Celebrity Entertainment

Banky W (Olubankole Wellington): Biography and Net Worth (2024)

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Banky W
Written by Omolola Akinyemi

Amongst the league of famous Nigerian music artists, one particular man stands out for many reasons. He is clearly one of the most successful musicians in the R&B, Soul and Afro-pop music genres. He has a smooth, soothing, romantic voice; so appealing, and good at rendering love songs and compelling stage performances. He is a power dresser – almost always decked up either in sharp, professional garb or other stylish attire. Who else can sweep the ladies off their feet with such an appearance? It is no other than famous singer Banky W, otherwise called ‘Mr. Capable’.

He has the iconic skin-cut head, sharp-looking mustache and beard – supremely clean-cut. With a killer smile; and oftentimes wearing sunglasses to complete the elite look. And not surprisingly, Banky W is also a skilled orator and Master of Ceremonies. Let’s go down memory lane to unveil how famous Nigerian singer, rapper, actor, politician, and media executive, Banky W, rose to stardom.

About Banky W: His Background

Banky W is one of the not-so-many Nigerians lucky to have a dual US-Nigerian citizenship, in addition to a multicultural parenthood. Born Olubankole Wellington in March 1981, he was born in the city of New York in the USA. His father hails from Badagry in Lagos State. While his mother is a native of Calabar in Cross Rivers State. Banky W has four siblings (three brothers and a sister). His sister is reported to be a co-founder of The Urban Marketplace Showcases and Events.

Banky W and his family moved back to Lagos, Nigeria when he was 5 years old. He was enrolled in Corona Primary School. From there, he embarked on his secondary education at Home Science Association Secondary School, and later at Ajao Secondary School. All three schools are located in Lagos. Thereafter, he returned to the USA to further his studies. Banky W obtained a degree in Industrial Engineering at the Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute, New York on a scholarship.

In spite of his academic leanings, Banky W’s heart was set for a future career in music right from youth. He was just 8 years old when he became an active member of his church’s choir. He took his passion for music serious enough in high school to win a musical title named Albany Idol

And while he was still in his junior years at the Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute, he began to compose, record and produce songs. In fact, Banky W set up his own record label namely Empire Mates Entertainment (E.M.E.) while working for another firm, Globalspec, in 2002. Meanwhile, he was still in graduate college. 

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Banky W: Stepping into the Nigerian Music Industry

In 2009, Banky W returned to Lagos to establish his already-existing record label. He proceeded to sign up and promote music artistes such as Niyola, Wizkid, Shaydee, and Skales. But he would not ignore exploring his own music passion. 

Thus, Banky W released his debut studio album titled Back in the Building in 2006. The album featured his first hit single ‘Ebute Metta’, amongst other popular tracks. Yet again, he wrote the first theme song of erstwhile Nigerian telecom firm, Etisalat Nigeria titled ‘0809ja for life’.

And he steadily continued to garner patronage and fans all over the country, with the increasing popularity of his music. Banky W went ahead to release other successful music albums such as Mr. Capable (2008), The W Experience (2009), R&BW (2013), and Songs About You (2017), amongst others. He was able to organize the successful launch of his album, R&BW on February 15, 2013. The concert tagged ‘The Grand Love Concert’ was held at the Civic Centre, Victoria Island in Lagos. The colourful concert hosted popular music artists, which included Waje and Iyanya.

The renowned R&B singer has released popular singles over time, which include the following:

 

  • Heaven
  • Made for You
  • Say
  • Love U Baby
  • Yes/No
  • All I want is You
  • Whatchu Doing Tonight
  • Strong Ting
  • Lagos Party
  • Jasi
  • Blessing Me
  • Till My Dying Day
  • Final Say
  • Kololo
  • My Regret
  • High Notes
  • Running After U
  • Gidi Love
  • Low Key
  • Don’t Break My Heart
  • Made for U
  • Good Good Loving
  • Unborn Child
  • Feeling It
  • Omoge You Too Much
  • Mercy
  • Talk and Do
  • Better for U
  • Do it to Me
  • Baddest Boy
  • Selense
  • Mi Re Do
  • Jaiye Orimi
  • Destiny
  • Jo

Banky W also featured in the songs ‘Cash Only’ and ‘Onyeuwaoma’ in 2016. Furthermore, he released other music projects such as Undeniable EP (2003),  Songs About U Playlist (2017), and a compilation album titled Empire Mates State of Mind (2012).

in February 2018, Banky W made an announcement that his company, E.M.E. would cease to operate as a record label. Rather, the company was rebranded into a talent management company. E.M.E’s key operations would henceforth cover creative marketing, brand events, advertising, and public relations. The rebranded firm had among its first clients, the famous On-Air personalities Ebuka Obi-Uchendu and  Tolu ‘Toolz’ Oniru; along with DJ Xclusive, and his wife Adesua Etomi.

Banky W’s Entry into the Nigerian Movie Industry

Banky W quickly recognized his strong flair for acting as well. Thus, the singer went ahead to study filmmaking and screenwriting courses at the New York Film Academy.

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And ever since then, Banky W has produced and directed a good number of music videos and television adverts. He has also starred in key acting roles in well-known TV series and Nollywood movies. They include Nollywood films such as The Wedding Party, The Wedding Party 2, Up North, The Return of Jenifa, Dulce Dinero, and Sugar Rush.  He also featured in the TV series, MNet’s Jacob’s Cross and MTV’s Shuga.

Banky W: Endorsements and Other Endeavours

It does not come as a surprise that Banky W, with his many talents, has landed several notable endorsement deals over the years. They include deals with the following top Nigerian brands:  Samsung, Etisalat, Coca-Cola, Uber, Airtel, Microsoft, Ciroc Vodka, TomTom, MTN, amongst others. 

Additionally, he is a skilled motivational speaker and Master of Ceremonies. Banky W has anchored high-profile shows (such as the Gulder Ultimate Search Celebrity Show) and delivered exceptional speeches at special events.

Banky W is also very active in philanthropy. Just to mention, he set up the ‘I AM CAPABLE’ scholarship fund. The aim is to provide for needy Nigerian students in higher institutions (within  and outside Nigeria). He also sponsored the treatment of 25 cancer patients, with the collaboration of the Pink Oak Cancer Trust.

Banky W’s Net Worth (2024)

Banky W is said to be amongst the top 20 richest musicians in Africa. His net worth is estimated to be about 12.5 million US Dollars (as of 2024). 

Banky W: His Many Awards

The renowned R&B singer is a recipient of numerous music awards. The impressive list is as shown below.

  • John Lennon Song Writing Award (2006): Winner, R&B Category, for the song ‘My Regret’.
  • Nigerian Entertainment Awards (2006): Best R&B Artiste
  • Urban Independent Music Awards, USA (2006): Best Male R&B Artiste
  • Nigeria Entertainment Awards (2007): Best International Single of the Year
  • Nigerian Entertainment Awards (2008): Best International Album for the song ‘Mr Capable’
  • Nigerian Music Video Awards (2008): Best R&B Video for the song ‘Don’t Break my Heart’
  • Hip Hop World Awards (The Headies, 2008): Best Male Vocal Performance
  • Hip Hop World Awards (2010): R&B Single of the Year for the song  ‘Strong Ting’.
  • City People Entertainment Awards (2010): Best R&B Singer (Male); Best Music Video 
  • Sound City Music Video Awards (2010): Best Music Video (Male)
  • Sound City Music Video Awards (2010): Best R&B Singer
  • Channel O Music Video Awards (2011): Most Gifted R&B Video (Male)
  • The Future Awards (2011): Musician of the Year
  • The Headies Awards (2013): Best R&B Single
  • Awesome Awards (2015): Music Entrepreneur of the Year
  • The Urban Marketplace (2016): Artist of the Year
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Banky W’s Involvement in Politics

Banky W took interest in politics, beginning in February 2019. That year, Banky W canvassed for a seat in the Federal House of Representatives to represent Eti-Osa Local Government of Lagos State. He was the flag bearer of the Modern Democratic Party. However, he lost the seat to Babajide Obanikoro of the All Progressives Party (APC). Nevertheless, Banky W secured victory in two polling units at Eti-Osa LGA, which encouraged him to prepare for the next election cycle. 

As the 2023 Presidential elections drew near, Banky W joined the People’s Democratic Party (PDP) and was nominated to contest. Once again, he vied to represent Eti-Osa Federal Constituency of Lagos in Nigeria’s House of Representatives. But Attah Thaddeus of the Labour Party won the seat. The INEC election results caused some uproar, as it was rejected by party agents (who insisted it was flawed). But like a true patriot, Banky W accepted the results and was thankful for all the support

Banky W’s Personal Life

The celebrated R&B singer is currently married to ace Nigerian actress, Adesua Etomi. They got married in 2017; and they are blessed with a son named Isaiah.  

There are unconfirmed rumours that Banky W fathered a daughter with Nigerian model, Uche Odoh (his ex-girlfriend). 

The singer was also diagnosed with skin cancer, sometime around 2007. Thankfully, he underwent a successful skin surgery in 2017.

 

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About the author

Omolola Akinyemi

A Computer Science graduate of UNILAG, I hail from Ekiti state of Nigeria. An astute teacher, learner & admin assistant of many years experience. I love technology, innovation, and Nature. A problem solving mentality is important to me. The future is only seconds away, and I believe I can define the future now. You can also.