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Elvina Ibru in lead role as Emotan hits NAFEST stage


Elvina Ibru and Chantal Edgar on set

After a superlative performance in The Bling Lagosians, the baby of Michael Ibru dynasty, Elvina Ibru, is set for the mythical Benin story of passion and dedication, Emotan.

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

The drama is the story of the revered Benin trader, Emotan, credited with setting up the first kindergarten in the kingdom and saving the monarchy during one of its adversities.


She was a strong woman who traded in foodstuff around the 15th century at the Oba Market during the reign of Oba Uwaifiokun and Prince Ogun, who later took the name ‘Oba Ewuare the Great’ when he became king.

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 form on raw stage.

According to the executive producer, Joseph Edgar, Emotan will unveil the Benin culture in all its glory.

A replica of the royal beads, with those of all the 15 chiefs in the play, has been carefully crafted, after six months’ toil.

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

Wife of Edo State governor, Mrs. Betsy Obaseki, who serves as the patroness of the production, said that the Emotan story would be used powerfully in the fight against human trafficking.

With a cast made up of the veteran broadcaster, Soni Irabor, and entertainment personality, Olisa Adibua, Emotan will surely give the audience a deep, provocative and emotional ride into history.

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


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