Olubankole Wellington, a 40-year-old whose stage name is Banky W, has an estimated net worth of $9 million. Through his catchy voice, songwriting ability with a blend of special rhythm, he has been able to make a resounding mark in the Nigerian music scenery for more than a decade. Rather than shield himself as a musician alone, he has shown talent as a producer and founder of EME music. He is also an actor, rapper, motivational speaker, entrepreneur, and politician.
Banky W, through many years, has not only been able to build himself alone but has contributed immensely to the rise to stardom of Wizkid, who would become a Grammy winner, Skales, and Niyola.
Banky W was born in the United States 40 Years Ago
The 40-year-old Olubankole Wellington was born on March 27, 1981, in the United States of America. His father hails from Badagry while his mother is from Calabar in Cross River State. At age 5, Banky W’s parents moved back to Nigeria, where he would remain for the next 12 years, attending Corona Primary School, Home Science Association Secondary School, and Ajao Secondary School, all in Lagos, before finally going back to the US for college. He studied Industrial Engineering from RPI in New York. In his junior year in RPI, he started writing, producing, and hitting the studio to make music while in the United States of America.
His Father is from Badagary, While His Mother is from Calabar
Contrary to the popular belief that Banky W may have had it all rosy, he grew up with parents who didn’t have it all as far as it had to do with finances. Although there are fewer to no details about his parents, his father, George Wellington, who hailed from Badagary, was an orphan. On the other hand, his mother, Mrs. Wellington, hails from Calabar and was born to a single mother who was later sent to Lagos.
Along the line, Banky’s parents relocated to the United States, where they had the singer, and by the time he was 5, they returned to Nigeria. His parents did not have enough funds to afford a good home and education for their children. Hence, they opted for good schools and lived in a low-budget apartment that would be flooded whenever it rained.
He Has 3 Brothers – Kema, Temi, and Funmi
Although Banky rarely brings his family to the public, reports suggest that the singer has three brothers – Kema, who is into Martial Arts, Temi, and Funmi, who came to the limelight due to his wedding ceremony.
His Sister, Deedee George, is a CEO and Event Planner
Banky W has only a sister, Deedee George. She is an entrepreneur who owns an award-winning wedding planning services company called The Urban Marketplace (TUM Socials).
Banky W Had A Rough Start in His Music Career
He knew right from the time that he had the talent to become a great musician, and he left the United States to pursue this career in Nigeria. However, Banky did not know that the road would be rough and dusty in his journey to stardom. The career, which started in 2002, did not yield enough success, and by the time it got to 2008, when he was 27 years old, he had already started thinking of quitting.
This thought came right after spending all that he had, encountering kidnappers, being robbed, and walking through the lonely path of depression. When he was about to leave Nigeria to get a different career in the States, Segun Demuren, who had been there for him, borrowed money and settled Banky W to start an album, working with Cobhams. The first song they worked on was Strong Thing, which came out strong and became a game-changer for the singer.
How He Acquired a Net Worth of $9 Million
Music is His Major Source of Income
His career in the music industry has set on his plate both fame and fortune. In terms of fame, he is known as Nigeria’s King of RnB and is one of the most respected Nigerian musicians of recent time. In terms of fortune, he is currently one of the wealthiest singers in Nigeria, with a net worth estimated at $9 million. Although other sources have his net worth slightly lower, this is the most reported.
In music, Banky W mostly sticks to his niche as an R&B artist and has also incorporated rap in recent years. He came onto the scene with his 2003 EP release, Undeniable. He followed that up with Back in the Building – 2005, Mr. Capable – 2008, The W Experience – 2009, and R&BW – 2013. R&BW was released a day after Valentine of 2013. He launched the album with a concert tagged the “The Grand Love Concert” at the Civic Centre, Ozumba Mbadiwe, Victoria Island, Lagos, where he featured several other artists, including Iyanya, Waje, and many others.
Standout singles from Bank W’s career include Lowkey, Yes/No, All I Want Is You (Feat. Chidinma and Ebute Metta), Capable, My regret, and Jasi. He also has a compilation album, empire mates state of mind to his resume. Apart from earning from songs, EPs, and albums, the artist also earns from concerts. Even though it is difficult to say how much he makes from shows, it was reported in 2014 that he was charging between 2.5 million to 3 million Naira.
Songs, Albums, and EPs of Banky W
- Final Say (2021)
- Talk and Do ft. 2Baba, Timi Dakolo, Waje, Seun Kuti, Brookstone & LCGC (2020)
- Whatchu Doing Tonight Ft. Susu (2017)
- Love U Baby (2017)
- Made For You (2016)
- All I Want Is You ft. Chidinma
- Tonight (DJ Xclusive Ft. Banky W and Niyola) (2015)
- Yes/No (2013)
- Lowkey (2013)
- Unborn Child ft. Lynxx (2013)
- Mercy (2013)
- Follow You Go (2009)
- Strong Ting (2009)
- Lagos Party (2009)
- Till My Dying Day (2008)
- Capable (2008)
- My Regret (2006)
- R&BW (2013)
- The W Experience (2009)
- Mr. Capable (2008)
- Back in the Building (2006)
- Empire Mates State of Mind (2012)
EPs and Playlists
- Songs About You (2017, playlist)
- Undeniable (2003, EP)
Awards And Achievements of The R&B Singer
Banky W is no stranger to awards or even endorsements. Some of his awards since he came on the scene in 2003 include;
- John Lennon Song Writing Award 2006, R&B Category, for ‘My Regret’
- Best R&B Artist, Nigerian Entertainment Awards 2006
- Best Male R&B Artist, Urban Independent Music Awards, USA, 2006
- Best International Album, Nigerian Entertainment Awards 2007 for ‘Mr. Capable’
- Best R&B Video, Nigerian Music Video Awards 2008 for ‘Don’t Break My Heart.’
- Best Male Vocal Performance, Hip-hop World Awards, for ‘Don’t Break My Heart’ (2009)
- R&B Single of the year, Hip Hop World Awards for ‘Strong Ting’ (2010 )
- Best R&B Singer (Male) and Best Music Video, City People Entertainment Awards (2010)
- Best Music Video (Male) at Sound City Music Video Awards (2010)
- Most Gifted R&B Video (Male), Channel O Music Video Awards (2011)
- Musician of the Year, Future Awards (2011)
- Best R&B Single, The Headies Awards (2013)
- Music Entrepreneur of the Year at Awesome Awards (2015)
- Artist of the Year, The Urban Marketplace (2016)
Banky W Earns From Acting
Banky W wore the hat of an actor when he joined Nollywood and appeared in movies that became blockbusters. He appeared in the Wedding Party in 2016, and the movie later became the highest-grossing film in Nigeria with 453 million Naira in the box office. Its sequel in 2017, Wedding Party 2, broke another record by becoming the highest-grossing film in Nigeria with a box office grossing of 500 million Naira.
Films Banky W Starred in
- Sugar Rush (2019)
- Up North (2018)
- The Wedding Party 2 (2017)
- The Wedding Party (2016)
One of The Major Contributors to His Wealth is Endorsements
- In 2008, Banky W signed an endorsement deal with Etisalat that was reportedly worth about N150 million. He also wrote the first theme song for Etisalat Advert, 0809ja Naija For Life.
- In 2012, he signed a 3-month deal with coca-cola, where he became the face of the Coca-cola Open and Win campaign.
- Also, he, together with Nigerian female rapper Sasha P, received the first endorsements as the first official ambassadors of Samsung electronics in Nigeria. The deal with Samsung was reportedly about 140 million Naira, and it started in 2011 for a year. The company extended the deal to 2013 and renewed it in 2017.
- In 2014, he added to the list of the brands he endorses when he signed a deal with MTN in 2014 and renewed it in 2015. The ambassadorial deal is said to be worth more than 50 million Naira.
- The prestigious vodka brand Ciroc also included Banky W as one of its ambassadors in 2014 and renewed his contract in 2017.
- In 2018, he signed another endorsement deal with Uber, a mobility service provider.
Banky’s Other Sources of Income Outside Music and Acting
He is One of The Judges of MTN Yello Star
The first season of the MTN Yello Star sing talent show has Banky W as one of its judges alongside singers Omawumi and Malik Yusef. Although it is unknown how much he earned from the show, it is undeniable that judges make a good amount of money for talent shows.
Banky W is the Co-Founder, CEO, and Chairman of E.M.E
Back in 2002, in the United States, Banky W, and Tunde Demuren, Toolz Oniru’s husband, founded the Empire Mates Entertainment (E.M.E) as a record label. The label saw the growth of stars such as Wizkid, Skales, Niyola, Shaydee. Currently, E.M.E has transitioned into a full-fledged media agency specializing in digital marketing, influencer marketing, advertising, creative media content and production, and talent management.
At present, the company manages the likes of Adesua Etomi, Toolz Oniru, Mike Edwards, and Ebuka Obi-Uchendu. The company also has clients, including prestigious companies such as Budweiser & Ab In Bev, Oando, Redbull, Haven Homes, Maggi, and iFlix.
Banky W is a Successful Music Producer
Mr. Capable, in his rise to fame, has made his hands useful in the production of music for many years. This contributes to his net worth. He produced some of the most received albums in Nigeria. This includes Wizkid’s Superstar Album (2011) and Ayo in 2014. He was also the executive producer of the compilation album, the Empire States of Mind.
Some of the albums he produced
- Songs About You, Banky W (2017)
- Rhythm and Life, Shaydee (2016)
- Ayo, Wizkid (2014)
- R & BW, Banky W (2013)
- Empire Mates Ste of Mind (2012)
- Superstar, Wizkid (2011)
- The W Experience, Banky W (2009)
He Contested For The Seat of Federal House of Representative
As one of the many hats he’s worn in terms of career, Banky availed himself as a politician who contested for the position of the seat of House of Representatives to represent Eti-Osa Federal Constituency under the Modern Democratic Party (MDP). He lost the election in 2019 to Musiliu Obanikoro of APC after gaining his party’s ticket in 2018.
The Music Star is a Motivational Speaker and Philanthropist
Besides gracing the stages of music and acting, Banky W is also a motivational speaker who has shared his views in many spaces within and out of Nigeria. His work as a motivational speaker has landed him the name ‘pastor.’ However, Banky says he is not a pastor but a child of God in progress.
A Look At How He Spends His Wealth
If there is one thing that is very notable with Banky W is his non-extravagant spending nature. In 2018, he was trolled for using a 2008 range rover car. According to him, he promised himself not to add cars to his collections until he bought a house because he didn’t see a need to have cars lined up in a rented apartment. Still, in 2018, it was reported that he became a homeowner in Lekki. He later auctioned the car and supported the Vocational School for the Blind in Oshodi, Lagos, and the Pink Oak Cancer Centre with the proceeds of the car.
In addition to his many works, he spends his money on humanity in different ways as a philanthropist. Among the many include the I Am Capable Foundation, which he founded as a scholarship scheme to support deserving youths in various tertiary institutions in and out of Nigeria. Banky, who suffered from skin cancer, also advocates for helping those living with cancer through his charitable works. Partnering with the Pink Oak Cancer Trust, he sponsored the treatment of numerous people diagnosed with cancer. The singer further owns The Banky Wellington Organization with the sole aim of rebuilding Nigeria through different works.
Banky Married Adesua Etomi At The Age of 36
In February 2017, Banky W and actress Adesua Etomi became engaged, and on November 19 of the same year, they behad their traditional wedding, which was held at the Landmark Event Centre in Lagos. It was graced by high-profile celebrities such as Osas Ighodaro, Rita Dominic, Toyin Abraham, Annie Idibia, Ireti Doyle, Simi, Richard Mofe Damijo, and many more. After their court wedding on November 20, the couple headed to Cape Town, South Africa, where they had their white wedding.
Banky W’s is Owerri-born veteran actress Tolulope Adesua Etomi on February 22, 1988. She was born to an engineer mother and a father who is a soldier. Her father is of Esan descent, while her mother is of Yoruba descent. The youngest of three siblings, Etomi attended Corona School in Victoria Island, Lagos, and later Queen’s College, Lagos, from where she relocated to the United Kingdom. At the age of 13, while studying in the UK, Adesua developed a stronger interest in acting.
She would later obtain a diploma in “physical theatre, musical theatre and performing arts” in 2004 from City College Coventry. The respected actress later enrolled at the University of Wolverhampton, where she studied drama and performance, graduating with first-class honors. Etomi has appeared in an impressive number of films, television series, and theatrical shows. Her on-screen roles and appearances have earned her many awards and nominations in the movie industry. At the 2016 Africa Magic Viewers Choice Awards, the Knocking On Heaven’s Door actress won the Best Actress in A Drama award for her role in the 2015 romantic drama film Falling.
Banky W Welcomed His First Child Almost 4 Years After His Wedding At Age 40
Although they became married in 2017, Adesua Etomi and Banky W had their first child, a son named Zaiah, in 2021. The child’s birth was announced a month after he was born on Adesua’s 33rd birthday on February 22, 2021. Currently, the celebrities are known as Papa Z and Mama Z.
Before the birth of Zaiah, the couple was expecting twins before they lost the pregnancy. They shared their story and their struggle with getting a child. Nonetheless, they derive strength from the experience and would go on to call their journey that of faith and miracle. Bany W’s song, Final Say, which the video features Adesua is a song of gratitude for the blessing of a child, faith in God, amidst others.