It’s taken having five kids from three women for 2face Idibia to show us he’s not exactly as innocent as his name or looks might suggest. But it’s also taken surviving one of the most turbulent careers of this time, for Mr Idibia to show us he’s not just a gifted act who’s found favour with the gods of music; but also a cat with more than nine lives.

Idibia who clocks 35 this September, has survived repeated armed robbery attacks (at least five major ones at the last count, including one, in 2007, when he was shot in his thigh), sustained media bashing following the celebrated multiple pregnancies by his baby-mamas Pero, Annie and Sunmbo, several damaging reports by a segment of the media, questioning the authenticity of his collabos with R.Kelly, and Mary J. Blige, dismal performance of his last album The Unstoppable, and a fall in rating, causing the likes of Psquare and D’Banj to briefly overtake him.

But Idibia is not a quitter. While colleagues with lesser woes have fallen by the road side and given up completely, the singer is not just trudging on; he is fully back on his feet, dusting his pants, and grabbing his mic as he gallops ahead, ears blocked to what naysayers might be broadcasting.

The former Kennis music act seems to be saying: ‘yes I slept with all them women; yes I didn’t use condoms and I seem to have let you all down. Yes you’re not feeling my last album and you’re not even happy I’m switching my music style without getting your permission… but, can we please move on? After all, I’m taking care of the kids; they’re in good schools… I’m not denying them or their mothers and none of my baby mamas is underage… Can you guys please give me another chance and let me feed you with some real good music?’

Then he screamed, ‘In short Okoli, pass me the Poli’.

And he entered the studio; and he brought forth music; real good music. He brought forth ‘Implication’ and ‘Only me’ and few other cuts you’ll soon begin to discover. He brought back the brilliance and beauty in his music. He brought 2face Idibia back to life… All of a sudden, Mr Idibia is making hits again; topping the charts again and getting unreserved love from everyone from Kaura na Moda to Imale’n F’Alafia and Victoria Garden City.

Thanks to his team at Now Muzik and Hypertek, and to Idibia himself, one of our favourite pop stars is now rebuilding one of the most successful and one of the most troubled careers of the past two decades.

As he unveils his first international album later this month, it’ll be a good time to see how far he has gone with the reconstruction; and if, truly, fans are now ready to face him and his music alone, without allowing all the private drama prevent them from giving the man a hug. It’ll be a good time to know whether the success his last single ‘Implication’ has enjoyed is just a fluke; or whether Idibia has fully found favour with fans again.

It’s over 12 years since 2face debuted with the Plantashun Boiz; over six years since his own Solo debut. But on May 21, when he releases ‘The Unstoppable (int’l edition), it’ll look like ‘the bad sharp guy’ is debuting again…

Idibia’s new 13-tracker ‘The Unstoppable (Int’l Edition) is available from May 21