D’banj is a well-known musician whose songs have dominated the music landscape, notably in Africa. He is a songwriter, businessman, and harmonica musician from Nigeria who has received multiple musical accolades. D’banj, like most celebrities, has managed to keep his personal life out of the spotlight, and little is known about him. But here are ten facts about the entertainer that you may not have known.
D’banji was born Oladapo Daniel Oyebanj on June 9, 1980 in Zaria, Northern Nigeria. He picked the stage name D’banji, which he derived from his given name Dapo and his surname Oyebanjo. His father, a military officer, commanded an artillery battalion, while his mother, a God-fearing church dignitary, is in business.
As the son of a military man, he was expected to follow in his father’s footsteps. When he was eleven, he enrolled in a military school and became a member of the Nigerian Army’s renowned drum corps. He left the school three years later because he was tired of the surroundings and transferred to another military institution, “Nigerian Navy Secondary School,” Ibara Abeokuta, where he completed his secondary education.
Immediately after completing secondary education, his father’s wish was for him to join the military. However, having set his eyes on music, D’banj paid deaf ears to his dad, he persisted and eventually managed to pursue his childhood dream. Just like most musicians, D’banj struggled to start his music career just as much as it took him to convince his father to win his support as it was against his father’s wish.
The singer started his musical career by playing his late elder brother’s harmonica. His brother had died in a plane crash at age 17. To pay tribute to him and to keep his memory alive in his mind, D’banj always played the harmonica.
But the motive behind his new skills changed while at the University as girls were attracted to him for his skills. This made him play it more often than not at the female hostel. That notwithstanding, he dropped his dream of becoming a mechanical Engineer halfway due to constant strike at Lagos State University.
D’banji moved to the UK in 2001 to further his studies but also had to quit after he met Don Jazzy who was an aspiring songwriter then. Their meeting caused D’banj to huggle between going to the studio and working as a security man in London. However, he and Don Jazzy decided to head back to Lagos in 2004 as the Nigerian music sphere was evolving. After he dropped “Tonglo”, he got a deal with an energy drink known as Power Fist. The singer uses Afrobeat and Afropop due to his love for his mentor, who was a top Nigerian singer, Fela Kuti.
To date, D’banj boasts of over five albums including No Long Thing (his debut album released in 2005), Rundown Fuck U Up (2006), Curriculum Vitae & The Entertainer (2007-2008). He got signed to Kanye West’s G.O.O.D Music record label via Mo’Hits in 2011.
However, Mo’Hits split up months later. Luckily for him, he got signed with Sony Entertainment Deal in 2012. In 2017, he released his single “King Don Come” with guest features such as Gucci Mane, Wande Coal, etc. His record label DKM is also doing great.
D’banj has also bagged up to 13 international awards including KORA All Africa Music Awards, MTV Africa Music Awards and the BET among others.
‘Kokomaster’ as some of his die-hard fans call him has managed to collaborate with some of the best-known and top-selling artists in the world, including Snoop Dogg, Jay-Z, and Kanye West. This has since seen his music career light up even more as his music has gained international recognition and acceptance.
In addition to singing, D’banj is also a gifted actor and has featured in several short films, including Kanye West’s film “Cruel Summers’’. This is besides many other Nollywood productions that he has featured in.
Due to his sex appeal, several music awards, and continuing relevance in the music industry, D’banj became the first Nigerian to be named the United Nations Youth Ambassador For Peace. He is without a doubt one of the most celebrated pop stars to ever come out of Nigeria.
Wife and Kids
In an interview, the ‘Kokomaster’ revealed his ravishing love for celebrated Nigerian Nollywood superstar, Genevieve. Heaping praises on the star, DBanj said she is his dream wife! He went ahead to say that one who can acquire her as a wife would have won for himself a treasure.
He even quoted a phrase from the Bible to that effect. Regardless of the nice talks, D Banji revealed his son Daniel Oyebanjo III with his wife Lineo Didi Kilgrow in 2017, years after he said that.
Not much is known about his wife and kid but the D’banj and Didi got married at a secret wedding in 2016. The revelation shocked his fans who thought he could have married the lady he eulogized.
In December 2022, D’banj was arrested over allegations of fraud.
The musician was arrested after millions of dollars meant to help unemployed youths start businesses reportedly got missing.
In a tweet, the Independent Corrupt Practices and other Related Offences Commission (ICPC) confirmed the arrest of the musician over allegedly fraudulent activities associated with the N-Power Programme, a government scheme set up to address youth unemployment and empowerment.
The N-Power initiative was launched in 2016 by President Muhammadu Buhari but many beneficiaries have complained about not receiving their grants.
According to reports, More than two million Nigerians aged between 18 and 35 have benefited from the N-Power scheme since it was launched.
Nigeria’s anti-corruption agencies said in a statement on Wednesday that “billions of naira” had been diverted.
Thanks to his music that sells internationally and many other production deals, D’banj is one of the richest musicians on the African continent. According to a list released in September 2013 by Forbes Africa and Channel O, he was ranked the fourth richest artist in Africa.
The star has been involved in some bad investments with his Koko Mobile and Koko Garri becoming a failure. But he remains among Nigerian artists receiving highest amounts of money for both local and international performances.
The musician gets somewhere between $31,000 and a further $44,200 as performance fee for any local shows he appears in. The figures are even higher when he performs internationally.