2 Face Idibie @ London02: Came, saw and stole some hearts

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Last Sunday, November 6, 2011 has come and gone as another day and as a  night of great fun to remember forever.

Nigerian hip-hop star, Mr Innocent Ugah Idibia came saw and conquered as he thrilled his fans and well-wishers at the Indigo2 in London, putting down a cemented foot mark on the psyche of thousands of fans. It was a well accomplished show extravaganza with the audience departing with lots of memorable notes to savor forever.

Tuface Idibia as he is popularly known to his fans and friends from every corner of the world did his best to justify the ticket fees paid by his fans. Though he only played for roughly three hours but it was a good music show for the night.

At the box office, it was £28 for ‘Downstairs Standing’ but £20 if pre-booked online before the day. My eyes later saw another £40 ticket which I  learnt it was for  ‘Upstairs Sitting’ or maybe VIP.I am not a ‘real fan’ of hip-hop music but I love any good music in any language to relax myself.

My good friend, Mr Lashley Oladigbolu, UK-based PR/Media consultant informed me of Tuface’s show and also passionately encouraged me to attend the show. “My brother,we can’t stay at home during this festive period, let’s go to Indigo2 to watch Tuface Idibia. You’ll really enjoy it”.

Mr Oladigbolu persuaded me and his words sank into my brain.We got to the venue and many people were already at the place to listen to the hip-hop music of Mr Idibia.

I was about to buy my ticket for the show when I felt one strange hand tapping me from the back and said:,”What are you doing here Mr Dare Lasisi?”.I looked at the person, it turned out to be another wonderful childhood friend, Mr Easy Solanke. He dipped his hand into his back pocket and ‘manufactured’ a free ticket when I told him I was just planning to buy my ticket.

I was really impressed by his unexpected kind gesture and my deep heart prayed for him.I just kept my £28 in my pocket instead of spending it for Tuface’s music concert!

As I was going to enter the hall,my eyes caught the sight of some people shielding around somebody and my journalistic instinct compelled me to ‘giraffe’ my neck to see the personality. I squeezed my body through the crowd and my eyes saw Mr. John Ikechukwu Okafor (popularly known as Mr Ibu).

He  is a notable Nollywood actor and eccentric comedian par excellence. Mr Okafor is unquestionably one of Nigeria’s most talented comic characters.He is best known for his humorous acting which is often characterised by incredible stupidity, hilarious imbecility and a sharp disconnection from reality.

Mr Ibu was busy entertaining some people whom I assumed(either wrongly or rightly!) could not have afforded to pay the ticket price to the venue due to obvious reasons.

They were just loitering around the area with no readiness to enter the hall. Mr John Okafor was dishing out rib-cracking jokes to the extent that the ‘outsiders’ were not even interested in entering the hall to see Tuface performing as they were all carried away with his brand of comedy.

He was a fantastic tension soother and reliever as his comedy not only came as a soothing balm to warm the nerves of people outside the hall but also to act as ‘verbal warm blanket’ as they were all standing in the cold.

It was not an easy task  to gate-crash at this well-secured venue as stern-looking security officers were battle-ready to prevent any ticket-less person from gaining entrance and under-cover police and security officers are on regular patrol of the 02 Arena.

Mr Ibu,the eccentric Nigerian comic genius was the center of attraction at the Indigo2, the 02 Arena in London before and after the music concert of hip-hop star Tuface Idibia on Sunday,6th Nov,2011! He was at his best outside the venue as if acting on stage, he is a natural comedian in the class of late American comedian Richard Pryor and British Mr Bean.

Mr Ibu broke the first ice in pidgin English when he said:’you people no dey try visit Nigeria at all, you just dey for London dey enjoy.

One of the guys instantly replied him: “We don’t have valid travel document to come back to Nigeria,that is the main reason.’ The comic genius gazed at him as if to give him a hard knock in the head but his comical aura later betrayed his emotions.

Mr Ibu then stated further,’even if you have any valid travel document or British passport  but if you wish to visit Nigeria,please don’t visit your village or stay too close to your relations.I can confidently tell you that most of them are evil people,they are jealous of you all but they might just be pretending because of some pounds sterling or London items collected from you on a regular basis.please stay in Lagos,just look for a cool place and live a low-profile life.Don’t show too much wealth.”

We all laughed at his ‘straight-from-the heart’ admonition while another man also joked that when he came to Nigeria about five months ago;he tried all his possible best to locate Mr Ibu in Lagos.The comedian replied him as if they were not in good terms as ‘best of enemies’:”Why you dey look for me in Lagos?You be kidnapper or you be footballer or maybe you’re the tallest man in Lagos state,abeg make you no dey tell me long story?”

I was deriving not only fun but some naked truth from Mr Ibu’s comedy as my mind was really fixed to his ‘comical sermon’.Suddenly I just heard Tuface’s music piercing through my ears.I quickly dialogued with my legs to make use of Mr Solanke’s free ticket.

I passed through security checks and walked to the ‘Downstairs Standing’ but I was later informed(or mis-informed?) by another friend that my ‘free ticket’ allowed me to stand or sit anywhere in the hall.I then decided to go upstairs where two large television flat screens were provided to see the hip-hop star’s performance at a closer range and since nobody restricted my movement!I sat down to enjoy Tuface’s brand of hip-hop music as best as I could. ‘All work and no play makes Jack a dull boy’ as the English saying goes.

Music producer and gospel singer,Kenny St Brown was also at the event to give moral support to Mr Innocent ‘Tuface’ Idibia.I also met another notable Nollywood star,Mr Segun Arinze who sat next row to mine.Kenny was dancing to all the best-selling tracks of Tuface but her ever-charming smile was highly contagious to people that sat around her.Tuface musically set the place ‘on fire’ when he re-mixed and sang 9ice’s Street Credibility’s track.To be candid,apart from Tuface that brilliantly ruled the night with his superb performance of hip-hop music,Mr Ibu nearly ‘hijacked’ the show from Mr Tuface Idibia as his numerous fans swarmed around him,asking for photo opportunity and autographs.Let’s all pretend this event was a football match,from all indications,Mr Ibu was unarguably the ‘Man of the match’ and a frontline Nigerian comedian.

We later learnt that Mr Tuface Idibia had ‘escaped’ through the ‘back door’ as soon as he pronounced ‘goodbye and thank you’ to friends,fans and well-wishers that came out for the show despite the freezing weather.I was expecting Mr Tuface Idibia to meet some of his fans and well-wishers who were patiently waiting for him outside the hall for photo opportunities,but he disappointed.

Special appreciation for our one and only comic genius,Mr Ibu for cracking uncommon jokes with fellow Nigerians that came out for the show.You really lifted our spirit with your brand of comedy as you professionally thrilled us beyond imagination.We all paid nothing for this ‘free-of-charge’ comedy therapy from the stables of Mr John Ikechukwu Okafor.

Thank you once again Mr Ibu!


Reported by Dare Lasisis
EMNnews reporter/columnist