Innocent Idibia, aka Tubaba, has been a superstar for more than two decades, yet his fans can’t have enough of him. Recently he was honoured with the award of the fellow of the Department of Music, Obafemi Awolowo University Ile-Ife. In this Interview with NEHRU ODEH he speaks about why he was honoured, what the award entails and how he has been able to remain relevant in the Nigerian music industry.
Congratulations on your recent award as a fellow of the Department of music, Obafemi Awolowo University. How do you feel?
I feel good. I feel very blessed. I feel grateful. I feel so much gratitude. It was a dream when we started this thing. It’s massive now. It gives me great joy and happiness and gratitude to know that people have been observing and have given me this honour to let me know that Guy, we dey see you since and we respect wetin you dey do. So it gives great pleasure and happiness. I thank everybody.
You have really achieved great feats in the music industry. Did you e envisage that oneday you will be made a fellow of the department of music and honoured this way?
You know sometimes you dream, you see stuff but you know reality is still real. When we started, the aim and the dream was to make something out of it, go somewhere, grow with it and make a good mark. As it is unfolding, you just thank God that people are actually recognizing, people are actually paying attention, people are actually appreciating what you do. That is the best feeling anybody, any musician can get, to feel that people are actually appreciating and respecting your works.
What does being made a fellow of the department entail?
First of all, like now, now, nobody fit talk say I no finish school again (laughs). So I mean, every once in a while I get to go to the school and deliver some lectures and stuff. We fit start to dey sell handout sef. You know that kind thing. Mr Lecturer (laughs). But that is basically it, and just being a good ambassador of the peoe that believe in you. I donated a recording studio and I hope they learn from it. I hope it helps. It’s a whole lot of music theatre. The other thing that it entails is, like I said, to be a good ambassador, to just come and exchange your knowledge once in a while with young guys and girls in the school.
You’ve been on the music scene for more than two decades now. And you are still very relevant. How have you being able to be relevant, to still be on top of your game and l compete favourably with younger artistes?
I think it is just by special grace, and the music, the fans keep you alive. I tried to give my fans music that they would say this music he set, he tight, we enjoy am. And that keeps them alive. And it keeps me alive. And we are happy ever after. I still push myself. I still work and still know that there is a whole lot I can still achieve. And then I just keep my head straight. I respect everybody, as I dey respect myself.
When is the digital studio going to start functioning?
In a couple of months’ time. Like three months or there about. I can’t really say. I mean na the people go dey work na dem go know .
Are you going to make sure that another Tubaba comes out of that project?
I hope so. That’s the reason. I hope a whole lot of young guys use it and make something out of it