The Man, The Myth, The Legend: 2Baba Says Goodbye To Music, Seeks Other Endeavors

2baba, also known as Innocent Idibia, is a highly respected musician, songwriter, and philanthropist from Nigeria. He is best known for creating popular songs like ‘African Queen’ and is passionate about helping African youths and displaced individuals. Having achieved great success in the music industry over many years, 2baba is now contemplating calling it quits as he ventures into a new path as a full-time philanthropist, having already been active in this field.

The Man, The Myth, The Legend: 2Baba Says Goodbye To Music, Seeks Other Endeavors, Yours Truly, News, April 19, 2024

In 1999, 2Baba became a well-known star in the Plantashun Boiz. However, his 2004 solo debut album ‘Face 2 Face’ solidified him as a standout leader among the emerging generation. He continued with the releases of ‘Grass 2 Grace’ and ‘The Unstoppable’ in 2006 and 2009, respectively, achieving numerous firsts, selling tens of millions of records, and receiving local and international accolades. Despite his success, 2Baba remains committed to serving humanity. He has since released four additional albums, including an international edition of “The Unstoppable” in 2010, ‘Away and Beyond’ in 2012, ‘The Ascension’ in 2014, and ‘Warriors’ in 2020. While he remains a celebrity and continues releasing new music, he strongly focuses on his humanitarian work.

The Man, The Myth, The Legend: 2Baba Says Goodbye To Music, Seeks Other Endeavors, Yours Truly, News, April 19, 2024

2Baba founded the 2Face Foundation in 2008, a non-profit organization that fosters peace, unity, and socioeconomic development in Nigeria. The foundation focuses on education, health, empowerment, relief intervention, credible electoral processes to deepen democracy, peacebuilding, and advocacy for good governance. From 2009 to 2023, the sheer volume of work and the quality of impact have been truly remarkable, much like his achievements in music.

2Baba was appointed by NAFDAC in 2009 to raise awareness about fake food and drug products. He released the song “Man Unkind” as part of his advocacy efforts and has been recognized for promoting peace, education, healthcare, and the well-being of IDPs and refugees. He uses his popularity to bring about positive changes and is committed to making a difference.

He values education and has demonstrated his support by donating books, offering scholarships to students, and providing educational institutions with the necessary facilities and equipment. During a recent breakfast conversation on June 19, 2023, the discussion also touched on the digital/analogue studio he generously constructed and donated to the Music Department at Obafemi Awolowo University (OAU) in Ile-Ife back in March, emphasizing his commitment to the cause.

The Man, The Myth, The Legend: 2Baba Says Goodbye To Music, Seeks Other Endeavors, Yours Truly, News, April 19, 2024

2Baba has implemented the ‘Vote Not Fight’ initiative to encourage electoral participation in Nigeria. This campaign aims to prevent electoral violence and promote peaceful engagement in the electoral process. In 2015, 2Baba organized a peace concert in Lagos to raise awareness about participating in the nation’s activities and government post-election. The 2Baba Foundation also held smaller events promoting electoral participation and released the song ‘Vote Not Fight’.

Over the years, he has denounced electoral violence and promoted political engagement. He has actively participated in off-season elections held in various states, such as Kogi (in 2016 and 2019), Osun (in 2018 and 2022), and Anambra (in 2017 and 2021). During the inaugural ceremony at Awka in 2017, 2Baba emphasized the importance of promoting youth involvement in the country’s electoral process through the “Vote Not Fight” campaign. He stressed the significance of peaceful, free, fair, and credible elections as the foundation of a legitimate government. He encouraged young people to join political parties and gain knowledge to make informed decisions while monitoring and engaging with their leaders.

A concert was held in Osogbo during the 2018 Osun governorship election campaign, aimed at educating youths and artisans about maintaining peace. Approximately 2,000 kids pledged to remain peaceful. “Power of 1,” a Nollywood film, encouraged young Nigerians to take responsibility for their country’s growth. The Vote Not Fight initiative reduced election-related violence in Nigeria. 100 and 300 fatalities were reported in 2003 and 2007, respectively. In 2011, 800 deaths occurred, with 700 in Kaduna. However, only 106 documented election-related deaths were in 2015 after the campaign was launched.

The ‘Vote Not Fight’ campaign promotes peace during national elections and has support from Nigerian celebrities. They aim to reduce violence, vote buying, and improve youth participation in the upcoming 2023 elections. Citizens are educated on the 2022 electoral act and the consequences of vote buying, including fines and imprisonment. Ambassador 2Baba met with INEC Chairman to urge Nigerians to reject violence and ensure their votes count.

The Man, The Myth, The Legend: 2Baba Says Goodbye To Music, Seeks Other Endeavors, Yours Truly, News, April 19, 2024

He said:-

“We focus on youths to spur them to engage in politics not just to be social media warriors without actually participating physically. The aim is to also campaign for peaceful elections before, during and after as well as to also reach out to the political actors to ask their supporters not to engage in any form of violence. We are advising them to avoid hate speeches and not to incite violence but go out there to say what they have to offer and let the people choose.”

During a breakfast chat with the media on Monday, June 19, 2023, held at Eko Hotels and Suites, 2Baba emphasized the significance of the initiative. He stressed the importance of its implementation.

“Of the many development projects I have been involved with, the Vote Not Fight, Election No Be War” campaign has been one of the most intense, impactful and gratifying. Birthed in 2014 to promote active youth participation and peaceful elections in Nigeria, the campaign supported 3 general and 14 off-cycle elections between 2015 and 2023. It reached 62 Million Nigerians and currently has 2,000 active youth volunteers across the country. Two important studies have linked the campaign to relatively more peaceful elections during the period”.

“Today, as we close the curtain on “Act One” of this very important project, I reflect on the last 9 years with a deep sense of pride in the quality of work we have done but at the same time, a sense of sadness at the upsurge in the number of recorded incidents of violence in the last general elections. Elections are an important component of democratic governance and it is imperative that we all work towards free, fair, credible and violence-free elections. I reaffirm my commitment to the long walk towards a better Nigeria and state that conversations about the next chapter are in top gear with potential new partners”, he concluded.

In addition to his political involvement, 2Baba has been actively involved in supporting Internally Displaced Persons. In 2010, he joined forces with fellow artists for the “Help for Haiti” initiative to raise funds for the devastating Haiti earthquake victims. Similarly, in 2013, he lent his support to the “Flood With Love” campaign, which provided much-needed assistance to those affected by flooding in Nigeria.

In 2017, he organized a charity concert called “2Baba and Friends” to raise funds for those affected by the Boko Haram insurgency in Nigeria. He also donated items to those affected by the Benue flood. He supported the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) in relief efforts for IDPs and refugees in Nigeria. As the first Nigerian individual or corporate citizen to make cash donations to support UNHCR’s work in Nigeria, he played a significant role in ensuring that 100% of funds for UNHCR intervention work in Nigeria did not come from foreign donors before February 2017.

The Man, The Myth, The Legend: 2Baba Says Goodbye To Music, Seeks Other Endeavors, Yours Truly, News, April 19, 2024

In 2020, this Nigerian artist joined forces with fellow Nigerian musicians to create the song “We Will Win” as a tribute to the brave healthcare workers on the frontlines of the COVID-19 pandemic. Additionally, that same year, he was appointed the first Nigerian Goodwill Ambassador for the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR). Upon hearing the news, his wife, Annie Idibia, expressed joy and admiration for him.

“2baba has been a committed high-level supporter Of UNHCR’s #LuQuLuQu Campaign. In this role, he has dedicated his time to uplifting the narrative of refugees and Internally Displaced Persons in Africa.”

The Man, The Myth, The Legend: 2Baba Says Goodbye To Music, Seeks Other Endeavors, Yours Truly, News, April 19, 2024

With his unwavering commitment to social causes, unique versatility as an artist, and iconic status, 2Baba has raised awareness, supported, and advocated for positive change in Nigeria. His contributions have set him apart from other Nigerian musicians, and his long-standing influence in the industry is a testament to his dedication. Through initiatives like the “Vote Not Fight” campaign and the 2Baba Foundation, he has demonstrated his unwavering commitment to social change, peacebuilding, and addressing pressing social issues in the country. Thanks to his tireless efforts, there has been a notable increase in awareness, inspired action, and a move towards a more inclusive and peaceful society.

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