Innocent Ujah Idibia better known by his stage name 2face Idibia is a distinguished Nigerian singer-songwriter, record producer and entrepreneur. SAMUEL ABULUDE looks at his success secret and influence on Nigerian music industry.
Many have commended him as being Nigeria’s biggest music export to the world in recent times. They are not far from the truth for his image looms larger as he allows his music and talent to speak more for him. 2Face is arguably the most successful contemporary music artiste in Nigeria today. Despite his success and stardom with 5 albums in the kitty as well as the evergreen ‘African Queen’ from his debut solo album in 2004 under Kennis Music, 2face who was born September 18, 1975 with 16 years in the music industry has remained humble and down to earth. Perhaps this has done it for him, his humility and talent alone. But on the contrary says his manager Efe Omoregbe. In Efe’s chat with City People Magazine published this week, he noted that his artiste 2face works really really hard and he himself wonders how 2face manages to keep himself motivated. “I think it is a gift. There is a gift of a talent. There is also a gift of hunger. A lot of us have it when we are struggling, once when we get a little comfortable we lose it. When you listen to his works, he is always trying to do better than the last time. He agrees with a lot of the ideas we put on the table because he is challenging himself to do the next thing. He does a lot of work to maintain his visibility, relevance. You seldom catch 2Face show arrogance,” says Efe, CEO of Now Muzik Limited.
Corroborating this, CEO Kennis Music, Kenny Ogungbe said at the FORTYfied Concert that as someone that has worked with him over the years, he has never seen 2Face show anger in public or even in their presence and this earned him lots of respect coupled with his talent.
Tuface Idibia began his career with international recognition for a 2006 hit, ‘African Queen’,Since then, Nigeria’s pop darling has created hit after hit, receiving 40 local and international awards. He officially discontinued the use of the name Tuface and selected Tu-baba as his stage name. He is one of the most decorated and successful Afro pop artists in Africa. He is also one of the most bankable artists in Africa.
Speaking further on how he emerged as a big brand today, the success secrets, Efe noted, “It’s been combination of a lot things. People say Tuface is talented, very talented. Of course. People say Tuface is humble, very humble, very nice guy. I agree. But just being talented, being charismatic and being humble is not enough to get you or anyone to where he is to today. People don’t understand how hard Tuface works”.
His Celebration At 40
His FORTYfied All-Star Tribute Concert held on September 20, 2015 at the Eko Hotel and Suites Convention Centre, Victoria Island was meant to celebrate the musician and his influence in the music industry as he clocked 40 years.
Hosted by Basketmouth, the STAR Lager Beer-sponsored concert was held on 20 September 2015 was attended by dignitaries and featured performances from notable musicians including Wizkid, Burna Boy, Timaya, D’banj, Sound Sultan, Patoranking, Vector tha Viper, Wande Coal and Seyi Shay.
Buoyed by a sound management, Tu Baba was in the forefront a campaign for a violence free election. Towards the presidential and gubernatorial elections in March 2015, the singer along with other advocacy groups urged Nigerians to vote without being violent. 2Face never campaigned for a candidate as others did, he stood for the ordinary people and educated them on the need to vote wisely. That speaks of his ideals.
In 2014, after losing his father to prostate cancer, Tuface became a voice in Nigeria’s prostate cancer prevention campaign kicking off an awareness month in September. He partnered with CECP-Nigeria (Committee Encouraging Corporate Philanthropy) to further increase awareness with plans to launch Mobile Cancer Centers (MCC) to promote holistic health to rural communities.
2Face has established an NGO called 2Face Idibia Reach-Out Foundation which motto is service to humanity. In 2009, the singer was appointed as ambassador by National Agency for Food and Drug Administration and Control NAFDAC. He released a song ‘Man Unkind’ to raise awareness on the menace of fake and sub-standard food and drug products in Nigeria. In 2009, he was presented with the prestigious International Youth Ambassador for Peace Summit and the Nigeria Youth Merit Award by the National Youth Council of Nigeria in recognition of his contributions to youth development in Nigeria.
2Face has received one MTV Europe Music Award, one World Music Award, five Headies Awards, four Channel O Music Video Awards and one BET award for his musical work, four MTV Africa Music Awards, one MOBO award, one KORA award, and numerous additional nominations.
Top Facts About Tuface Idibia
He Goes by Many Names Called ‘The King of Nigerian R&B’, Idibia goes by 2face, Tuface, 2Baba and Tubaba. He is considered Africa’s most bankable artist and is the only non-Liberian to land in the Liberian music society award for his contributions to African music. Born Innocent Ugah Idibia, 2face juxtaposes business and personal life. ‘Tuface for me is me as the ordinary guy and me as the artist’, Idibia explained in an interview with Lola Ogunnaiko for BET International’s interview series ‘Welcome to America’. He wanted listeners and fans to resist judging a book by its cover, believing himself to be multifaceted.
He is Prolific
Tuface releases albums like clockwork. Starting with his 2004 debut ‘Face 2 Face’, Idibia released ‘Grass 2 Grace’ in 2006, ‘The Unstoppable’ in 2010, ‘The Unstoppable International Edition’ in 2012, ‘Away & Beyond’ in 2012 and ‘The Ascension’ in 2014. The latter, his 6th studio album, was the highest selling album in iTunes Nigeria for weeks. Idibia debuted ‘Face 2 Face 10.0’ during a release party in early January, featuring re-mastered classics from his 2004 Face2Face album alongside some new tracks. While old hits such as ‘How E Go Be’ featuring Stanley Enow still have that thumping bass, new hit ‘Dance Go (Eau De Vie)’ featuring Wizkid is a smooth track rocking clubs now in 2015. A conscious new track ‘Ghetto Life’, delves into political corruption, lack of self-motivation and literal and mental prisons. It features Rocksteady and Blackface.
He is in Movies
International notoriety came to Tuface when his hit ‘African Queen’ was featured in 2006 FOX Searchlight comedy Phat Girlz starring American comedienne Mo’Nique. He was the first Nigerian artist to have a song featured in an internationally released movie. In the film, Mo’Nique plays a plus-size aspiring fashion designer who eventually falls in love with a Nigerian doctor who appreciates and loves her body.
His Love Story
In a triangle love story, Idibia has seven children with three different women. Tu Face is said to be a lover of his kids and makes sure that all his children from the three women, Sumbo Ajaba-Adeoye, Pero Adeniyi and Annie Macauly-Idibia have contact with one another and he does not fail in his duty as father to all his seven kids. He met his wife, Nollywood actress Annie Macaulay, at Even Ezra Music Studio when they were both teens and she even appeared in the ‘African Queen’ music video. From friendship to breakups and makeups, Tuface and Annie dated for over a decade. After a series of painful breakups stemming from infidelity, Annie and Tuface eventually reunited. On Valentine’s Day, Tuface surprised Annie with a proposal. The couple were not dating at this point, but Tuface had sought her forgiveness and friendship weeks prior. He took her to a quiet corner of Jay Jay Okocha’s Club 10 in Victoria Island, Lagos and popped the question. The pair married in a 2012 private ceremony in Lagos. In March 2013, they had a traditional ceremony in Eket, Akwa-Ibom State Nigeria and a destination ceremony in Dubai.