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Brothers in Motion

“The world needs love, and that’s basically all it needs,” say the Ebinum Brothers, who are inspiring hope and unity through their unique blend of artistic communication.

Words by John Pearson
Photography by Hamish Brown
Styling by Eric Down

Marvel and Victory Ebinum, AKA the Ebinum Brothers, certainly sound like superheroes, and perhaps they are. Because these two special siblings are on a vital mission to spread love and unity through their unique gifts of artistic communication.

Born and raised in Lagos, Nigeria, and with ten years experience exploring movement and dance together, Victory, 22 and Marvel, 19, have been visible on the international scene since June 2020. They bring an otherworldly grace and ethereal essence to all they do. They are choreographers, performers, directors, and all-round storytellers, committed to raising awareness and bringing peace, solace and hope to a plethora of human challenges including race, environmental issues, mental health, the power of vulnerability, and belonging. Their work is both soft and vital, emotional and deeply expressive, with non-verbal performances that speak volumes on the power of nature, interconnectedness and the plights of the human spirit.

Appearing in global campaigns for Motorola, GAP and editorials including VICE, DAZED and Vogue, they seem at the genesis of a career that holds no limits. And their films and stills represent the full gamut of the human experience, and exemplify the zeitgeist of a new and more conscious-driven generation.

Mr Feelgood co-founder John Pearson spoke to the brothers, who are presently in London, UK,  about life, love, inspiration, being on purpose and their deep faith and relationship with God.

Victory (L) and Marvel (R) Ebinum // 📸 : Hamish Brown // All clothes by Gucci


John:

When I originally messaged you on Instagram, I referred to you as dancers and you very graciously corrected me, calling yourselves ‘artistic communicators’. Can you explain to me the difference?

Marvel:

We refer to ourselves as artistic communicators. And for us that means, we are basically all-round communicators, so it doesn’t have to be just dance. Dance is one of the ways we like to communicate. We can make a film, and we might not dance. As long as there’s a message and there’s a story we want to tell, that’s it for us. It doesn’t have to be just dance. It could be music, it could be painting, anything. So that’s basically who we are.

Victory:

For us it’s just all about storytelling, and we are able to tell stories in different means, through different mediums. So that’s why we don’t call ourselves dancers. We are communicators because we are basically communicating no matter what we are doing; if we’re dancing, if it’s a picture, a photograph or anything. It’s just all about storytelling for us and wanting to inspire people. It’s okay for someone to refer to dance, but we don’t refer to ourselves as dancers. We don’t see ourselves as dancing, we are just basically speaking, communicating.

Marvel (L) and Victory (R) Ebinum // 📸 : Hamish Brown // All clothes by Gucci


John:

Who or what inspires you? Were there any family members or teachers at school that recognized your need to express and tell stories and guided you, or did you find it yourselves?

Victory:

We are basically inspired by our life experiences. We get inspired by things we watch sometimes. But for us, what really inspired us to do what we are doing is our own life, our story.

Marvel:

It’s just us. It’s just ourselves. No-one else.

Victory (L) and Marvel (R) Ebinum // 📸 : Hamish Brown // All clothes by Gucci


John:

You’re young. You’re beautiful. You’re artistic. You’re riding a wave. For me it feels like you’ve come at the right moment in time. You’re part of this zeitgeist movement. There’s a flow to you, an authenticity to what you do, that goes beyond words, which I’ve experienced in life and in all different forms of art. Do you ever, as young men, go out clubbing in London?

Victory:

No, since we came to London, Marvel hasn’t gone to a club. I have just once, and I didn’t like it actually. People have fun in so many different ways. For us, having fun is basically being with people who we like, that’s the fun. And working, doing what we are doing, we really have fun. Sometimes we like to go to fashion parties and we really do like that because that’s our thing. We see people that we connect with.

Marvel:

I’ve been to a club once in Nigeria, but that was my last time. First and last. I don’t really like it that much. It’s just not my scene.

Marvel (L) and Victory (R) Ebinum // 📸 : Hamish Brown // All clothes by Gucci


John:

Who are your heroes? Who are people that you admire, you look up to?

Victory:

I wouldn’t say anyone. Because everyone in the world has different mindsets. Basically, we are Christians. And we believe in God, all the way. That’s my inspiration, that’s where we get all our connection from and what we do — our hope and our trust and everything. So I wouldn’t have anyone that I see as a hero. I respect so many people and what they do and I love many people’s work. I love to work with so many individuals. But I just see us in different space mentally.

BTS from our Ebinum Brothers shoot


John:

Were you raised as Christians by your parents?

Marvel:

Yeah. We were born into a Christian home. But the fact that we were born into a Christian home, or that my parents were going to church or that we were going to church from the beginning, that’s not what made us Christians. It was along the way when we had our own minds and we understood things for ourselves, so we made the decision, not because of our parents.

Victory:

Especially me, I was really wild when I was young, I was doing a lot of terrible things and well, along the way and during our experiences in our life, we learned a lot and we understood what life is and what it means to be alive and our purpose on earth. So I believe that’s where it came from. It wasn’t about being from a Christian home. It’s about realizing it for ourselves.

The Ebinum Brothers // 📸 : Hamish Brown // All clothes by Gucci


John:

How does the unity work with you two, the two of you as brothers? Am I right in saying you are trying to promote unity in the world using your unique form of communication?

Marvel:

Yes. You’re right. We just basically speak about things that are important and what we notice today. And also, our experiences. So firstly, one of the things we talk about most of the time is love, because no one is actually blind, everyone can see how the world is at the moment. And we keep saying that the world needs love, and that’s basically all it needs. So we really love to communicate that.

Victory (L) and Marvel (R) Ebinum // 📸 : Hamish Brown // All clothes by Gucci


John:

So you feel good in yourselves and in the path you are taking, and you feel good that you’re on purpose to deliver love in various forms of communication, various mediums?

Victory:

Yeah, we do actually. We can actually see our paths, we just need to keep following the lane.

Marvel:

When you are heading somewhere and then, because something comes up that sounds exciting, you can just start heading somewhere else. But that’s a distraction. So I don’t really care if anything exciting comes up, or something that could really blow us up. That’s not what I want to do, that’s not where we can see we are headed to, so why stop and get distracted and change lanes? But we don’t make plans. Everything is already planned for us, and we just keep going.

Marvel (L) and Victory (R) Ebinum // 📸 : Hamish Brown // All clothes by Gucci


John:

Do you rehearse? Because some of your work is so naturally synchronized – everything’s so elegant, gracious.

Marvel:

Most of the things you see on our Instagram page, they are improvised. But sometimes we do rehearse. When we have a particular feeling that we want to portray, or a story we want to tell, then we just listen to the song we want to explore. We don’t dance to the song, we actually explore with the song. We just tap into the feeling. And with that feeling, you just let go, and the feeling enhances your movements. You just see yourself moving and everything you are doing is just going exactly like the way you feel. You are actually speaking but you are not speaking, but anybody that sees you can actually understand what you’re saying. We were shooting a video once and Victory just trips, it wasn’t actually a trip, he just went down. But we continued. Then after we were down, the cinematographer said, ‘Oh, you made a mistake there.’ And I was like, ‘No, it’s not a mistake. Because at that moment, I’m not the one moving. I tapped into a feeling and so if that feeling made me go down, then that is where I’m supposed to be at that point, because that is what is going to make the viewers understand what I’m trying to say.’

Victory:

For us, most of the rehearsal we do is basically for the mind. As long as the mind is focussed… We don’t care about the movement actually. It’s just about the mind.

The Ebinum Brothers // 📸 : Hamish Brown // All clothes by Gucci


John:

What made you feel good as children?

Victory:

I loved singing. I still sing actually. So singing and music.

Marvel:

I’m the kind of person that likes to learn. So when I was that age, I was unsure about all the things I wanted to do. So I could try many things and it was really exciting. Try something, try another thing and learn.

Victory (L), and Marvel (R) Ebinum // 📸 : Hamish Brown // All clothes by Gucci


John:

What makes you feel good now?

Marvel:

What I’m doing.

Victory:

The thoughts of where we’re heading next. That’s what makes me feel good.


Marvel (L) and Victory (R) Ebinum // 📸 : Hamish Brown // All clothes by Gucci


John:

What would make you feel good in the future?

Marvel:

It’s still the same thing, because for what we are doing, there is no limit. There’s no end to the dream because it’s not really all about us. I really want other people to continue. I want so many people to really focus on communicating because it’s really, really important. It’s a continuous dream. If we continue doing what we do and continue to inspire people to inspire other people, then that’s continuing our dream. So that’s what I want.


Special thanks to Rick Truscott and Tuckers Yard

John is a world-renowned male model who has been the face of countless leading fashion houses. During his 36-year modeling career he has also moonlighted as an actor, writer, restauranteur, editor, and producer. He co-founded Mr Feelgood to provide a safe space for candid discussion and sharing ideas.

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