We are all relieved that the 2019 general elections are over, except for a few states that would have a re-run later this month. In deed the political scene in Nigeria had taken its toll on all Nigerians (even the musicians) and everyone is at least happy to get done with it.
However, this past election brought its own intrigue on the Nigerian entertainment landscape. One of Nigeria’s finest music star Banky W opted to run for office which was a bit surprising coming from him and at the same time refreshing. Given Banky’s history and contribution to the music industry, it was a welcome development. Then again, he isn’t the first entertainer or specifically musician to turn politician.
Popular singer and actor Tony One Week after ‘exhausting’ his music career turned to politics. The ‘Gyrate’ hit maker in fact won the Idemili North State Constituency to serve at the Anambra State House of Assembly from 2011 – 2015 under the then ACN now APC. 9ice also towed the same path in 2015, when he decided to run for a seat as the House of Representatives member representing the Ogbomoso North Constituency, Oyo state in the National Assembly. Unfortunately, he did not make it past the primaries in his chosen political party APC and then returned to his first love music.
Somehow Olubankole Wellington may have already started planning his sojourn into politics much earlier than when he suddenly declared to run for office. Firstly, the host of ‘Lagos Party’ tied the knot exactly one year before he announced he would be running for office as member representing Eti-Osa Federal Constituency in the House of Representatives. In about three months of officially joining the murky waters of Nigerian politics under a relatively unknown political party (MDP), Banky W did put up a great fight.
He came first runner-up behind Ibrahim Obanikoro of the APC. Another solid takeaway from the election was that he won the votes in Eti-Osa LGA. Sadly, despite teeming support from his colleagues and fans that wasn’t enough to win him the seat in the National Assembly.
The big question now is what next for our dearest Olubankole Wellington aka Banky W? Should he stick around with politics for the next four years and give it another shot in 2023 or get back to music?
Here are a few points to note.
The official exit of Wizkid from EME was the beginning of the end for the record label. Wizkid left and Skales was dropped off the label with only Shaydee, Niyola, DJ Xclusive left on the music imprint. The music business as it concerns record labels wasn’t any good for EME anymore and it was shutdown eventually by Banky W with the company moving on to other things besides the music business. Another failure for EME and Banky W was that it failed to cash out on other artistes on its roster like it did with Wizkid. Besides the old names no new prospect was signed again into the record label to keep it relevant.
Then again, Banky W himself wasn’t making any popular hit records anymore. His biggest tune in quick memory would be the hit ‘Yes/No’ which saw the artiste own that song from lyrics, vocals etc. Talking R&B, Nigerians are really not receptive to the Rhythm and Blues like some years back, they would rather shoki, shaku shaku or now zanku. The previous line makes the ‘Yes/No’ crooner a less attractive music mind in the current wave of things.
A smart move was when the musician diversified his trade and turned to acting and anchoring events as compere. He has starred in some of the finest new Nollywood flicks like ‘Wedding Party’, ‘Up North’ etc. The gradual shift from music has been seamless and well finessed.
Going back to the studio and making a big music comeback in 2019 might seem near impossible but not an absolute impossiblity for Banky W. However, good thing to do would be for the musician turned politician to continue his campaign subtly while awaiting another shot at the office in 2023.