THE STORY OF INNOCENT IDIBIA

 

2face performing Free one of the songs off his album Unstoppable

 There was no sign of pending rainfall when we packed ourselves into the green Volkswagen Beetle.

 But five minutes later, the clouds had changed their moods. And the downpour was really unbearable. Not because the rain was particularly heavy, but if you’ve even been in a contraption-called-car; whose wiper had gone on strike, with windows that won’t roll up on time, then you’ll know that even a slight drizzle could wreak havoc.

 The music was loud, and we spoke in loud shouts; as if we were in a market place. But Ayo Animashaun, who owned the Beetle, liked his music loud. And we, the occupants, were in no way eligible to complain. We were wet and cramped and our heads hit the roof as Animashaun entered one pot hole after another.

ayo's beetle

‘‘Was it not better to be out in the rain?’’ we thought in our minds, but no one spoke a word of getting down.

 Until we got to Toyin roundabout, in Ikeja, and my co-passengers – Innocent and Augustine- alighted to keep an appointment. It was still pouring and they were drenched within minutes, but as Innocent, a lanky, likeable young singer put it, the meeting (with a potential sponsor for their music project) was extremely important and no rain or fire would prevent them from making it.

 We continued our journey- Animashaun and I- to Oregun, where he stayed at the time. But I took along with me, the determination of innocent and his partner Augustine.

 The year was 1999 when it was not this fashionable to do music; there were no established R&B bands and there was no explosion of a wide range of multimedia formats as there is today. Yet the brother-friends, now popularly known as 2face and Blackface, had their eyes fixed on their goals. They had raw, genuine talent, and they were proud to brandish it wherever they went.

 

Of course it wasn’t too long before the industry noticed. And, with their Nelson Brown-produced debut single ‘Knock mii off’, they established themselves as a talented duo to court, and a pathfinder of sorts, for true R&B in the Nigerian context. You know the rest of the story: from Faze joining the band, to the days of mainstream glory, big-budget concerts, endless tours, wailing women, and eventual break-up.

 

Now, 2face Idibia, the first Plantashun Boi to go solo, and the most decorated of the trio, is looking back and thanking God for seeing him through the first decade of his career. Idibia, now 33, is looking back at those early days of uncertainty; those days when he first arrived Lagos; when he squatted for months and had no food on his table. Those days when he had no bus fare, or like the day of the beetle, those days when he got drenched to his pants, as he combed the streets of Lagos, looking for a helper.

 

Just 1o years down the line; now, he’s launching his own football academy, floating his own NGO, and looking for other possible avenues to give back to a society that made him.

 

From an unsure kid who arrived Lagos in 1997, Idibia has become a heavyweight on the African music scene; and he remains the most celebrated; the most decorated and the most iconic African pop star of this generation. Unfortunately, he has not been as lucky with his life off the stage: nearly half-a-dozen babies from different women; repeated baby mama dramas; leaked erotic tapes and alleged romance with marijuana have all connived to rob him of the perceived innocence that endeared him to many in the early days of his career.

 

As he marks his 10th anniversary in the coming weeks, I know Idibia and his minders are aware that his career is at a very precarious point: he’s suffered so much media battering that his image is now in tatters; his ‘Hypertek’ business structure is wobbling and vulnerable; while his income has dwindled remarkably. Pop music is taking a different route, while Idibia is becoming more and more confident to take another – the narrow path of reggae music.

 

At 33, I’m sure they are aware that if he’s ever going to open up to that international break that has been knocking on his door since 2005; then now is the time. So after all the 10th anniversary celebrations; he must indeed prove that he is unstoppable by moving on to conquer the rest of the world. He’s got the talent and potential; now is the time to put up a structure that’ll ensure he gets there. I’ve said it times without number that there are a few homegrown acts that can achieve that elusive global success and recognition. Mr Idibia is one of them.

 

And he should not be bothered whether Nigerians still love him or not; whether we will support him or not. Yes – he let us down and let us down and let us down. But what his failings have shown is that the young man is just human, just like the rest of us.

 

Let he who thinks there’s no Idibia in ALL of us cast the first stone.

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39 Responses to “THE STORY OF INNOCENT IDIBIA”

  1. tu baba,what a miracle.
    i don’t want to be slfish but i want to be part of ur label,i’ve got skills.
    make it an audition for me and if i don’t make it then do to me what u desire,but pls help me! i don’t want to die with my talents and dreams.i’ll hope to hear from u sooooon
    tyrone

  2. Emodi innocent nzube Says:

    Save me save ma talent. U wnt regret it.no one 2 help me.greedy nd stingy uncles around me only care abt their own.

  3. oginni olatunji Says:

    innocent idibia a k a 2face, you the best in naija music industry says your fan.

  4. Baba, u ar too much, just keep it up, more power 2 ur elbow.

  5. maria del rosario cayetano beri Says:

    i must say he is my favorite singer, and i’m proud of him even if others think otherwise. i’m of the believe that says singers are not made, they are born.

  6. fortunate erickson{MMM] Says:

    how far guy ur story has really implicated me man nd u know wat, me gat style and swaga so let me tell u in case u need a young style rapper man i bet u am pretty GOOD 08023499828 my number pls try nd give me a call ur greatest fans who av ever dream of being an hypertek nigga

  7. Tu baba,enough respect for you jo.U remain my favourite singer on planeth earth.I hope to doing a collabo with u in the nearest future.Much luv.

  8. Lowen Oluwasegun Says:

    watz up hypertk nigga u aint got nothing 2 worry about coz u are meant 4 d top coz u aint got crush on no one

  9. Issa Azeez Kayode Says:

    Dere is no 1 dat has touchd ma lyf in term of music dan 2face.wel,i don’t even knw wht 2 say dan 2 b sayn he is too much.more grce 2 his elbow.

  10. my name is siknny form NIG +2217766542377 IM IN DAK

  11. Oche innocent Says:

    Tu baba, dnt mind those envious creature…God don blessed u already. Incase u no remember me, inno @ no 4, Demekpe pry sch rd. Mkd.
    Keep klin man. Odumarry don bless u b4 now.

  12. gbadebo olubakin adeolu Says:

    1 luv 2baba! na God know y He arranged 4 me,my sibblings and my mom 2 leave festac b4 i start 2 hear abt u,walahi! i no go go schu na u i 4 dey follow abt.Tu,u tu much jo!

  13. Olajide adeyemi Says:

    Plz brother u r d best ever.U hv a gift in u,bt i wl advice u 2 change sum characters.I knw say nobody holy pass yea.08133424377,take kia.

  14. chukwuma onwuzulike Says:

    gud day 2 u have a black shirt 4 u wit a hypateck logo on it pls it lovely u need 2 see it, bt since i cant get it across to u can i give it to nale ice prince maneger to help me give it 2 u 07033501626,0708438688 hope u read it ur self tanks

  15. We dey feel u 4 benin,how d easter 1 b?

  16. DANIEL OKOLI Says:

    the personality and a man’s outstanding worth is a rail 2 those whom ar zealing 2 make head way’s, God bles ur talent and those who desir 2 b great thrug ur good atribut.i luv some of ur personality.

  17. 2 baba, u remain d baba of all baba in nigerian muzic industry keep it up broda. I can’t 2 be a hypertek nigger if a chance is given 2 me.

  18. Chybike Alaka 47 Says:

    When black were enslave,oyibo think say we no go make am.but black like 2baba,struggle just to scale ds wall of fame.i love ur yellow shirt,i love ur black trousier,i love ur 7.u too bam egede.melove u dodos 4 u

  19. Chybike Alaka 47 Says:

    Egede was up,u just dey jolly.remain d janet 4 me.cause me i want play 4 here,all my african playing africas game dodorima 4 una all!uja bless no man cause.on g

  20. Olasunkanmi Says:

    2Face u’re the only musician in africa as far as am concerned u really make us proud I can’t do without yur song brother U’re the best.

  21. 2ba-ba you are the right man, i’m really proud of u.
    Just keep the fire burning.

  22. julius owen Says:

    2 baba has alway ben my favorite, not only in 9ja or africa but around d wild world, in life pple must talk about u good or bad, so jt ignore and move on in life. I LOVE U.

  23. Tu baba, in case God dropped it in ur mind 2 help me, I’ll surely appreciate as I always c u in ma dreamz. I’m also an upcoming artist who wishes 2 showcase his talent and be great like u. My name is Amejin. u can plz contact me on amejin777@yahoo.com if u want 2 listen 2 any of ma songs. God’ll continue 2 shower u with His blessings.
    I have a song I wish 2 feature u but how 2 c u ni problem. I blif we’ll be friends 1day and I dreamt I’ll be ur right hand pal…
    God bless…

  24. Wilson austine ejembi Says:

    U are the musician that make my day. I want to know you one on one. I am ur number one fan.

  25. 2 face is my best

  26. Bunmi-alade opeyemi Says:

    Ujah is ma best.i am his best fan.i luv u.humble biography

  27. Bunmi-alade opeyemi Says:

    Innocent ujah idibia,blv me i am ur best fan,i really LOVE u.

  28. Olagoke tolulope Says:

    I luv him bcos,his music inspire me

  29. He has always been the best No dought i want to be like him

  30. Reading your story i get to love you more and more i love your faith you did not give up this has only taught me to believe in myself i can sing very well too but i need a sponsor pls help me this is my num 07068683271 thank you tony mike

  31. ERIC MIKE YOUDUBAGHA Says:

    I will always support and promote you at all time in your music career all the way from Bayelsa State Eric Mike Youdubagha you can rich me on this number anytime you have your new album 08038201598

  32. ERIC MIKE YOUDUBAGHA Says:

    Am a presenter and producer in 97.1 glory fm in Bayelsa State Please don’t fail too contact me

  33. cyril michael... Says:

    yes o o!ma people who ever jah bless let no man curse…

  34. Bro,you are too much! U are blessed in jesus name.

  35. 2baba , i respect u and i am very proud of u.
    u inspire me.
    God bless u.

  36. o men 2baba much luv men,you sank musik mop.do ur thing

  37. nathaniel oba ade Says:

    my big brother 2 baba how you dey,i had a dream about you doing something exra ordnary in africa and in the world for you to win the grammy award,you need to write ten song for five continet in the world,japannise, arabic, french, spansish, chinise,good artis that you can use to blend,take your time and think wat i just say,this the vision i see about you geting your grammy in africa.thank you 2 baba.

  38. I like 2face so much in nigerian when u conut musican

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