From the intrigues and traditional politics in the royal courts of the Oba of Benin over five centuries ago; to an odyssey, a classic chase, and then warfare in the swamps and creeks of the Western Niger Delta; and finally to a recognition of the futility of war, remorse, and then peace and calm—and the community and kingdom that rose from it all—the Okere Community in today’s Warri metropolis in Nigeria and the Warri Kingdom from which metropolis derived its name. The story is told lucidly in Ekpen—Tiger in the Swamps. It is a story of historical and epic proportion; one of valor; of conflicts between duty, loyalty, and conviction; and of their resolution. Ekpen—Tiger in the Swamps is a dramatic rendition of a grand odyssey, of a sublime self-conquest, and of peace. This play is written with candor and passion and, no doubt, a reasonable degree of artistic license that nevertheless leaves the basic historical facts comfortably in place. The language is rich and engaging, typical of the cultural wealth and heritage of the Bini and Itsekiri people of Nigeria.
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