So yesterday, I was scrolling on social media, minding other people’s business *wink* when a picture of Annie Idibia made my thumb pause in its rapid scrolling.
The dark skinned beauty looked absolutely stunning with her sparkly nose ring, pink lips, and unapologetic lashes. I promptly visited Annie’s Instagram page, and as I looked through her pictures, I marveled at how much has changed in Annie’s life.
Now, she is married to 2Baba – formerly known as 2Face – who adores her. But about six years ago, specifically on December 31st, 2011, Annie was in an unhappy place and she prayed this prayer: God, this new Year, I just want a man that’s going to love my child more than he loves me; I want to get married and get over that guy; that’s all I want.”
‘That guy’ was 2Baba.
We all know the story of their tumultuous relationship filled with heartbreak, two baby mamas, and intense public scrutiny. But for today’s throwback, we are going back into our vault, all the way to February 2013 when Annie Idibia was our cover girl.In our interview with her, she opened up her heart and shared the true story of her relationship with 2Baba. Written by Chinedu Iroche, the story will make you see Anne Idibia in a fresh light and give a new meaning to the popular phrase by Emily Dickinson: “The heart wants what it wants…”
“I met him when they (with band mates BlackFace and Faze) were trying to be Plantashun Boiz,” Annie recalls of their fateful meeting. “I was going into Even Ezra studio to see Femi Lasode, and this boy was coming out. The gate hit my leg, and when I looked up at the person that did that, it was eye to eye … I think there was some electricity that second! I mean I was young but I still remember what he wore – black t-shirt, blue jeans with slippers and he had curls in his hair. I was 15 at the time. I just knew I wanted to see him again and he came back in; apparently, he was waiting for BlackFace who was taking too long. So we started talking.”
“We became friends but weren’t dating,” she continues. “I mean it took him over a year to kiss me. It got to a point I was like…” she fails to complete her sentence as the memory of his ‘dulling days’ causes her fits of laughter. “He was so sweet. Maybe that’s why I really fell for him that day. People used to say we look alike and he’d say, ‘Yes she’s my little sister’ and I was always offended by that!”
“We did African Queen in 2004 and by then, we were properly dating. We were official but didn’t really talk about it (at first) but then he said it during one interview, that, ‘Yeah she’s my girlfriend, I’m with her’. So that’s how they started disturbing my life,” she says with a smile. “I think he wrote African Queen for me. He co-wrote it with BlackFace, so I think it was just a song celebrating the African Woman. All of us, strong black women, are African Queens. That’s how I see it; a woman that’s able to go through a lot of stuff and still hold her ground.”
“I wanted to be in the entertainment industry even before I met him,” she confides. “But he is such a big brand that he kind of overshadowed the things I was trying to do, so instead of people focusing on what Annie is about, they were always like ‘Oh, 2Face’s girl.’ It made things tougher for me. He says he feels like it kind of slowed me down in my career but I don’t regret it. I just feel like I am where God wants me to be; I think so. I’m happy and my daughter is happy. I’m good.”
It takes a lot for a driven and dedicated woman to make personal sacrifices for someone else’s growth, regardless of the relationship they share. Annie was used to moving at 100mph, as someone who had held jobs since her secondary school days and here she was ready to bet on the aspiring musician. Unconditional love, they call it, I think. And she is grateful for her man’s immense success, even though, admittedly, it kind of caught them by surprise.
“It happened too fast! One minute, we were home, he really wanted to go to South Africa, saying maybe Kennis music would get him a visa. So we kept praying about it and then South Africa came, then it was London, America, you know? His dreams just happened like that! It took him by surprise. Don’t be mad at me baby,” she says to an absent 2Face smiling. “I’m just being honest.
“I think he was confused at a point. The fame came with a lot of stuff. It’s like you walk and no one notices you and then all of a sudden, a whole crowd is on you. I think it was too much for the young man at a point, even for me. Before I would know he is traveling, everything in detail and then his schedule became too busy – I just got lost and invincible.”
However, the seeming good times were soon to come to a screeching halt when in quick succession, word got out that two women were pregnant for her man and she wasn’t one of them. “It really hurt,” she says, clearly trying to suppress the bitter memory. “It affected my self-esteem as a woman. It was a very bad time for my mum and me… I guess she was trying to help me move on. She said, ‘Forget him. He made you happy at that point and now it’s just not working. Just leave him.’”
“As far as I was concerned, the man is still my man, so I don’t know who all these women are,” she says laughing out loud. “I loved him, but eventually, I just had to leave him. It was too much. I was frustrated at a point, and I was embarrassed. I was in UNILAG where everyone knew we were together and the next thing, two people are about to have babies for him. It was embarrassing,” she says with a glum look on her face as she recalls those trying times. “I was humiliated so many times because of him.”
Annie is quick to dispel the popular notion that she sat around waiting for him. “I didn’t really wait for Innocent. I had other relationships too that somehow didn’t work out because I really loved him,” she says. “And Innocent always came back to distract my relationships! He’s not forceful but somehow he would just find his way back into my life.”
Then came the second set of kids, for the same baby mamas and Annie really thought that this time, they were done for good.
“We’ve made up and broken up so many times, I’ve lost count. The longest we broke up was for about a year and a half, after the second set of kids,” she clarifies. But as fate would have it, this ‘made for TV romance’ had another twist in the tale: Annie herself would be baby mama number three, bearing his fifth child, their daughter Isabelle. “My baby was not planned but I was with him before all the other women. So if I was trying to trap him, I would have trapped him a long time ago. When I told him, he was like, ‘Are you for real?’” she laughs. Her birth would force the two back into each other’s lives on a permanent basis, but not as lovers as she once thought.
“One night, he drove to my house in Ajah around 2.00am and started apologizing. I just told him ‘Innocent, I don’t think you’re sure of what you’re saying. Maybe you’re going through a phase right now and you need me to console you, but don’t tell me because you are hurting right now, you want to be with me again?’ He agreed and said we should just see how it goes. His baby mama was already pregnant with his youngest child when all this happened so I knew that already.”
Annie figures he came back after he realized she was fine without him. She got her own place for herself and her daughter, focused on her acting career, scoring back to back movie roles that had her on location a lot, and just became her own woman. “I knew I still loved him, but because I love you no mean say I no want good for myself,” she rationalizes. “So he knew I wasn’t waiting for him. I sat for a while, but I left. People don’t know about that part, that I left. I wasn’t happy but I tried to be. December 31st, 2011, I was done praying about him. My prayer was: “God this is a New Year. I just want a man who is going to love my child more than he even loves me; I want to get married and I just want to get over that guy; that’s all I want.”
In February of 2012, ‘that guy’ proposed. “I didn’t see it coming. We were cool, when I said this prayer, we were on speaking terms but we weren’t together. I could feel something because he was really coming stronger than he ever did, but I just felt he was coming again to hurt me and go, so I was not paying attention. But I’ve loved him from day one and will love him till I die,” she says quietly, almost to herself.
“A lot of people thought I was stupid. Even my mum was tired of me. But when I’m with Innocent, I just feel like…” she pauses as if looking for the words, “Because you’re on the outside, you never would understand, but when I looked in his eyes, I just knew he genuinely loved me. I’m not saying he never cared about the other women but I just knew in my heart that he loved me. I could see it in his eyes. Somehow, I just felt that he was my soul mate because even when I was with other people my friends thought were better than him, I just didn’t have that peace of mind. I know this sounds crazy because there are other baby mamas, but the truth is that I have peace of mind with this man. I’m happy, I’m settled.”
It is 2017, and it seems Annie is still happy and settled.
I am so excited for her and look forward to more days of joy for the couple!!