Olubankole “Banky W” Wellington is a multitalented and prolific Singer, Songwriter, Actor, Filmmaker, Businessman and Philanthropist, who has evolved over the years into becoming the most versatile Entertainment and Media Mogul on the continent of Africa.
Mr Wellington grew up in Lagos where he began singing in church at an early age, and upon completion of secondary school, he moved to New York where he earned an Industrial Engineering degree from the very prestigious Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute. While still in college he was featured in and won numerous musical competitions and showcases; this led him to create Empire Mates Entertainment (E.M.E), a company he envisioned as the platform for his music, the music of artistes he would sign and develop, as well as a launching pad for his various other business interests.
Banky’s Solo Music Catalogue consists of an impressive discography spanning over a decade as one of Africa’s most relevant, successful and in-demand musicians. His debut disc ‘Undeniable: The EP’ was released in 2003, and saw him garner an impressive buzz as an independent musician, while winning various local talent competitions. Banky followed that up with his first full album release, called “Back In the Building”; it featured the critically acclaimed stand out single “My Regret”, which helped Banky W receive the John Lennon Song Songwriting Award in the R&B Category, as well as multiple wins at the Nigerian Entertainment Awards.
Banky W Biography and Profile
Olubankole Wellington, born 27 March 1981, popularly known by his stage name Banky W and credited in film as Banky Wellington, is a Nigerian singer, rapper, actor and politician. In 2008 he moved back to Nigeria after the completion of the innovative album ‘Mr. Capable’ and the results were impressive. He had successfully blended urban R&B with traditional and urban African music… for the first time singing in a fusion of English and Nigerian dialects. The album spawned hits like ‘Capable’, ‘Ebute Meta’, and ‘Don’t Break My Heart’; this served to establish him on the music scene in Africa and made him a force to reckon with.
2009 saw him release the critically and commercially acclaimed album “The W Experience”. The results were outstanding as Banky W made the Country’s breakthrough R&B album of the decade with hits like “Strong Ting” and “Lagos Party”, garnering multiple nominations and awards in the process. He went on to establish himself as a visionary leader and label executive, signing 2 artistes, WizKid and Skales, and helped to launch, develop and mold them into tremendously successful artistes in their own right.
Mr W served as Executive Producer and Lead A&R for some of the continent’s most successful albums, including WizKid’s 2011 Smash hit-filled debut Album “Superstar”, and his 2014 follow up “Ayo”, and the supreme hit-filled Label compilation cd “Empire Mates State of Mind”. Banky then followed up with two tremendously successful solo albums: “R&BW” in 2013, and 2017’s “Songs About U” – each album boasting of non-stop Afro-R&B hits like Yes/No, All I Want is U, Blessing Me, Love U Baby, and many more.
Banky has since then signed and developed other talented artists including Niyola, Shaydee, and the number 1 DJ on the continent, Superstar DJ Xclusive. Banky was also highly influential in helping to introduce and build the careers of other notable Nigerian Music Business Greats such as the Producer Masterkraft, in-house Sound Engineer Suka Sounds, and many more.
Not to be outdone by his exploits in the music world, Mr W is very accomplished in several other fields: he’s a published writer, as several of his articles and write-ups have been featured in numerous Nigerian Newspapers, blogs, magazines and media platforms. As a philanthropist, he launched the “I am Capable” Scholarship Fund, which has provided tuition, room & board assistance for multiple deserving youth over the years in various tertiary institutions in Nigeria, the US, and Canada. He’s played a crucial key role of many charitable initiatives, including “Enough is Enough” and “LightUpNigeria”; ever the Youth Ambassador, he was one of the most visible and vocal personalities involved in the #OccupyNigeria peaceful protests in 2012; he also jointly spearheaded the #Dream4Naija project with international organizations such as USAid and IRI.
Banky is also an accomplished Motivational Speaker and MC – he has delivered powerful, inspired, motivational speeches at multiple noteworthy events, such as the “WimBiz” and “How I started” Conferences; he has anchored some of the most important events on the continent, including the Hip Hop World Awards (aka the Headies), the Channel O Awards, and has successfully hosted every edition of the globally successful and groundbreaking One Africa Music Fest (with stops in New York, Houston, Dubai and London thus far).
Besides all these accomplishments, Banky has also been extremely successful in numerous Corporate Marketing campaigns, having entirely written and produced, co-produced, or been featured prominently in marketing/advertising projects for Samsung, MTN, Ciroc, Coca-cola, TomTom, Airtel, Etisalat, Microsoft, and more. In terms of Endorsement deals, he’s achieved unrivaled success in the country as he’s been an ambassador for Samsung Mobile for 6 years and counting, and he’s been the Ambassador for Ciroc Vodka for 4 years.
The multitalented Mr Wellington has broadened his horizons by making fruitful, lucrative forays into the Movie & TV business… taking on Guest Starring roles in the MNet TV Show “Jacob’s Cross” and MTV’s Shuga; he’s also had numerous cameo roles in multiple Nigerian hit movies. Banky took things a step further by successfully completing filmmaking and Screenwriting courses at the New York Film Academy, and he’s gone on to build an impressive repertoire as a filmmaker, having written, produced and directed numerous music videos and TV Commercials. In 2016, he took on his debut lead role in a feature film called “The Wedding Party” which became the highest grossing film EVER in the history of Nollywood.
On a personal note, Banky W tied the knot with the love of his life, the supremely talented Nollywood Actress Adesua Etomi in 2017; the ceremony, which took place in Lagos Nigeria and Cape Town South Africa, was filmed and broadcasted on Africa Magic as “Meet the Wellingtons”; it became one of the highest rated shows on Nigerian Television for the 2017 year, and their wedding was in the top 3 most searched topics on Google.
As Chairman and Creative Director of EME, he has spearheaded the Company’s success in not only producing multiple award winning albums by various artists, but he has also achieved success in Event production and management, Advertising, Marketing, and Media – boasting of a very impressive Corporate Client list which includes companies like Oando PLC, AB & Bev, Haven Homes, Maggi, iFlix & Diamond Bank. He has also successfully partnered in and launched other business ventures including the recently subsidiary Pace Setter’s Multimedia Agency. EME has gone on to become a very accomplished company in the Marketing, Advertising, Media Buying fields, boasting a portfolio that far exceeds most of their contemporaries in the Agency space.
Being one of the most in-demand personalities on the continent, he constantly stays in touch with fans and followers through his social media platforms with 2.2M + followers on Twitter (@BankyW), 3.2M+ followers on Instagram (@BankyWellington), and 440,000+ likes on Facebook.
No other artist on the continent can boast of a comparable resume – Banky W is an incredibly accomplished Singer, Rapper, Actor, Director, Record Producer, Writer, Speaker, Record Label Executive, Events Coordinator, Advertising/Marketing Specialist, MC, and all around Business Man – a true Jack (and Master) of all trades.
Bankole Wellington and Nollywood Actress Adesua Etomi
Bankole Wellington disclosed that they began dating after he slid into Adesua Etomi’s Dm on Instagram. According to him, he never planned to date or marry anyone from the entertainment industry but got star struck after he realised Adesua was spiritually-filled and ‘different from other Nollywood actresses.’
He said, “I met Adesua in 2015 and after inquiring about her from her manager, Isioma, I went online to search for her and found her social media handles. I looked her up online and I liked what I saw. I goggled her, stalked her on Instagram and a day or two later, I slid into her DM like the real man that I am.
“I had two defining moments with Adesua. One was before we started speaking. It was actually when I was stalking her and I saw a video of her and her childhood friends singing worship songs and I felt like this is really refreshing to find someone in our line of work that would readily show this part of them.”
Bankole W recalled, “Another defining moment of our relationship was when we took a private trip somewhere and it was the first time that she danced with me. And at this point, I already knew she was a spiritual girl and a praying woman. But if I can confess, I was a little bit worried that when it comes to the turn-ups and the fun, I wasn’t sure if she would be free like that. And the very first time she danced with me, they were playing Rihanna’s “Work” and she danced with me. Ladies and Gentlemen, once you have the spiritual and physical, you close shop, you move.”
“I wasn’t specifically looking for an entertainer as a wife because of what I presumed, but she took me off the balance,” he added.
“I am glad I married Adesua because she understands my business and the pressure that comes with it.”
The couple settled for a destination wedding in Capetown, South Africa, on November 25, 2017.
Banky Wellington Biography and Profile (Banky Wellington)