When 2face released the solo single, ‘African Queen’ that brought him to the tallest stage of his career, little was expected even while the ‘hit’ rocked through the cities of Nigeria. Rumour kept on eating him alive as he strived to reach the height of his dreams.
Earlier in 2face’s life, he was regarded by many around him as a failure when he dropped out of school to face his music career. Rumours had it that neighbours used 2face’s name as a symbol of failure to caution a child who wasn’t studious in school.
The hit, ‘African queen’ catapulted 2face to the greatest height of African music, and from Johannesburg to Accra, from Freetown to Dakar, many music enthusiasts had to learn the lyrics of the song.
His career started while he was in the secondary school. He was part of a vocal group called ‘Black Universe’. After giving up his education he moved away from his home to Lagos with his band. It was under a different name this time, which was, ‘Plantation Boiz’. 2face slept on floors of friends’ houses, having no idea of how the next day’s meal would come. The lanky 6ft 2inches tall man was born as Innocent Uja Idibia on the 18th of September 1975. 2face grew up in Makurdi, Jos and Enugu (all popular cities in Nigeria). His father who was a civil servant had had a narrow perspective of life which made him shed tears that he would never forget. It was during a peak of his son’s career that the tears flowed. The father had been seated among the audience watching his son’s performance sending people wild, and establishing history. That moment reminded the tearful father about the rejections he once pronounced upon his son.
It was while 2face was still with the group ‘Plantation Boiz’, that fame started weaving into his life. A friend of the band, who knew what their talents weighed, gave them an interview in a show he ran on television, and from that period henceforth the fire was ignited. Attention from other television stations helped in the band’s breeding. And this led to Nelson Brown inviting the band to the studio to produce their first album for free. The album is a concrete foundation of what is today called Naija Hip-hop.
Even after the first album’s release, the band was still not walking on the platform of riches. But they did get to perform in front of large crowds and got the fame that upcoming Nigerian artists longed for. It was around that time news began circulating about the numerous affairs 2face indulged in. 2face inability to settle down with a woman was the country’s talk. He is promiscuous, it was rumoured; he had so many kids from different women, it was rumoured. All these led to a single story, a tale that said 2face Idibia did not know the meaning of love. Today he has an established history through the bomb, ‘African Queen’. It is no doubt one of the best of African music that has been able to define love so well in the Black Continent. The music has become an anthem in most marriage receptions held around Nigeria and Africa.
2face has recorded hits with American hip-hop star, Wyclef-Jean, and Reggae dancehall master, Beanie man. It was at the 12th annual MTV award in November of 2005 that 2face won international recognition by being named ‘Best African Musician’. More is still being expected from this great role-model to many young talents in and out of Africa.