Olubankole Wellington known by his stage name Banky W is
a singer, songwriter, actor, and entrepreneur. He is an accomplished artiste and built a music empire that produced internationally acclaimed artiste like Wizkid.
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Banky W Background
Banky W was born on the 27th of March, 1981 in United State to the family of George Bankole Wellington but his family moved to Lagos, Nigeria when he was 5 years old. He started singing in his church choir at a tender age.
Banky W completed his primary and secondary education in Nigeria. After secondary school, Banky W moved to United States of America for his tertiary education. He studied Industrial Engineering at Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute, New York on scholarship. While in college, he started his record label E.M.E and even featured and won numerous musical competitions in college. Banky W married Adesua Etomi, a Nigerian actress in 2017. He has four siblings; a sister and three brothers. His sister is the co-founder of The Urban Marketplace(TUM) Showcases and Events.
Banky W’s Entrepreneurial Journey
Like we mentioned, Banky’s love for the entertainment industry started when he was just a little boy. Even though he was studying Industrial Engineering in school, he did not resist the urge of feeding his passion. Of course just like
we have always emphasised here, it takes a person of strong will to follow through with his passion. Which is what played out with Banky W when he decided to start Empire Mates Entertainment (E.M.E) with his friend Tunde Demuren in 2002 while in college. Empire Mates Entertainment (E.M.E.) commenced operation in Albany, New York, United States before it was moved down to Lagos in 2008. The company is headquartered in Ikeja, Lagos, Nigeria. It was envisioned as a platform for Banky W’s music and other signed artiste. The label grew and was home to music stars like Wizkid, Skales, Niyola and Shaydee. Some of the producers associated with the record label are Masterkraft, Jaysleek, Cobhams Asuquo and others.
After many years, Banky W with his partner, Tunde Demuren decided to shut down the record label aspect of E.M.E. and pivoted to a full-fledged media and management agency. They are now focused on creative marketing, advertising, PR, brand events/activation and talent management. This restructuring means that they are not restricted to musicians alone. They now work with OAP’s, Actors, Brands and are evaluating sports management as well. Their goal is to find talents and brands they believe in, partner with them and make them more successful. They also shoot TVC’s and documentaries as great as they shoot music videos. The company is projecting itself as the one stop shop for the marriage between corporate Africa and Entertainment. And we can say that E.M.E. is doing an excellent work so far.
Other Notable Interest of Banky W
Banky W is a man of many talents and has featured in MNet TV shows such as Jacob’s Cross, MTV’s Shuga, and some blockbuster Nigerian movies. He loves to know his onion well and be great at what he does. This led him into completing film-making and screenwriting courses at New York Film Academy where he honed his acting and production skills. Since then, he has produced and directed numerous music video and TV adverts. In 2016, he played a lead role in the popular movie ‘The Wedding Party’. The wedding party broke box office records.
Banky W has worked with reputable brands and has participated in numerous corporate marketing campaigns including Etisalat’s 0809ja Launch, Coca-Cola, Airtel, Microsoft, TomTom, Samsung, MTN, and many more. He is the brand ambassador of Samsung, Uber, and Ciroc Vodka. The multi-talented singer and producer is also an accomplished motivational speaker and MC. He has delivered inspiring and powerful speeches at high-profile events like the London Business School’s Africa Summit, TEDxLagos, WIMBIZ. Banky W has also anchored some important events including the Gulder Ultimate Search Celebrity Show Launch, One Africa Music Fest, and others too numerous to mention.
Banky W founded ‘I AM CAPABLE’ scholarship fund, a platform he uses to give back to the society. The foundation provides tuition and other assistance to deserving youths in various tertiary institution in Nigeria and outside Nigeria.
He has played a major role in many charitable initiatives such as Enough is Enough and Light Up Nigeria. Banky W Partnered with the Pink Oak Cancer Trust this year to sponsor the treatment of twenty-five cancer patients.
The multi-talented artiste was part of the #Dream4Naija project with international organisations, USAid and IRI. The project was to encourage youth participation in Nigeria’s political process. He was also involved in #Occupy Nigeria peaceful protest that took place in 2012.
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