Since 1990, Gabriel Afolayan has proven an exceptional natural ability as an actor and singer. Little wonder he has been named an outstanding Nigerian actor and one of the most influential Nigerians in film. Afolayan, who grew up in a family of moviemakers and actors such as his father Adeyemi (Ade Love) and his brother Kunke Afolayan, is best known for being versatile and for his roles in the Super Story series Nnena, films such as Coming from Insanity, Gold Statue, and Hoodrush. In the music industry, where he goes by the alias G-Fresh, Gabriel is famous for his songs Awelewa, Kokoro Ife, Plug It and Kpasi Kona.
10 Interesting Facts To Know About Gabriel Afolayan
1. Gabriel Afolayan is 36 years old
Gabriel hails from Irepodun Local Government Area of Kwara State but was born in Lagos State on March 1 1985. Nonetheless, he grew up in Ibadan, where he attended United Native African Primary School, Ekotedo, and Polytechnic High School, Ijokodo, Ibadan, for his secondary education. Afterward, he proceeded to the University of Ibadan, where he bagged a Master in Theatre Arts. Along the line, he relocated to the United Kingdom to study performing arts at the Identity Drama School Brixton, London.
2. His Father Was One Of The Pioneers Of Nollywood
Gabriel Afolayan’s father, Adeyemi Afolayan, a.k.a Ade Love, grew to prominence when he started a career as an actor in the 1960s when Nollywood was still struggling to find its footing. Adeyemi featured in films such as Ajani Ogun (1976) and Taxi Driver (1983). Before his demise in 1996, Adelove had already explored other different aspects in the movie industry as a director and producer.
3. Gabriel Afolayan’s Siblings Are Entertainers
Apart from his father’s career as a stage performer and a movie veteran, Gabriel’s aunt Toyin Afolayan, popularly known as Lola Idije, is a prominent actress. His siblings are also in the entertainment industry and are quite successful in their respective careers. They include:
- Kunle Afolayan: He is often regarded as the most successful of the Afolayan’s siblings. He is an actor, director, and producer whose works include The Figurine: Araromire, Phone Swap and one of the highest-grossing Nigerian films, October 1, etc.
- Tayo Afolayan: Although he maintains a low profile, Tayo is the older brother of Gabriel. He is a producer, director, singer, and songwriter.
- Moji Afolayan: She is the only sister of Gabriel Afolayan. She is a prominent actress, producer, and director. Tayo contributes to the Nigerian film industry, especially Yoruba films, including Arinjo. At present, she is married to another actor, Rasaq Olasunkanmi Olayiwola a.k.a Ojopagogo.
- Aremu Afolayan: Oftentimes, questions are raised about who is older between Gabriel and Aremu. As such, Aremu is currently 41 years old and about 5 years older than Gabriel who is 36 years old. Aremu is also an actor, director and entrepreneur.
- Ibukunolu Afolayan: Popular as IB Kord according to a report, Ibukunolu is also an Afolayan sibling. He is a gospel singer, music producer, composer and creative concept developer.
4. He Made His Acting Debut At The Age of 5
In 1990, at the age of 5, Gabriel started his acting career as a child actor in a short film titled F’opawon, produced by Baba Sala. He subsequently left acting only to make a comeback in 2003. Since then, his career has blossomed richly that he has featured in many local and international productions, including a Hollywood project called A Love Like This, where he acted alongside South Africa’s late actress Shoki Mokgapa.
Some of Gabriel Afolayan’s movies include:
- Lugard, The Movie (2021)
- Citation (2020)
- Say Mama (2019)
- Sharo (2019)
- Latana 1 and 2 (2019)
- Codewilo (2019)
- Coming From Insanity (2019)
- Gold Statue (2019)
- Philander (2018)
- Power of 1 (2018)
- Kasala (2018)
- Alakada Reloaded (2017)
- Tatu (2017)
- Something Wicked (2017)
- Hanatu (2017)
- A Love Like This (2016)
- Okafor’s Law (2016)
- 7 Inch Curve (2015)
- Ojuju (2014)
- The Antique (2014)
- Glitterati (2013)
- Heroes and Zeroes (2012)
- Hoodrush (2012)
- Ghetto Dreamz: The Dagrin Story (2011)
- Aramotu (2010)
- Ija Okan (2006)
- Madam Dearest (2005)
- F’opawon (1990)
5. He Has Won Numerous Nominations and Awards
Since the inception of his acting career, Gabriel has bagged several awards and nominations. Some of these awards and nominations include the following:
- Best Supporting Actor, Africa Movie Academy Awards (2013).
- 2x nominee for Best Actor in a Supporting Role and Best Actor in a Leading Role at the Nollywood Movies Awards (2013).
- Actor of the year nominee, Africa Magic Viewers’ Choice Awards (2019).
- Nominee for Best Actor (Male), Intellects Awards (2019).
- Best actor in a leading role nominee, Africa Movie Academy Awards (AMAA, 2019).
- Nominee for outstanding Actor at the Abuja, International Film Festival (AIFF, 2019).
- Actor of the year nominee at the Africa Choice Awards (2019)
- Special Mention Lead Actor Feature at the Five Continents International Film Festival (FCIFF, 2019)
- Ynaija named Gabriel Afolayan amongst the 100 most influential Nigerians in film (2019)
- Nominee for Best Actor in a Drama (Movie or TV Series), Africa Magic Viewers’ Choice Awards (2020).
6. He Made His Debut as a Musician in 1997 at The Age of 12
Gabriel Afolayan started singing in a church choir, and in 1997, at the age of 12, he started a music career as a backup singer at Phoenix Studio, Ibadan. He also formed musical groups. However, in 2011, he started music fully, and at present, the actor cum singer has different singles and albums to his name.
Some of Afolayan’s singles and albums
- Ginger Me (2021)
- Cute Bunny (single and album, 2019)
- Go Up (Album, 2018)
- Instinct (Album, )
- Money (2018)
- Essential (2018)
- Sugar Daddy (2018)
- Funky Love (2018)
- All My Love (2018)
- Sisi Eko (2018)
- Amoke (Album)
- Ife Wa (2018)
- Hold On (single and album, 2016)
- Ko Le Ye Won (single and album, 2016)
- Kpasi Kona (2015)
- Songs Collection (2015)
- Awelewa (2015)
- Kokoro Ife (2015)
7. The Award-Winning Actor Owns a Multimedia Company
Afolayan is a businessman who owns a multimedia liability company, Studio6. The company was established in 2010 and is into film and music production, label management, television, radio advertising, and programming.
8. Gabriel Afolayan Has Signed Many Endorsement Deals
- Airtel: He had signed an endorsement deal with Airtel, a telecommunication company. He played a vital role in an Airtel viral advert, which he described as one of his most challenging and popular roles.
- Landmark Corporate Realty Ltd: Gabriel Afolayan is a brand ambassador to Landmark, a real estate investment outfit.
9. Gabriel and His Wife, Adebanke, Tied The Knot in April 2018
Gabriel married his better half, Adebanke, on the 5th of April 2018. The wedding, which took his fans by surprise, was a major event of an entertainer at that time. Although the initial stage of the marriage saw Gabriel releasing many positive feedbacks about marriage, rumors soon took a toll on it when it was reported that they were divorced. The rumors started making the rounds following reports that the couple stopped following each other on Instagram in 2020.
What was more surprising was that the actor also allegedly stopped following Banky W who seemed to have had a good relationship with him and even shared a glimpse of the wedding on Instagram. Later, another rumor rallied that the marriage ended because Adebanke cheated on Gabriel with Banky W. However, these rumors were never confirmed by any of the accused or their spouses. A year after the allegation that his marriage couldn’t live to see past 2020, he comes out to say his marriage is still intact.
10. Gabriel Afolayan is a Stepfather
Before his marriage, Adebanke who was based in Houston was a single mother to a son whose life is private. Although it is unknown if the boy stays with Gabriel and his wife, it is apparent that his becoming married to her Adebanke also led to him becoming the boy’s stepfather. Nonetheless, it is unknown if the couple has any children together as of this writing.