By Victoria Ige
It‘s the beginning of a new season for 2face Idibia; a new era, as his ‘Unstoppable 2… The International edition’ album has reignited the fans’ passion for the man and his music again. And, as he warms his way into our hearts again, with fresh, exciting materials, new MO, and a totally hands-on management, there’s one thing most paramount on the singer’s mind – there can’t be no ‘Baby Mamas’ holding him down and dragging him in the mire again. Don’t get it wrong, Mr. Idibia, 35, has three of them. There’s Annie Macaulay, the young charming seductress who’s remembered by many as one of his early and true lovers. Desperate not to lose her lover to wild women hovering over his bedroom all day and night, Ms Macaulay kicked off the condoms and got to bed with an innocent Idibia. Soon a baby was on the way. But Macaulay would soon have a miscarriage, after a Lagos robbery that left her injured and hospitalized. If the attack was a setup, then the planners only wasted their time. For it wasn’t long until Annie and Innocent got together again. The product of that combo was a cute little girl called Isabelle.
Then there’s Pero Adeniyi (daughter of POATSON boss Jide Adeniyi). In 2005, armed robbers visited Idibia in his FESTAC flat, leaving him and his siblings injured and traumatized. While on admission at Cedar Hospital, a thousand-and-one ladies trooped in to visit and wish him well. Few were his lovers, many were acquaintances, wanna-be lovers and/or total strangers. Pero Adeniyi belonged to the latter group. Freshly off a failed marriage, and head-over-heels in lust with Idibia, she became a regular fixture at the hospital, familiarizing herself with his associates and showering everyone including Idibia with gifts. Remember the electronic belt that had ‘2face Idibia’ scrolling non-stop? It was a gift from Ms Adeniyi. And she went on to give him many more gifts – including two kids Rose and Justin. But Pero’s affair was, to put it mildly, turbulent. With constant disagreements and violent exchanges, everyone around believed she was not the girl for him; a femme fatale she was, at best. But Idibia was hooked for years, only occasionally disengaging; and not for long.
When he had been through a long fight with Ms Adeniyi, it’s with Sunmbo Ajaba, that 2face spent time to relax and recover. Ms Ajaba, herself freshly out of a failed marriage, offered her heart and ears and more. And soon, the pair got more than involved. The result? Two boys! Ajaba, the least known of Idibia’s baby mamas, is a nine-to-fiver who gave him his first boy Nino. (There are unconfirmed reports she’s quit her bank job to set up as a showbiz entrepreneur.
For someone who is already a veteran in the dating game (with past partners including ex-Miss Nigeria Vien Tetsola, actress Caroline Ekanem, Nkechi Okoli and a certain Cathy Taylor, the pregnancy spree was, to say the least, shocking. It didn’t help that the ladies- all three of them- were constantly on each other’s throat, waging media wars against one another, manipulating and leaking information to the press, and washing so many dirty linen on Social networking sites Facebook and Twitter. They were desperate and they showed it. Idibia was reckless and confused. And it showed.
And that’s when the career – one of the most brilliant careers of this era, began to sink. Idibia was already drowning, with many thinking he was gone for good, before help came. He grabbed the help with both hands, kicked his burden away, and found his way off the bottom. With his 4th studio album out, back-to-back successful tours and concert engagements, image cleansing and big-budget endorsements, Idibia has told those close to him he’s learnt his lessons, albeit the hard way.
‘Everyone knows he is taking care of his kids. He’s a doting father and very much involved in raising all of them. And he remains friends with their mothers. But there’s no way he’s going tolet all that drama drag him down again. Not now, not tomorrow, not ever’, a source on his management team tells Nigerian Entertainment Today (NET).
‘Don’t get it wrong’ he says, he’s still friend with them all, and they talk from time to time. In fact, he still saw Pero last time he went to the US. And they’ve attended several events together. he spends time with Annie and gets on well with Sunmbo. But as concerns romance, he’s moved on. Meaning even though he’s very much in a positive relationship with all of them, and they talk from time to time, it’s not like the romance is still on, or he’s planning to settle down with any of them’.
Unlike the early days of the saga, Idibia is now more open to talk about his women and his kids. At the 10th anniversary celebration of his career last year, he answered all questions from guests, including questions about his affairs and children. Two of his baby mamas – Annie and Sunmbo were in attendance.
‘We’re open to talking about those things. There’s no denying that they happened. He can’t rewrite that aspect of his life. So why deny it? But the focus right now is on his music. We want people to look at 2face and see a first class musician, a humble man and responsible father. Not a man surrounded by bickering baby mamas’, one of his managers told us over the phone.
And that’s exactly what has happened! Innocent 2face idibia has re-emerged as the true king of the new school of Nigerian pop music. He’s reclaimed his bestseller slot; reclaimed his rating on the concert scene; wormed his way back into the hearts of the media; and re-established himself as about the only singer in his league who can enjoy 100 percent critical and commercial appeal; the only singer who can win critical acclaim for a basic, repetitive pop cut like implication; while also driving a profound radio-unlikely song like ‘only me’ to the very top of the charts…
Idibia will later this month, be honoured by Now Muzik’s Touch of Genius, for his outstanding contribution to Nigerian music. The only other recipient of the honour, is Sir Victor Uwaifo.
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