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Monday, April 22, 2024

I haven’t met a man I could spend my life with, yet -Elvina Ibru

Elvina Baby Ibru, the Chief Executive Officer (CEO), 2wice As Nice Limited, is a distinguished figure in her own right. As one of the daughters of the late Olorogun Michael Ibru, who was a high chief and Chairman/Founder of the Ibru dynasty since 1957, being the first out of his parents’ seven children.

The artistic maven shares her compelling journey spanning the theatre, broadcasting and motherhood. Reflecting on how her childhood was steeped in the magic of musical theatre, sparkling a life-long passion, from early distinctions in speech and drama to gracing the stages of London’s West-End theatres, her story beams with a prodigious talent

On air behind the mic
Elvina Ibru’s journey into the world of arts started when her late mom, Elsie, took her to watch the Zulu movie titled Ipi ‘N Tombi in 1977. That kindled her love for the theatres. This was later optimized by her teacher at the time she went to school in England. The teacher had encouraged her to go for the auditoria.

Sadly, her mother only had a single opportunity to watch her perform before she passed on.

I don’t feel that all men cheat. I think there are a few good men out there. It’s just about coming across the one that is actually for you

Elvina’s interest was finely fueled by her early years’ success in speech and drama. Afterwards, her entry into acting accurately blossomed at the National Youth Music Theatre in England.

Her transition from a successful career in the West-End, London, to radio with the British Broadcasting Corporation (BBC), and eventually becoming the Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of her own production house, 2wice As Nice Limited, are evidence of her multifaceted talents.

Equalizer, not a feminist
She’s a woman swift to distinguish herself as an equalizer rather than a feminist. In shedding light on this perspective, she said her beliefs and values are hinged on respect for the man in marriage, while the woman is the supporter to make the home work as effectively as it was meant to be.

Yet, she does not support any idea of not giving the woman her due esteem in every relationship. But she’s not one to scuffle with a man for undue equality clamour. For her, she upholds values that offer a unique stand on gender equality that goes beyond conventional labels.

Life in the Arts
Elvina’s educational background, she notes, ignites her deep love for the arts. She said there is a pivotal role education plays in shaping her trajectory as she navigates the corporate world, facing challenges and norms that set the stage for an exploration of her multifaceted life, bringing out her unique perspectives and cinematic ventures.

Role in the cinematic 
What drove entry into the movie industry for Elvina, fondly called by her other name, Baby, was her quest to uncover the influences and passion that lay within her. Ordinarily, she isn’t your regular fame-seeking persona.

I come from a polygamous family, where I saw my mom, as the first wife, crying most of her life because my dad was always away with one or another woman all the time

She noted that this was why, in her radio presenting years with Classic FM, she maintained a low-styled, life not drawing attention to herself. She said: “For the about five years I presented on radio, I drew so many audiences to listening to our station; but they never got to know the person behind the sonorous voice; yet, the call-ins were out of this world.

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“Shortly after, I transited from stage and got drawn into the world of cinemas. Stage is my first love. So, I was doing mostly stage, and those were what provided the glimpse into the choices that defined my artistic contributions, which were not a few.”

Marriage and independence
Addressing the complexity of the marriage institution, she said: “Maybe the reason I have never desired to get married was because I was raised in a polygamous environment. Perhaps, if I had grown up in a more developed clime, I would have had therapies to know why I felt marriage was not for me.

Humanitarian gestures are not for self-promotion, because I am not compelled to do it

“If you look around, you’ll see that marriage is no longer respected as it was years back. It’s like people just get married for no definite reason because it’s like most [people] are pressurized because the society feels they must get married. If you don’t meet a man you feel you can spend the rest of your life with;, then, what are you getting married to him for?

“But I haven’t met such a man that I believe I can spend the rest of my life with yet. And you know, there are many other issues to it that even I don’t know. That’s why I said that maybe because I come from a polygamous family, where I saw my mom, as the first wife, crying most of her life because my dad was always away with one or another woman all the time. I don’t feel that all men cheat. I think there are a few good men out there. It’s just about coming across the one that is actually for you.

“But as age advances, well, I am 51 now, my insight on that stance could change if, perhaps, I come across a man that will value my worth as woman, love me, I love him mutually, and we could make things work. However, I am not desperate because I price my peace of heart more than any other thing. So, I remain steadfast on this until, or if, there is a potential shift in perspective.

my lovely son will turn out a great man to cherish and value women, I assure you

“Oh, I wouldn’t like to forget to tell you that when I met the father of my child, I told him I am not out for marriage but wouldn’t mind having a child or children. But as God would have it, I have only one son for him, Elisha, and my lovely son is my world. We blend so well and he’s going to turn out a great man to cherish and value women, I assure you.”

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Corporate careers and personal triumphs
To gain an insight into her corporate career climb, Elvina said the challenges she overcame in life which are too numerous to be listed in a newspaper interview, served as the ladder through which she overcame and the triumphs she achieved. She said, “Without all these, I won’t be shaped into the quality and truly accomplished woman that I am today.”

Traits gained and lost
Reflecting on her journey in acting, Elvina said there were traits it added to her, just as there were those taken away from her. But by-and-large, she said, “I gained insights into the transformative nature of the craft and how it influenced me as a person. However, I am a better person for living a quieter life now, making impact in the lives of the needy, which I wouldn’t like to elaborate on.

Humanitarian gestures are not for self-promotion in my view because I am not compelled to do it. I saw that there are needs to be met, and I, with other like-minded fellow women, are doing it as quietly as possible, touching lives for God.

Current cinematic endeavours
Elvina’s presence is still felt on popular platforms like DSTV and Netflix as these are where one can sneak a peek into her current projects and explore where she has stepped into the directorial realms which, she said, are her big plans in the pipeline with few movies on the queue to direct.

She adds, “I feel the stage is set for a captivating narrative, blending the realms of theatre, broadcasting and motherhood into a symphony.”

Joke Kujenya
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