Welcome to the first in The series of FESTAC ICON, and to start this series Festac is celebrating an award winning singer-songwriter, producer, Entrepreneur. He is 2face Idibia.
2face Idibia, born as Innocent ujah Idibia on 18 September 1975 in Jos and he hails from Benue State. He was born to a middle class family but little did anyone know that he would be a musical Icon in future. His mum was a teacher.
Tuface completed his basic education , he attended saint Gabriel’s secondary school , Makurdi before enrolling at IMT Enugu to obtain his National Diploma in Business administration and management. He then dropped out of school to pursue his music career.
During his early years , then when the hustle was real and it was all struggle he never gave up. Tuface actually grew up around Music right from his childhood. In an article
“I grew up around music. As a child, I listened to a lot of old school stuff. I loved to sing a lot. My mum was a singer, so I guess I got the talent from her,”
2face relocated to Festac Town after discovering his musical talent during his studies at IMT Enugu. He didn’t relocate alone but with his buddy Augustine Ahemdu known as Blackface of the Defunct Plantashun boiz.
They both relocated to Festac and lived for years at Blackface’s uncle place who was then a retired army officer. Willie Worksman Okorie was one of the first people to work with them in Lagos and introduced them to the Popular Rothmans Groove and Nelson Brown, the music producer who would bring then to national consciousness under his record label, Dove Entertainment.
Nelson Brown was impressed when he heard them perform at Club Towers , Lagos Island and signed them on and the group Plantashun Boiz was completed and born in 1999 when Chibuzor Orji known as Faze joined the Duo.
The trio started shining as everyone began to fall in love with their music which was Afro-hip hop genre and in 2000, they released their debut album. Then groups like Black Reverends and Remedies were also in trend then.
Unfortunately 2004 marked the end to the trio as they drifted apart. Then everyone blamed 2face for being selfish (we were plenty then o. Found
guilty). The breakup was shocking to Festac Residents and to Nigerians at large . Blackface took it calmly while Face was bitter as he released his album Faze
alone . Im sure you remember in fact i listened to all the tracks in that album.
Tuface Idibia joined Kennis music and dropped his first solo album Grass to Grace and we all accepted and embraced it . That opened him up and i would say the title of the album is what we are celebrating today.
The tracks in that album were exceptional , tracks like Nfana Ibaga, Ole, You No Holy Pass, African Queen and Right Here was on the lips of everyone . His songs then dominated charts for weeks .
There was no club , bar or restaurant that was left out of laying these hit tracks , In fact 2face idibia was on the lips of everyone.
Not forgetting African Queen which he co-wrote with Blackface. That song made him an idol to ladies. He dedicated the song to the African woman.African Queen became a classic and overnight, 2face developed a cult-like following among women.
African Queen was one of Nigeria’s national hit as African Queen won the heart of women all over the world; both old and young, white and black.
2face was made the face of MTV Base when it first set up in Nigeria and that was how 2FACE became a household name. Later he was then made the face of Guinness Extra Smooth which was a huge multi-million naira deal. Then he bought a Lincoln Navigator.
With the fame , money also came women into his life. Well i can’t blame him as , his looks could kill while some ladies were ready to do anything just to have him.
Then the news and rumour started building up of different women claiming to be pregnant for him ranging from Caroline Ekanem,Vien Tetsola.
Beginning with Sumbo Ajaba, who has two kids for him, the attention shifted to Pero Adeniyi, who had a daughter and a son for him. Nigerians had scarcely taken in the news when it emerged that Annie Macaulay was heavily pregnant for him. Though she lost the pregnancy in a crash, today, she is the proud mother of his daughter, Isabella.
Then everyone tagged him as a skirt-chaser , mothers started warning their daughters against obsession with him. Can you imagine what was once thought as a gift to not just women but to the nation at large became something to be warned about.
2face parted ways with kennis music and set up his own label , HYPERTEK. In 2007, he started building up the record starting from Natzi (Wale Owoyemi) as his manager who was once his backup singer. His siblings were not left out, Hycinth Idibia and John Agon (Da Natives).
According to a interview with Channels, Tuface said
“I got robbed sometime in school. All my audio cassettes that I recorded they took them. I was sad for like a year plus. I dropped out and I am like look I am not continuing this thing I am going to follow music. I actually confessed to my parents. I told them the truth that I am not going back to school. I am going to Lagos, Festac town. All this waka wey I dey talk so, na molue… staff, sometimes na fight we go fight. Them go pursue us from bus” -Tuface
Tuface Idibia has contributed to the growth of music in Africa, having several collaborations nationally and internationally.
2face is really a legend, a role model to many and has made impact to his community , his family and Nigeria as large. Today he is successful and outstanding in his career , he never gave up his dreams.
Festac is proud to have 2face Idibia, one of our own. He is adored by his colleagues and every entertainer in Nigeria music industry as a role model.