‘I’m coming out straight this time
I’m coming out with a little of my own kind of piece of mind
I’m doing it my way this time
Like I’m not gonna bore you with some flimsy kind of piece of rhymes
So, pull a cushion, sit back, relax and listen
To this introduction of me, myself and my mission
My vision is to let you all see
That there’s more to this life than just faking up reality’
This was how legendary Nigerian crooner, 2Face Idibia opened Ifana Ibaga, one of his best tracks off his debut Face 2 Face album in 2004. The success of the album’s lead single ‘African Queen’ overshadowed what could be described as 2Face’s musical ‘mission statement’ (as gleaned from the track opener).
In 2004, Africa woke up to a new name, new face and a new song which, within weeks, had become one of the biggest songs ever produced by an African artiste. The name was 2Face Idibia (Innocent Ujah Idibia), the song was the soulful, infectious and elegant ‘African Queen. As the song grew across borders, so did the fame of this Jos Plateau born, Nigerian artist, who prior to debuting a solo album was part of the Plantashun Boys (a boy music group who were getting recognized in their home region of Nigeria).
2 Face Ididbia could have abandoned music after his first album and still be regarded as a legend within Nigerian and African music at the back of his debut. The success of African Queen, however, overshadowed other good, excellently produced songs off Face 2 Face. Ifana Ibaga-which translate as No Problem- is a clear example.
Boasting a hip hop influenced beat, 2 Face on Ifana Abaga described his morning activities-waking up, brushing his teeth, some morning exercises, bathing and stepping out –to begin the day. The second verse is dedicated to why he won’t fail, ignoring negative vibes from naysayers, reminding all that school isn’t a yard stick for measuring wisdom and “who God has blessed, no man can curse’.
The video for Ifana Abaga captured the era it was shot-everything baggy. It also looked like a low budget video shot in his neigbourhood with friends, kids joining in the shoot. And did you see 2Face doing the ‘bohey’ dance (2:30 mark)?
Watch the video whiles you sing along the hook: Ifana Ibaga o/Never give another man yawa o/So the reason why I say Ifana Ibaga is that I got my conscience by my side/Got peace of mind inside…Who God has blessed, no man can curse’.