Iba (meaning two in Efik) is a story woven around the ancient custom of killing twins in Calabar in the 19th Century.
Set in fictional Ikanda village, somewhere near Calabar, Iba is about a woman’s motherhood woes. She births twins in a place and era where twin birth is an abomination/taboo and has to make difficult choices with far-reaching and deadly consequences.
We are introduced to different characters with varying but relatable personalities.
From the desperate Asandia and her impatient husband Archibong-Ene, to the somewhat harsh realist Asikpo and even the rather mean Queen Adie.
Behind their unique attributes however, we see a recurring trait of human selfishness running through all the characters and the reality of how we react differently when circumstances affect us personally.
Beyond exposing the tradition, it attempts to allow the audience objectively assess the rationale behind such a “barbaric” superstition, considering that in reality it lasted quite a long period and was deeply entrenched in the lives of people in that time. It was the norm until a Scottish Missionary named Mary Slessor gradually changed their perception and eventually debunked it.
The play subtly encourages challenging the status quo, so the validity of a tradition that has been passed down since time immemorial is now being questioned.
Written and produced by Victoria Enang Nwuche, it is directed by Sola Oyeniyi. This is the first time it is being staged.
Themed contemporary dances choreographed by Burnout Global are infused into the play.
C3 Media produced and staged the Efik classic Mutanda oyom Namondo over Easter and Christmas 2021 in the FCT.