Elvina, no doubt, ranks among the most popular of the children of the late business mogul, Olorogun Michael Ibru. Of course, just like her other siblings, who are enjoying the razzmatazz of being in the limelight, Elvina became a newsmaker, courting a lot of people due to her father’s status as a respected notable first class multi-billionaire.
As a matter of fact, the beautiful mother of one has been able to consolidate on this by unleashing her talent as an actress and broadcaster. She has also endeared herself to many people by her amiable personality. The actress in Elvina has become more appreciated through her role in the popular star-studded stage play, Hear Word.
Contrary to the views of those who feel all Elvina does is sleep and wake up to spend from her father’s billions, she has her hands full. She runs an entertainment outfit and handles a night belt musical cum talk programme on Classic FM during week days. The US-trained broadcaster says her job as a radio presenter is one thing she looks forward to on a daily basis, even though this is not an easy task, contrary to the general belief that handling the entertainment sector is a child’s play.
“I love it and I look forward to going to work every day. Generally, the profession I’m in, entertainment, is something I love and I think to be able to do it well, you really need to love it because it is not an easy sector, even though the people outside think you just have fun every day. It is actually not an easy sector to be involved in, especially for women. But I love it,” she says.
One may not then be wide off the mark to think Elvina is on radio just to feed her appetite for the art, rather than for the financial gains in form of salary or other forms of remuneration. But for her, it is far from just getting the fun of it. Surprisingly, like every other worker, she looks forward to pay day!
“Of course, who does not? Of course, I do. I don’t just work because I like to work; I work to make a living,” Elvina says.
It’s been about four years since Elvina has been on Classic FM, but anyone who has followed her will steadily agree the radio show with varieties became listeners’ choice almost immediately it took off, thereby leaving one to think her personality, as a scion of the popular Ibru family, has fetched her the feat and not necessarily what she offers on the show.
I have never wanted to get married. I really don’t know. May be it has to do with my polygamous background. I don’t know. Maybe it has to do with other marriages that I see, because I have a few female friends and when you go to lunch with them, they don’t have good things to say about their husbands
With mixed feelings, she reveals that she has always been confronted with the misconception that all she has achieved have been because she is an Ibru. But she argues that this is not true, saying it is because of the misconception that she finds it warming when her efforts are appreciated as such gestures convince her she has more to offer than being an Ibru. With a shrug, she, however, says people are entitled to their opinions.
With an emotion-laden voice, Elvina says, “I think maybe because I am open, I’m not a person that thinks too high of myself. I’m not someone that hides. On my birthday, about two years ago or so, I said ‘ask me any question’, I mean on radio. I meant it and I answered. I try not to do anything that I would be ashamed of or would have reason to be ashamed of in future and I feel I’m a friendly person. I don’t look down on anybody. I think people feel that about me.
“And again, this name, this Ibru name. A lot of people think I have got to certain places, not because of my talent, but by the fact that I’m an Ibru. Trust me, it’s not that easy. Every time somebody says something to me, like you just did, that you enjoy my show, it really does mean a lot to me because it makes me feel, so, Elvina, there is something about you that is worth paying attention to. So, everyone is entitled to their opinions. You know my slogan is, average girl next door, and I really do look at myself like that because the average girl next door has friends, she’s a nice neighbour. So, that’s how I look at
Having been convinced that she has actually done a lot of things for herself out of the shadows of her late father, what then does she consider as her selling points?
“I think it’s the same answer. The openness, I’m not a…oh I cannot talk like that; I’m too good for that. You know I like to break down a lot. I dey burst enter pidgin sometime. I’m true to who I am, where I am from. I no dey try to do like Obodo Oyinbo person. I be Urhobo girl; I’m proud to be a Nigerian. So, may be those things subconsciously come out and it may be why people want to listen to me, I don’t know,” she says laughing.
Although Elvina belongs to the league of single parents, she speaks well of the father of her son. But when asked why her relationship with him did not end up in marriage, she says shockingly, “I have never wanted to get married.” Asked why she has made such a strange decision, she responds in an admixture of pidgin and Queen’s English, “I no know o. Maybe if I dey America, dem for don carry me go therapist. I really don’t know. May be it has to do with my polygamous background. I don’t know. Maybe it has to do with other marriages that I see, because I have a few female friends and when you go to lunch with them, they don’t have good things to say about their husbands. If all women are complaining about their husbands, what is The Point? To be honest, I don’t think marriage is a fair constitution in this country. I really don’t and I feel until we put aside the double standards, I’m not in the mood. I love Elisha’s father so much, but as much as he asked me, I never got interested. I’m not saying marriage is not a good thing. If it’s for you, please go ahead, but it’s not for me, at least, not now. It’s an individual thing.”
Asked what it is like coming from a family that is as rich as hers, Elvina only stopped short of expressing regret about her privileged background.
She says, “Advantages? Well, education, very good. You get the best. We were never spoilt but we had things to push us forward in life at our disposal. The disadvantages? I know this may sound strange, but it’s the fact. People don’t take us seriously. You asked me earlier on whether I look forward to pay day. Why won’t I look forward to pay day? Because I’m an Ibru? Ultimately, my father doesn’t come and drop one Ghana-Must-Go bag of money at my door step every Wednesday or every Sunday, for that matter.
“I have been working since I was 17 years old when I was still in school. My mother died when I was 17 and I come from a polygamous home. Put two plus two together. And my mum was the first wife. They say when the cat is away, rat comes out to play. Make anything of that? So, we have always been hard working, we have always worked for our money. The disadvantage is that you want to do a project and you walk up to corporate organisations for sponsorship and you hear, ‘Elvina, do you want to make fun of us?’ Honestly, it’s a