A three (3) day Enina Theatre Festival, with the theme; “Performing Diversity, Staging Inclusiveness” is set to hold from Friday, 25th August to Sunday, 27th August 2023 at the Victor Uwaifo Creative Hub, Benin City, Edo State.

The maiden edition of the Enina Theatre Festival marks a significant milestone in the theatre landscape of Benin City. It is a celebration of the city’s vibrant cultural scene, a testament to the talent and creativity of its artists, and a reflection of the unwavering commitment to supporting the arts by the Edo state Government, as well as a commitment on the part of EdoJobs through the Victor Uwaifo Creative Hub to harness these opportunities to create more job opportunities for youths in the creative space in Edo state.

The ENINA THEATRE FESTIVAL (ENINAFEST), is poised to become a premiere platform for established and emerging talents in the world of theatre in Edo State.

With a remarkable lineup of performances, workshops, and cultural experiences, the festival will greatly transform Benin City into a vibrant hub of theatrical brilliance, celebrating creativity, diversity, and cultural exchange.

This maiden theatre festival (ENINAFEST) is organized by the Edo State Skills Development Agency (EdoJobs) with the support of the German government and the Swiss Agency for Development and Cooperation Implemented by the Deutsche Gesellschaft für Internationale Zusammenarbeit (GIZ)-SKYE programme, and hosted by His Excellency, the Executive Governor of Edo State, Mr. Godwin Obaseki.

Mrs. Violet Obiokoro, Managing Director, EdoJobs, noted that the festival is being organized to promote creative skills development, especially in the area of theatre and would create over 1,000 short-term job opportunities for youths in the state.

She further emphasized the need to host this maiden ENINA THEATRE FESTIVAL, which would showcase the rich cultural heritage of Edo State through the lens of culture, arts, tourism and talents to the creative economy and open more opportunities to create jobs for youths in the state.

According to Violet, the festival, which will take place at the state’s Victor Uwaifo Creative Hub, aims to draw theatre groups, companies, and organizations from the state and throughout Nigeria to showcase outstanding performances at the maiden ENINA THEATRE FESTIVAL.

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She also noted that a call for participation from the aforementioned has been made public.

Part of the activities preceding the Enina Theatre Festival was a 21-day fully residential Boot Camp tagged “Heartbeat theatre boot camp” which had 100 youths in the state benefit from intensive theoretical and practical training in various areas of theatre, exploring the intricate realms of Costume Design, Lighting Techniques, Stage Design, Construction, Directing Secrets, and much more.

The boot camp served as a launching pad, equipping the beneficiaries with the necessary skills and knowledge to showcase incredible performances at the upcoming ENINA THEATRE FESTIVAL.

ENINA THEATRE FESTIVAL will feature not only exceptional performances from various groups and troupes but also a series of enriching workshops, networking opportunities and engaging panel discussions, and rewarding conversations led by renowned theater practitioners and industry experts like Norbert Young, Ossa Earliece, Don Pedro Agbonifo-Obaseki, Fadekemi Olumide-Aluko, Esther Onwuka, Israel Eboh, and Ngozi Obigwe Kunuji.

These sessions will delve into various aspects of theater production, offering valuable insights into playwriting, directing, acting, and technical design. Participants will be able to learn from experienced professionals, expand their knowledge, and hone their skills in the theatrical arts.

ENINAFEST will also host captivating performances such as Azagidi, mama Bendel, Yet another raft, Joromi, The Struggle and Waterside, amongst others with exciting cash prizes up to 2 million naira to be won by participants across various categories sponsored by His Excellency, Governor Godwin Obaseki for best monologue, best dance, best costume design and viewers choice prize.

ENINAFEST will kick off with an opening ceremony and will feature a carnival showcasing the rich cultural heritage of Edo State with workshops, performances & conversations held simultaneously, and will climax with award presentations

With the creative industry being a significant player in Nigeria’s economy and a huge contributor to the nation’s GDP next to oil and agriculture, the Executive Governor of Edo State, Mr. Godwin Obaseki through EdoJobs, sought to provide a world-class platform, learning facility and job centre that supports the growth of creativity in Edo state where individuals from all sectors of the creative industry can connect, learn, practice and produce content while developing themselves and building valuable connections; and this led to the creation of the Victor Uwaifo Creative Hub.