Oluwabankole Wellington, popularly known as Banky W is Nigeria’s singing sensation that made headlines in 2017 for his lead role in The Wedding Party with his co-star and now wife, Adesua Etomi.
Before the glitz and glamour, being half of a couple that trended for months in the Nigerian webosphere, before being named the brand ambassador for Ciroc Vodka and Samsung Mobile, before releasing hit love songs and working with Nigeria’s top artists like Iyanya, Waje and signing Wizkid and Niyola to his record label E.M.E, he was…wait for it, a hustler!
Here is an excerpt of the narration of his struggles, obtained from www.nairaland.com
He narrated his humble beginning.
Indeed his tale solidifies his emphasis on little beginning because to achieve his dream of becoming a music superstar, Banky had to take up to three jobs while also in university!
“I worked in fast foods outlets, clothing stores and as a knife salesman, selling knives from door to door. That way, I gathered money to pay for studio recording time. I was recording with a close friend at that time.
“After making that music, we printed a thousand CDs though we didn’t have any fan. I had one battered car that broke down virtually everywhere, so, we would print black and white posters, stick them on the sides of the car, sell from the car’s trunk and drive to salons to do marketing. We would walk to the owners of the salons, greet politely, and ask them to let us entertain their customers. Sometimes, some would kick us out and sometimes some would say yes. If told yes, after singing for a minute or two, we would sell our CDs to the customers!
“A lot of people see you on stage and see the success but do not know what you had to go through! I never had one really big break; it was always two steps forward and a couple backwards. But I just decided that I was going to make music work for me. That was why I moved on to a new salon each time any salon rejected me! I just kept going because I believe failure is when you give up. Albert Einstein said he tried a hundred times to make the light bulb.
When he was asked what kept him going during the 99 times, he said:
‘I didn’t consider those 99 times asfailure; rather, I considered them 99 ways that it didn’t work!’ We went about selling CDs and, on the days we couldn’t sell much, we would sit down and be broke together. I remember my friend was a member of a church that usually served food after service. So, on the days we didn’t sell CDs and were too broke to buy food, we would attend service in that church so we could pack rice and store in the fridge.”