 February), is an acclaimed versatile Nigerian actress and producer famous for her roles in Yoruba and English-speaking films. She has appeared in films like The Wedding Planner (2022), Love Castle (2021), Omo Ghetto: The Saga (2020), and Omo Emi (2017).
Jumoke has opened up herself to several other careers, such as being a broadcaster on several TV and radio channels. Here is the complete story of the actress from birth to her rise to fame, break, and return.
When was Jumoke George Born?
The actress was born on February 18. While the exact year of her birth remains shadowy, she reported that she started acting at the age of 8 in 1974. Going by this and counting back the dates, she may have been born around 1965 or 1966.
Judging on this estimation, Jumoke may be 59 or 58 years old.
She Hails From an Ibadan Polygamous Family
Jumoke George was born as the 3rd child of her parents. She hails from Ibadan in Oyo State and was born into a polygamous family. Her father, a late medical doctor and Lieutenant Colonel in the military was married to her mother, a teacher. The marriage, however, ended in a divorce when the actress was about the age of 6. This led to her being raised by her father and stepmother, a late retired Major.
More to her father’s love life, the actress opened up that the former military man was also married to another woman whose identity has not been revealed. As a child, she was exposed to different women through her father and also had to go through the difficulty of being raised by a stepmother.
According to her, her stepmother would make her run unusual errands, such as going to a witch doctor to get concoctions to be used on her father. However, as the actress grew wiser, she figured she wanted something else in her life and decided that she was not going on such errands again. Her stepmother became furious and asked that she move out of the house at the age of 8.
Unfortunately, this led to her being almost homeless as her mother was not willing to accept her back since she had chosen her father earlier. She then moved in with a friend’s family and later went in with her grandmother before her mother later accepted her.
Jumoke Attended University But Did Not Graduate
Jumoke George has attended a number of schools within the western region of Nigeria. First, she went to Command Children School, Yaba, Lagos, before moving to Anglican Grammar School, Orita Mefa, Ibadan.
In Osun State, Jumoke went to Osogbo Technical College to study Business Administration but was not able to graduate due to financial constraints after she was sent out of her family’s home and disowned by her parents.
Jumoke George Started Her Career as a Child Actor in the 1970s
The Ibadan native actress found a place in the entertainment industry around 1974 when she featured in a Nigerian Televisions Authority (NTA) TV drama – the same platform where actors such as Pete Edochie and Nkem Owoh started their careers.
As to how she got the role, Jumoke was only a child of about 8 years old who was called to stand in for another child actor who was ill and could not play her role. As such, a friend of her father’s asked that she fill the gap.
Surprisingly, she interpreted the role so well that she gained attention and continued appearing on stage dramas throughout her primary and secondary schools. Nonetheless, she did not become a household name at the time, but she was introduced to Laolu Ogunniyi’s theater team and was also properly trained by Victor Ashaolu for about 11 years.
The actress has been able to interpret roles as a stage actress as well as a TV and film actress over the course of her career, which has spanned more than 4 decades. Some of her breakthrough roles are Lucky Boy and Ajoji.
She Stayed Away From Acting For 14 Years Due to Sexual Harassment
Despite the mark that she may have made in the earliest phase of her career, Jumoke was later forced out of the industry when she would not bend her roles and sleep with some people in the industry.
This landed her in a space where roles were not sent her way for 14 years. Hence, she joined the Freelance and Independent Broadcasters Association of Nigeria (FIBAN). At the time, she was able to anchor 5 live programs and found a footing in her career.
She was also on LTV8, MUTV, and Yotomi TV. More to her broadcasting career, Jumoke also worked with radio stations. Still, while away from acting, she returned to school at Mount Camel Bible School and also the World of Faith Bible Institute, where she obtained a certificate in Theology.
While she stayed away, her talent in acting did not die, as she was later discovered by director Okiki Afolayan to be a great actress. Seeing all that she could offer in the industry, Okiki started giving her roles in movies.
Jumoke George Has Ventured into Movie Production
Jumoke has not confined herself to only interpreting roles in movies but has taken the route of film production. At the time of this writing, she has produced movies such as Ifeoluwa, Temitope, Ola Inukan, Adehun Kan, Fibigbare, and Oshowon.
In her testimony as regards her role as a producer, Jumoke reported that she had the normal experience every producer has but has to cope with the different personalities of actors and crew members alike.
Is Jumoke George Married?
In an interview, Jumoke mentioned being with 2 men but never married them in a proper way since she was disowned and there was no one to give her hand in marriage. The first man that stood in as her husband was a Muslim who met her while she was staying at her grandmother’s house. He promised to see her through school, and she agreed.
Being with him, according to the actress, was hell as he did not fulfill any of the promises he made to her, and neither did he treat her well. Instead, he abused her physically at home and would sometimes follow her to her acting rehearsals at the Cultural Center in Mokola, Ibadan, where he would also beat her.
The beating became severe and frequent that her colleagues at rehearsals started to fight him. Along the line, and when she realized that she could no longer be with him, she left. Afterward, the actress met the second man who also stood in as her husband. However, she later found out that he was married to another woman even before their relationship started.
In an interview with Punch, she had mentioned Edmond George as her husband, whom she met on her way back from the National Arts Theatre in Lagos. The meeting led to a lift which in turn developed into a friendship that led to marriage. While it is sketchy if he is the 3rd man in life or the second, one thing that remains certain is the fact that he is the only man to whom she has revealed his name and also adopted his last name, “George,” in her professional career.
How Many Children Does She Have From Her Relationships?
As far as the public is aware of and based on what the actress has revealed, Jumoke George had 3 children from 2 relationships.
From her first relationship that ended due to abuse, she had 2 children; daughter Adeola Omoyemi Atokeade and an unnamed son. Nonetheless, she left them with their father since she had little to nothing to offer them when she walked out of the marriage. Years later, her second child died after he hit his chest and could not recover from it.
The 3rd child of the actress, daughter Abikeade, was born from her second marriage. While there is barely any information about the daughter, Jumoke has dubbed her pride. More to this, the actress has grandchildren and proudly refers to herself as a grandma on her Instagram page.