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The True Face of 2Face Idibia: On Respecting Women, Tourism and Why Africa’s Time Has Come


2Face Idibia on Stage in Calabar, Nigeria, 2012 (c) Belinda Otas


Innocent Ujah Idibia, aka 2Face, is arguably one of Nigeria’s best-known music artists. The African Queen-hit maker tells it as it is.

Your first single, African Queen, paid homage to the African woman. What is your take on the African woman of today?

For me the African Woman is very warm, strong and respectful.  And by respectful, I don’t mean stupid respectfulness because there are two kinds of respect. (Switches to Nigerian Pidgin English) and some respect na mumu (stupidity respect). Even though say person dey beat you, you still dey respect am. And African women are beautiful. These are the things that I find great in and about African women.

Let’s do some plain speaking: there is so much out there in terms of your personal life. “Oh he is with this person, he is with that person, he is this and he is that. Or he is married to…” Where your music is concerned, do you worry that it will affect your fans base?

It bothers me a little. But from my point of view, I have nothing to hide. I want them to see the truth about me. Then they can love me or hate me, at least I know. If you hide something and it then comes out, it’s like your world comes crashing down and I don’t want that to be my life. I don’t want to have tension or fear that people discovered something about me. I want to sleep peacefully. Anything and everything about me is out there. If you know it, you know it. If you still love my music, I’m happy. If you don’t love my music, I hope I can convince you at the end of the day that it has got nothing to do with my music. So I am really not afraid of and about the facts of my life coming out, and that’s if they are actually the facts.

There will always be constant interest in your personal life, true or false. How do you maintain a balance between your private and public life?

So many people don’t respect boundaries when it comes to a famous face. They forget you are human and that you need your privacy.  But in this profession you have to accept that you are going to lose some privacy. I intentionally went into music and was aware of the fact that this was going to happen sometime or the other. I respect that factor and I try to be as polite as possible when someone tries to intrude into my privacy. I also try to keep my private life private except the aspect that is public knowledge.


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