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Elvina Ibru in lead role as Emotan goes on stage in Benin


Elvina Ibru and Chantal Edgar on set

After a wonderful performance in Bling Lagosian, Elvina Ibru will be casting her creative nets on the mythical Bini story of passion and dedication, Emotan.

It is the story of the highly revered Bini trader credited with setting up the first kindergarten in the ancient Benin kingdom and saving the Bini monarchy during one of its adversities.

Emotan was a strong market woman who traded in foodstuffs around the 15th century at the Oba Market in the ancient Benin kingdom during the reign of Oba Uwaifiokun and Prince Ogun, who later took the name “Oba Ewuare the Great” after becoming the Oba of Benin. She is the pioneer of the first day care centre in Benin City, oral history said she assisted Oba Ewuare in reclaiming the throne as Oba of Benin after several years in exile.

Elvina will once again bestride the stage in her usual charismatic and electric form, daring all to witness the most enigmatic turn in live stage portrayal.


Emotan is written and directed by William Benson and is one of the plays set to light up the National Festival for Arts and Culture (NAFEST) holding in Benin, Edo State.

According to the play’s Executive Producer, Joseph Edgar, Emotan will unveil the Bini culture in all of its glory.

A replica of the royal beads has been carefully crafted, taking six months to be made. Replica costumes for all 15 chiefs have also been handmade.

This production is a reflection of the 2019 theme of NAFEST, ‘Our Royalty, Our Pride’, as the rich tradition and culture of the Bini will be on display.

The first lady of Edo State, Mrs Betsy Obaseki, who is serving as the matron of the production, has said that the story of Emotan will be used powerfully in the fight against human trafficking, especially her ideals.

With a cast made up of the veteran broadcaster,   Soni Irabor; entertainment personality Olisa Adibua, Emotan will surely give visitors to the theatre a deeply provocative and emotional ride into history.

The play is showing on October 25 at the Oba Akenzua Cultural Centre, Benin. It will also be on at the Agip Recital Hall of the Muson Centre on December 22 through to the 25.

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