2Baba… Ascension of a plantashun boy

2Baba at the Campari home in Italy.

2Baba at the Campari home in Italy.

The Campari Connection

There is no questioning Campari’s flag bearer, Innocent Idibia’s credibility in the music industry. From his humble days as a member of the defunct group Plantashun Boyz, his vocals held promises of a brighter future. Of course, there was no clairvoyant to predict whose star will shine brightest when the group broke up in 2004. It was only a matter of time before 2Face (then) resurfaced in the music industry like a phoenix.

He released his first album Face 2 Face, launching his solo career under Kennis Music Label. Though his hit track Nfana Ibanga recorded huge success, the track that threw him to limelight and also shows the existing bond between him and his lovely wife Annie Idibia was African Queen, which soon became his moniker all over the world. The 11-track album recorded a monumental success with over 2 million copies sold.

In 2006, 2Baba released his second album Grass 2 Grace. Like the previous album, the sophomore had the embellishments of success. It featured tracks such as See me so, true love and others. This album testified of 2Face’s creativity and versatility. It sold a million copies in its first week and earned him a global spot.

His fame did not wane. Each album released was another milestone reached. His last album Ascension released in 2014 marked a new beginning for the artiste. The first major change was his stage name. He chose to be identified as 2Baba, a sign of maturity.

His meteoric success throughout the years made him a top brand any company would want to associate with. What really makes 2Baba a promising brand goes beyond his vocals. It is the kind of music he makes, the passion he infuses in them, his level of creativity and versatility, his ability to maintain relevance across generations, but more important, the social consciousness his music evokes. He may not be the Fela of this generation, but he adequately plays a vital role in social activism.

A peculiar case is his partnership with Enough is Enough organisation prior to the general elections held last year. Through that platform, he led the #VoteNotFight campaign. Away from his musical career, Idibia revealed the businessman in him when he opened his club Rumours in Festac town. But that’s not all. He is also the CEO of Hypertek entertainment. Last year, his net worth was calculated to $22.5 million.

On April 20th, at the 4th edition of the Nigerian Entertainment Conference, 2Baba was announced as the Campari Ambassador for Nigeria. A first of its kind, not a few punched their calculator to determine the worth of the endorsement deal. It was revealed that 2Baba was the preferred choice in a robust list of African celebrities, a feat worth celebrating.

Campari, a household name in Nigeria for over 150 years is known for its universal appeal- a trait the Head of Marketing Brian Munro, Abayomi Ajao was quick to point out at the unveiling.

“We are very proud to announce this deal with a wonderful gentleman who is a great brand in his own right. We were particular about partnering with 2face because he embodies the values that the Campari brand represents – originality, passion, maturity and universal appeal. It is a mutually beneficial relationship and we can’t wait to start working with each other,” he said.

Since the signing of the endorsement deal, 2Baba has been representing the brand beyond publicity images. In June, lucky winners of his Trip and Treat social media competition for his Buckwyld and Breathless concert as well as Campari’s Dare to Mix Promo had the time of their lives in Kenya. The winners had a great taste of Nairobi when they went on Safari at the Nairobi National Park and also witnessed the Campari Senator’s phenomenal concert, which was adjust the best in the city.

On that same trip, the Kenya’s tourism board named his visit as the best celebrity visit in the country for the year.

Another milestone was achieved recently when 2Baba became the first African ambassador of the brand o visit the home of the renowned Italian legendary inventor and Tycoon Gaspare Campari.

At first, he teased his fans with pictures of him in Milan, creating a buzz on his visit, particularly as he was expected back in the country after The Voice Nigeria finale where he was a judge.

Accompanied by his friend and manager of many years, Efe Omorogbe, Campari Head of Marketing Abayomi Ajao and public relations expert, Ayeni Adekunle, 2Baba joins the likes of Salma Hayek, Kate Hudson, Eva Green, Penelope Cruz, Milla Jovovich, Benicio Del Toro, Eva Mendez that have either paid a visit or participated in signature Campari activities.

The sprawling property is home to two generations of Campari. The property’s reputation dates back to the 1860s when liqueur was first brewed. It was a popular bar called the Caffe Campari and also the first in the city. Today, the edifice is transformed to a colossal Campari global headquarters, housing corporate offices, a multi-purpose venue, first-class museum, and an academy.

2Baba was given a tour round the city and visited the popular Campari Galleria where iconic designs from global artists decorated the rooms. He also had the opportunity to invent his own cocktail ‘Implication Shekarito’ after being taught by experts. He was a participant in a workshop at the Campari Academy.

The trip makes a historical one for 2Baba, whose journey to stardom was marked with firsts. He sees the visit to Milan as a continuation of his relationship with the iconic brand and also with the continent where he won his first MTV European Music Awards 11 years ago. Campari on its part showcased its universal appeal with this trip, positioning itself as an iconic brand made for only legends.

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