It was yet another day of honour for the Nigerian music icon, Innocent Idiba popularly known by his stage name, Tuface. The honour came from a most distinguished quarter – the Ivory Tower. On Tuesday, May 10, the multiple award winning African Queen crooner was decorated with a Master of Arts (Honoris Causa) degree by the first private university in Nigeria, Igbinedion University.
Clad in a colourful academic robe and accompanied by his actress wife, Annie, Tuface received the award from no less a person than the highly respected Esama of Benin kingdom and founder of the institution, Chief Gabriel Osawaru Igbinedion.
There was wild ovation across the convocation arena of the University at Okada, the moment the Benue State – born singer mounted the podium to make his speech. A highly elated Tuface showered encomiums on the management and academic staff of the university. He particularly exalted the founder, chief Igbinedion with a line from of his hit tracks: “Right now I dey feel like Esama-o-o-o o. He used the occasion to appeal to the students and the entire youths of Edo State to ensure proper conduct during the up coming elections in the state. “I will use this opportunity to ask the youths of Edo State to shun violence. I am using this opportunity to launch the “Vote, Not Fight” campaign in Edo State. I want you guys to maintain your heads and don’t allow anybody use you for violence during this elections,” he concluded.
Tuface’s award appears quite significant. In the academic world, it is common place to bestow dignitaries celebrities and other personalities with honorary doctorate degrees. But that of M.A. (Honoris Causa) seems like something of a novelty. But that of Sunny Ade, Chief Ebenezer Obey, the late “Africa Lady of Songs,” Christy Essien – Igbokwe are notable stars from the entertainment industry who won honorary doctorate degrees.