About 2face Idibia: A Naijassador

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In the vibrant and diverse landscape of Nigerian music, few artists have left an indelible mark quite like Innocent Ujah Idibia, popularly known as 2face or 2Baba. With a career spanning decades, 2face has not only shaped the sound of contemporary African music but has also become a cultural icon and a symbol of resilience in the face of challenges. This article from Naijassador explores the life, career, and impact of one of Nigeria’s most celebrated musicians.

Early Life

Innocent Ujah Idibia popularly known as 2face Idibia was born on September 18, 1975, in Jos, Plateau State, Nigeria. The singer is originally from the Idoma ethnic group in the southern part of Benue State, in central Nigeria. 2face grew up in the city of Makurdi, Benue State with his family. His early exposure to music came through the church choir, where he honed his vocal skills and developed a passion for singing. Little did the young Idibia know that this humble beginning would be the foundation for a groundbreaking career in the music industry.

Education

2face Idibia attended Mount Saint Gabriel’s Secondary School in Makurdi, Benue State before enrolling at the Institute of Management & Technology, Enugu (IMT), for his preliminary National Diploma course in Business Administration and management. While attending IMT, Idibia usually performed at organized shows and parties in the school and other regional schools such as the University of Nigeria and Enugu State University of Science & Technology. However, Idibia wasn’t able to complete his studies and he eventually dropped out to pursue his music career full-time. While attending IMT, 2face Idibia started composing his songs and singing jingles at the GB Fan Club at the Enugu State Broadcasting Services (ESBS) in 1996. It was during this time that he took up the stage name, Tuface. He, however, had a change of his stage name in 2016 from Tuface to 2face.

Career

After leaving school, 2face took up his music career seriously and he moved to Lagos for greener pastures. He met fellow singer and Benue-born artist, Blackface whose real name is Ahmedu Augustine Obiabo, and has been his friend right from secondary school. Both friends met another singer, Chibuzor Orji popularly known as Faze and they formed the band known as Plantashun Boiz.

2face’s journey to stardom took a significant leap when he and his close friends formed the music group Plantashun Boiz in the late 1990s. The group, consisting of 2face, Blackface, and Faze, quickly gained popularity for their unique blend of R&B, reggae, and Afrobeat influences. Hits like “Knock Me Off” and “You and I” showcased 2face’s distinctive voice and laid the groundwork for his solo career. After the band broke up in 2004, there was a long battle between its members. However, in 2007, they came back to release an album known as Plan B before going their separate ways. Blackface has also frequently accused 2face of performing songs that were written by of them as a solo artist. He also claimed that he didn’t receive any revenue from the songs. The matter has, however, been laid to rest and settled between both singers.

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Solo Success and African Queen

In 2004, 2face released his debut solo album, “Face 2 Face,” a critically acclaimed project that catapulted him to solo stardom. The album featured the iconic track “African Queen,” a love ballad that not only became a national anthem but also achieved international recognition. “African Queen” was featured in the soundtrack of the Hollywood film “Phat Girlz” and marked 2face as a global musical force. The success of “Face 2 Face” solidified 2face’s position as a trailblazer in the Nigerian music scene. His ability to seamlessly blend genres and deliver poignant lyrics endeared him to fans not only in Nigeria but across the African continent and beyond.

Challenges and Triumphs

Despite his musical triumphs, 2face has faced his fair share of challenges. The dissolution of the Plantashun Boiz and publicized disagreements with former bandmate Blackface led to a period of turbulence. However, 2face’s resilience and commitment to his craft prevailed, and he continued to produce hit after hit.

2face’s sophomore album, “Grass 2 Grace,” released in 2006, featured singles like “One Love” and “If Love Is A Crime.” The album further showcased 2face’s evolution as an artist, blending social consciousness with infectious melodies. Over the years, his discography has grown, with albums such as “The Unstoppable” (2008), “Away & Beyond” (2012), and “The Ascension” (2014) adding to his musical legacy.

Awards and recognition

In recognition of his contributions to the music industry and his philanthropic efforts, 2face has received numerous accolades and awards. He was awarded the prestigious MTV Europe Music Award for Best African Act in 2005 and has won several Nigerian music awards, solidifying his status as a national treasure.

Brand Ambassador

2face Idibia became an ambassador for an Italian alcoholic drink known as liqueur campari in August 2016. He was also the brand ambassador for Guinness beer in 2005. 2face was a former ambassador for the National Agency for Food and Drug Administration and Control in Nigeria. That’s not all, the singer was also made the face of Airtel communications company in Nigeria in 2010. After leaving Airtel, he signed a new deal as an ambassador with Globacom, another gaint telecommunications company in Nigeria in 2019. Also in July 2019, 2baba became a brand ambassador for Pazino Homes and Gardens which is a real estate firm in Nigeria. Together with another prominent musician in Naija, 2face and Wizkid were the face of Hennessy artistry in 2014. He became the first ambassador for the gadgets brand, Oraimo.

Casting in Young, Famous and African series

Young, Famous and African, Netflix’s first original African reality show, has taken the continent by storm. Launched in 2022, it follows the lives of a group of successful entertainers and entrepreneurs from across Africa as they navigate their glamorous lives in Johannesburg, South Africa. The show boasts an impressive cast showcasing diverse talents and nationalities. From Nigerian music giants like 2Baba (also known 2face Idibia) and Annie Idibia, to South African media mogul Khanyi Mbau and Tanzanian music superstar Diamond Platnumz, the show offers a glimpse into the lives of Africa’s elite.

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Personal Life

2face’s personal life has also been a subject of public interest. He got married to famous actress and businesswoman, Annie Macaulay-Idibia on May 2, 2012, in a private ceremony in Lagos, Nigeria. The couple also had a civil ceremony held in Dubai, UAE on 23 March 2013 and it was well attended by celebrities. Their love story has been a testament to enduring love in the limelight and has been open about the challenges they have faced and the strength of their bond. The couple has two children namely Olivia Idibia and Isabel Idibia. 2face is a father to several children with other baby mamas, and his commitment to family values has been evident in his public persona. Despite the demands of his career, he has remained dedicated to his role as a father and husband.

In 2021, the celebrity couple was enmeshed in a series of controversies. It began when the singer’s wife, Annie Idibia accused her husband of infidelity with one of his baby mamas, Pero Adeniyi. She alleged that her husband was spending too much time with the other woman and using his kids with her as a cover-up. The actress and mother of two also accused the singer’s family of making her marriage hellish for the past ten years. 2face Idibia came out then to tell fans to back off his marital crises and leave them to sort their issues privately. Annie Idibia later on posted an apology on her social media handle to her in-laws and fans for her outbursts.

In August 2022, 2baba posted a lengthy apology note on his Instagram page where he apologized to his wife, kids, and family members for all the wrongs he had done. He mentioned that he was not suicidal but wanted to become a good husband to his wife and a great father to his kids. The couple has since patched up their marriage and moved n living their best lives. 2face also visited his wife Annie on a movie set, showing everyone that all was well in Idibia’s castle.

Social Impact and Philanthropy

Beyond the realm of music, 2face has been a prominent advocate for social change. He has used his platform to address issues such as governance, youth empowerment, and social justice. His involvement in various charitable activities, including the “Vote Not Fight” campaign during the 2015 Nigerian elections, demonstrates his commitment to positive societal transformation.

Established in 2009, the 2face Idibia Foundation reflects the artist’s dedication to improving the lives of vulnerable communities in Nigeria and beyond. The foundation operates under the motto “Service to Humanity,” emphasizing a holistic approach to addressing social issues affecting education, health, youth empowerment, and peacebuilding. 2face acknowledges the crucial role of education in breaking the cycle of poverty and empowering individuals. The foundation’s “Project 23” invests in educational infrastructure, providing scholarships and educational materials to underprivileged children across Nigeria’s 23 states. This initiative goes beyond financial support, offering mentorship programs and career guidance to equip young people with the skills and confidence to excel.

The foundation recognizes that good health is a cornerstone of individual and community development. Their “Rural Health Outreach Program” brings free medical services and awareness campaigns to remote areas, tackling illnesses and promoting preventive healthcare practices. Through partnerships with medical professionals and hospitals, the foundation strives to ensure equitable access to essential healthcare services for all. 2face Idibia understands the immense potential of the youth as agents of positive change. The “Grassroots Talent Hunt” platform provides a stage for young artists and entrepreneurs to showcase their talents and access educational and mentorship opportunities. This initiative fosters creativity, encourages self-reliance, and empowers young people to contribute meaningfully to their communities.

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In a nation with a complex history of conflict, 2face Idibia champions the message of peace and unity. The “Walk for Peace” initiative draws attention to the importance of conflict resolution and peaceful coexistence. By mobilizing communities through music and dialogue, the foundation aims to break down barriers and build bridges of understanding. Since its inception, the 2face Idibia Foundation has touched the lives of countless individuals, impacting communities across Nigeria and beyond. With its diverse range of initiatives and unwavering commitment to social justice, the foundation exemplifies the power of music as a catalyst for positive change.

Activism

2face has over the years supported and lent his voice to the voice of various causes in Nigeria and using his status as a celebrity to call for help for the oppressed. He has also helped to bring more awareness to issues of governance in Nigeria and Africa at large. During the covid10 restrictions in Nigeria in April 2021, 2baba as he is fondly called by his fans chided the Nigeria Centre for Disease Control (NCDC) for frustrating travelers. He also pointed out that the fee of N50,000 collected for the COVID-19 arrival test on the NCDC’s portal is too much. His calls were widely appreciated by fans and those who had to go through the payment of the COVID-19 tests.

As 2face Idibia continues to evolve as an artist, his impact on the Nigerian and African music scenes remains unparalleled. His ability to adapt to changing musical landscapes while maintaining authenticity has endeared him to multiple generations of music lovers. The advent of the digital age has seen 2Face embrace new platforms to connect with its audience. He has maintained a strong presence on social media, where he shares insights into his life, promotes his music, and engages with fans.

2face Idibia’s journey from the church choir in Makurdi to becoming a musical icon is a testament to his talent, resilience, and dedication. His influence extends beyond the realm of entertainment, making him a symbol of inspiration for aspiring artists and a figure whose impact on Nigerian music will resonate for years to come. 2face’s story is a celebration of the power of music to transcend boundaries, unite diverse cultures, and leave an enduring legacy.

Things you should know about 2face Idibia, a Nigerian artiste.

Please tell us know what else you think readers should know in the comment section.

Written by Sarah Aboje

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