YOU spent more time outside the country in 2008; was it a deliberate act?
Tuface: Yes, I was away most of the time. I really would not say it was pre-planned, but it was due to so many people wanting to see me in different parts of the world. So I had to be there.
Were you running away from stiff competition or the artistes that were springing up here and there (at home)?
Tuface: I am not part of any competition so I can‘t be running away. Competition is good. It helps you better your act. So if I am to run away from anything, it definitely would not be that. I don‘t see myself competing with anybody. Dey fit dey overthrow themselves, me I no follow anybody rub shoulder.
But you know a king cannot rule forever?
Tuface: Anybody talk say I be king? I am Tuface Idibia, I am on my own.
During your sojourn, was the response any different from what obtains in Nigeria?
Tuface: It was nice, I must confess. I was in the Caribbean, Australia, (and other parts of) Africa.
It is not enough performing in these countries, how well is your album doing out there?
Tuface: So far I am yet to organise my distribution overseas, so I‘m not making sales in the real sense of the word. Most of the copies you get there are the ones private individuals bought from Nigeria and took over there. I am working at putting up a proper distribution channel.
The foreign shows must pay better?
Tuface: There is really not much difference. It‘s not everywhere though. In some parts of the world, I get what you people term big money.
Which of these countries did you perceive the largest fan base?
Tuface: Hmm, that must have been the Caribbean – Barbados, Jamaica.
Is that one of the reasons you featured Shaka Demos ‘N‘ the Pliers in your new album?
Tuface: Yeah, that is also part of it. Nigeria is ripe for such collabos.
I see a lot of collabos with foreign artistes…
Tuface: I‘m still out for my Nigerian fans. It‘s not about ditching them. I just wanted to do something that would appeal to both ends.
Apart from African Queen, which of your songs is quite popular out there?
Tuface: If Love is a Crime, True Love and I think, One Love.
Do you still consider leaving Kennis Music to float your own label a timely decision?
Tuface: Since I left them, I have not released an album until now. I have been doing concerts and working on other things. Now that I have released an album, in a few months, I should be able to measure my level of success. Between when I left and now, I have received the World Music Award and the Africa Australia Music Award. So you be the judge if I‘m doing well or not. Some Nigerians just wake up one morning and say rubbish. They don‘t care how long you have been at one place doing your thing.
Can you restate the reason/s why you left Kennis?
Tuface: The only reason is growth on my own part.
While with them, did you feel your development was hampered in any way?
Tuface: No, it was not, but you know as a human being, you want to be liberated from certain things. You want to be your own man, experience a few things all by yourself. I don‘t want to be spoon-fed all the time. There is more to life than that. I really don‘t care if I make mistakes; I will learn from it and not sit and cry over it. Now nobody will clean up the spilt milk for me. I must tell you, I have a brotherly relationship with them. No fight, no regrets. We still do some things together; they still get shows for me, but it is not like I am still with Kennis.
In 2008 also, aside from your career, your women and babies also made news, I mean three mothers, five kids successively…
Tuface: The public made a great feast out of my private life and that is because I did not pretend about all the happenings in it. People can talk about an incident, but it is horrifying when it becomes malicious and negative. Then you know there is a motive behind it beyond the fact that one girl is pregnant for Tuface. I love my kids and I do not want to be crucified for having them. Of course kids are beautiful gifts from God so why should I refuse them? I don‘t want these kids to suffer because of what you or the next person feels. They have come, they have come and there is nothing I can do about it. The only thing I can do is show them immeasurable love. In case you do not know, my children give me so much joy. My eyes glisten when I see them or hear their voices. Imagine how much joy the five of them give me. It‘s enough to last me forever.
If you are privileged to live another life, will you still do things the same way?
Tuface: E for fit still happen the same way oh, I no know. Na only God know.
Have you ever thought of the kids who are looking up to you as a role model?
Tuface: That‘s true oh. I understand you. Wetin I go talk now. I‘m not going to start killing myself. I just want to show my kids love and respect their mothers. I apologise to those I have disappointed, those that look up to me. I no tell anybody say na me holy pass but anybody wey no fit live the way I dey live make e no follow me do as I do. All these other artistes, I just want them to learn from me. Now I am their scapegoat.
Were the pregnancies planned?
Tuface: What do you think? They were of course.
So you were thinking when you did it?
Tuface: Yes, not just once but twice. The same people, so what does that tell you?
I don‘t know. Why don‘t you tell me?
Tuface: The same people carry belle for one person two times, reason it.
Are we expecting the third set of pregnancies?
Tuface: Don‘t expect the third one from anybody, e don do me like that.
So you are not looking at having anymore kids?
Tuface: I have hung my boots.
When are you getting married?
Tuface: Very soon; possibly 2009.
Will it be any of your babies‘ mamas?
Pero Adeniyi has been labelled the enfant terrible among your women. What is the present state of her relationship with your mum?
pictured above Pero
Tuface: That is one issue that really hurts me the most. As I told you, when people write about me that I have a child some where, they do it with a malicious intent which is to mess me up. They do not restrict their stories to me; they go ahead and involve innocent family members that do not even have a hand on the issue. If they want to destroy me, fine, but when they decide to they should know those people to leave out. The whole thing is demoralising. It sends me into an abyss of sadness. I don‘t want to talk about it.
If you choose to keep sealed lips, you are only leaving room for more talk.
Tuface: Accepted, both families do not like the fact that we are having kids out of wedlock. No family would smile at that, so it is nothing unusual that I and Pero‘s families are not glad. The deed has been done; the kids are here and we are concentrating our energy on caring for them. All that talk is bullshit.
How did you pull off the collabo with R Kelly?
Tuface: The meeting between R Kelly and I was facilitated by Mr. Toyin Subair of HiTV. He produced the beats which he sent to me. It‘s not like we were in the studio together, but we met. He invited me to his concert and tours, but I could not make all. I‘m doing all these collabos because Naija music has come a long way, so this is one of the ways we can further emblazon our coming of age.
Do you have other artistes on your record label?
Tuface: There is Rock Steady and Mallam Spicy is about coming on board. We are avoiding taking on too many people.
Will Unstoppable measure up to your previous albums?
Tuface: Unstoppable is on its own, it‘s come to stay. It‘s just basically a combination of different tunes and feel good songs, spiritual songs.
Will you be spending more time in Nigeria in 2009?
Tuface: It‘s a two-way thing. My usual travels but I will be here also.
Why did you decide to float an NGO for kids?
Tuface: I think that is the foundation, the beginning when you can mould these minds into desirable characters. Above that, I think it’s service to humanity.
I heard you visited Liberia not too long ago.
Tuface: That is true. It was the Liberia Unite against AIDS, a concert. I was there with Aki and Paw Paw. We visited a few orphanages. I also performed at a show at the stadium in Liberia. It was a massive one.
Sometimes ago, you were criticised for shooting a video wearing the national colours of Ghana.
Tuface: I have come to realise that some people cannot see beyond their noses. Their thoughts are limited therefore, they react at the spur of the moment. So what if I am wearing a Ghanaian tee shirt? Everyone knows I am a Nigerian. After all, Snoop went to Brazil to shoot a video and wore the country‘s national colours, did anybody crucify him?
America is up there. It would be nice for you to project Nigeria.
Tuface: My sister don‘t worry, I will wear Togo for the next video. It is just one love for Africa, not that I am trying to disrespect Nigeria.
Why do you think there are a lot of misconceptions about you?
Tuface: I no know oh. I am me, dey try live my life and I do not interfere in anybody‘s business. Many people are trying to make me not to be friendly, but they won‘t succeed in changing me. I‘m beginning to get suspicious of everybody around me. Forget what anybody says, you see those children of mine, they will be multipliers of joy and blessings in my life.
How is Unstoppable doing in the market?
Tuface: I don‘t want to think about that just a yet, but I am being told over a million copies have been sold. The assessment is usually done after three months, so let‘s keep our fingers crossed.
What is Hypertek FC all about?
Tuface: I put together a football team. It is just a group of boys, like 27 in my hood at FESTAC. You know I used to play football for fun. I have been sponsoring these boys solely for a year now, trying to keep them out of trouble. One of them was just called up to junior team of AC Milan.
Why are you restricting enrolment to FESTAC?
Tuface: You are getting it wrong. These are the number of boys I can cater for now. If I get sponsors to partner with, I will be able to take in more boys. I recognise the fact that talents abound everywhere
Omg! That is all we can say! Never mind us, in our follow up section, we will reveal who his bride to be really is! What do you say ?