Innocent Idibia, popularly known as 2face or 2Baba, is a multiple award winning artiste, musician, songwriter and businessman.
In a recent interview with The Nation, he bares his mind on life as a married man, the alleged scandals that have trailed his career for years, relationship with his babies’ mothers, his business ventures, career high points and other issues.
Read the excerpts below:
We read so much about you in the news. Would you say that those things we read about you are true?
A lot of them have been false, while a lot of them have been true. Some are true, no doubt, but a lot, like I said, are so false. It is like that, and it has been like that.
How do you feel when they are so false?
I am always then like, why should people be so evil? So evil like that? I tend to ask myself at that point why? People are so lazy that they cannot take time to seek out the truth! Take for instance your own medium; you have taken time to seek me out. I guess that is how it should be. If you ask questions rightly, of course, you will get answers. Sometimes though, those false stories amuse me. That is being famous for you! I take it in good strides. I do not let it affect my character.
You talk about false stories, which one can you immediately share with us?
Okay, there is this recent one, which has been in the news lately, which refers to me as having impregnated my account officer. In the first place, I do not know where that story emanated from. I don’t even know where that story could have come out from. I don’t know about it at all!
But the impression out there is that it is true…
Of course it is not true. Impression you said, but impression can also be in both ways. Initially nobody said whether it was true or not. So what I did was to correct whatever impression from my twitter page. But the story still went on. It is a serious matter because now I am married. So it is unfair for anyone to put out such story about me perhaps because they want to sell their medium or sell their blog. It is really totally unfair to me, especially now that I am married. If I wasn’t married, we would have laughed over the matter. But now, I am. So I do not expect that people will play over such issues of emotion at this time of my life.
As a top celebrity, what does your image mean to you and how do you ensure that it is on smooth sail?
The truth is that, now that this has happened, I am not going to ignore such battering of image any more. We will consider and take legal actions against such people. We are not going to sit down and watch that any more. About my image, I try to be a loyal Nigerian citizen, try to live my life the best way I can, and I try to stay out of criminality.
How have you been able to cope with fame, to avoid scandals?
I have not been able to avoid anything. And that is because I have been straight and open. I simply accept that anything that comes has come. I try to be myself. I try not to let it affect my thinking; I try not to let it affect my character. I try to be as responsible as I can be and continue with my life.
How has married life been? It has been a year already, isn’t it?
Yes, it was a year on Sunday. And the wedding actually took place on a Sunday. It was like the same day all over again. So far so good, married life is cool. We don dey do wetin married people dey do. We don dey sidon together, we go laugh, we go quarrel small (laughs), we go come hold each other again as if no be us quarrel some moments ago. Life has been kind to us since we got married. We have been living happily ever after. I know we did the wedding in Dubai and some said they couldn’t come. But I tell you, even if we had done it in Lagos, some people would still have missed it. The Dubai event was not an excuse for anybody to say anything. We did the traditional wedding celebration in Akwa Ibom State, in Nigeria after all.
Before you proposed, there were some other women in your life. Why is it Annie that you decided to propose to and marry?
I have been fortunate enough to have met a couple of nice ladies in life and two of them even have children for me. But I think that Annie and I understand each other more. As with matters of the heart, it is very difficult sometimes to find the right words to explain it. Somehow, you just know that this is the particular person that you want to stay with.
How do you handle the ‘maturity thing’ in marriage?
We try to live our lives our own way. We have never had cause to introduce the third party in our home. When we have a problem, we sort it out between ourselves. We don’t call anybody in to come and solve our problems for us. We sit down and talk about it. Like I said earlier, sometimes we quarrel when both of us are stubborn over a matter. But we do not involve the third party!
Do the other ladies still hang around?
Definitely I have a couple of female friends, just like I have a couple of male friends. Boundaries are to be respected and if boundaries are not being respected, I have to voice a respectable apology and move on. But I think my friends know this. So they ‘free’ me.
Is your wife not the jealous type?
She loves me. So she must be jealous. If I am laughing with a particular girl too much or I am going the way that I am not supposed to go, or if one girl is following me too much, she will be there to caution me. She definitely has to be protective of her man. At that point she can tell such a girl, ‘hold your side!’ And if it is I that is doing it, she could tell me, ‘cool down, I dey here o.’
How do you relate to your children from different women?
If you see me and my children together, you will think we are mates. That is how I relate with them.
And your relationship with your children’s mothers?
We are good. We are peaceful, everybody is matured. We have a cordial relationship. One love always…
Where do you get your inspiration from?
My inspiration comes from things that happen around me. Things that I see! Sometimes I go into the creative chamber to build songs. But generally, my songs are inspired by things happening around the world. Though sometimes, inspiration can come from fiction.
What led you into diversifying into business, owning nite clubs, real estate and events centre?
When one has the opportunity to make regular money like I do, it is not really wise to put everything in the bank, or blow up everything. Better to turn it over instead of drying it out and going to look for it again. You have to let the money work for you.
At what point did you start to consider going into business outside music?
It had always been on my mind that at some point, I would have to upgrade and grow. So I started with Hypertek Events. We used to consult for people, package events, got artistes, do stage fixing and so on. There was also the label aspect, though I was the only artiste on the label. As I made money, I was putting some aspect aside for the company. That was because, I had to have money put aside for recording, printing of CDs, photo shoot, publicity and the like. When the money kept rolling in, I then started thinking of properties, and more recently, nite club and event centre business. Gradually we will be upgrading like that.
How do you see the business of nite clubbing?
It is fun. It is very hectic. We opened the club in Festac Town five months ago and the one at Ikeja two years ago. It has been smooth. Though as you know, it is not every day that a nite club booms. But of course, at the end of the month and then the year, you get a detailed sales record. It is good business; I guess that is why it is still open to the public for business.
Does the fact that it is owned by you attract patronage?
Definitely, there are a lot of people who come into town and stop over because they hear that it is owned by me. Also, over the years, I have made a couple of friends. Some of them have grown too. So they come around to chill out. I go there whenever I am in town. And when people hear that I am there, the place just fills up and it’s a big party. It’s good. Business is good but nothing good comes easy. Work is work. But when you are doing what you love doing, it is work and fun.
What does success mean to you?
Success to me is being able to take care of you.
How do you relate to other artistes?
I am a friend of every artiste because we all know each other. I am a friendly person. I am a jolly good fellow.
How about your ex-band mates?
We still hang out once in a while. We are still on good terms.
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