Ema Dance Is Aimed To Exhibit Urhobo Cultural Heritage -Ovwhoshoruero


LEADER of Urhobo Pride Development Initiative, UPDI, Ema Dance Group in Owevwe community, Ughelli North local Government Area of Delta State, Mr Ovwoshoruero Anthony has revealed that the traditional Ema dance is aimed to exhibit the Urhobo tradition, culture and customs around the world.
This was made known to Politicsgovernance.com by Ema Dance Group leader at Ughelli South Local Government Area of Delta State.
According to him, “Ema Dance is a dance tbat will always bring out the best in you and you must have passion for it as an Urhobo son and daughter.
“In the dance, there are no special skill but it is zeal, passion and commitment, you have for it that will bring out the best in you and it comes with dignity and pride.
Ema is a traditional dance that is danced before royalties, Chiefs in high events and the beauty of it is that, one may not know when to start dancing and moving his body in rhythm when you listen to the drum beats.
“Despite the fact that, there are other types of dance in Urhobo, the Ema Dance is the real traditional dance in Urhobo land as it is displayed as means of entertainment at the presence of Kings and high personalities.
“Wherever you see the presence of Ema Dancers in any gathering, be rest assured that Kings,Personalities are present in that arena.
“I became an Ema Dancer was when our church, St Augustine Catholic Church, Owevwe was celebrating its 80 years anniversary some few yeas ago and we were called upon to display our dancing steps.
I thought of it and said, we have to inculcate the Urhobo culture and let the world know and also respect the culture of the people as the Ema Dance is the pride of Urhobo,
Another thing that inspired me was when I was surfing the internet, I came across the Ema Dance on Urhobo Mena TV and I discovered that the dancing steps were wrong and I need to correct it.
One Mr Sokoh challenged us to post our solo Ema Dance display online with a promise of cash reward to the best dancer, I posted my own dance and I won the online competition with N50,000 and that brought to know many personalities in Urhobo nation.
Through that online competition, I came in contact with Urhobo Mena TV and Jude Kapovbia and ever since then, they have been motivating and encouraging me and the group in our practices.
Ema Dance is generally accepted by all Urhobos across the globe and in anywhere you see people getting, Ema Dance is always there whether in London, Canada, America and they will all come together and dance joyfully because that is our pride.
During that period, you will see our people dancing to forget their sorrow and whatever situation they are facing and at that particular time, you see the joy in them, both the old and young will come from their cocoon to use their materials to display.
To keep our age long custom and traditions, i will want the young ones to click and join the Ema Dance because, the dance has our embedded culture, the traditional dressing attires are very beautiful and fantastic and if by tomorrow we are not there, they can carry on.
The interesting things about Ema Dance are the dancing steps and body movements, its uniqueness, the drumbeat, dress code, rhythm and lyrics are excellent. It is a kind of advocacy to promote the Urhobo culture.
All Ema Dance steps are same, whether, they are from Udu, Ughievwen, Aladja, Ughelli, Agbarha, Owevwe or any other part of Urhobo nation but in Udu, they have a type of dance we call Udje and their dancing step is slightly different.
The Ema Dance has no fetish attachment as thought by some sectors, the dress code is purely white. Both male and female tie white wrappers while the females ties their above their chest to cover their pride, the male ties theirs on their waist and the leader of the group uses red wrapper.
We also rob powder to conserve heat since we don’t wear clothes to dance. We don’t go to ceremonies unless we’re invited.
As a member of Urhobo-Ovuovo Pride Development Initiative, UPDI, that was birthed by Jude Kakpovbia has been a major advocacy group of the Urhobo culture, teaching her member to be humane and grounded in traditional affairs.
“UPDI extending its hand of entrepreneurship to every nooks and crannies of Urhobo nation as soon as it is launched in Nigeria, months from now.”

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