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Banky W’s Inspiring Journey from Rock Bottom to Super Stardom



Segun Demuren & Banky W

Segun Demuren & Banky W

Today is Segun Demuren’s birthday and all over social media his close friends have been sharing amazing anecdotes about the man as he turns 40.

Banky W’s birthday wish stands out because the EME record label boss used it to highlight his journey from rock bottom to super stardom and the significant part that Segun Demuren played in it.

He shares with his fans how he was just about giving everything up on the morning of January 1st 2009 and then things turned around for him with Segun’s help and a hit song we all know and love – ‘Strong Ting’.

Segun Demuren, Banky W & Tunde Demuren in 2001

Segun Demuren, Banky W & Tunde Demuren in 2001

Read his post below.

About @segundemuren: The morning of Jan 1st 2009 was one of the worst of my life. I went to Church the night before to pray in the New Year… and there I poured my heart out to God. You see, i moved back to Lag on Feb 14th 08. It was a tough decision quitting my well-paid engineering job in NYC and moving back, but I felt incomplete and unfulfilled. That decision however, led to a tough year.

I had gained some small popularity in music, but fame comes way before fortune in my line of work. So yes there were videos on TV, but I was flat out broke. I’d spent all my savings on my music business… I was driving a beat down car that broke down on every possible major road in Lagos, and I had resorted to “borrowing” 5k from my manager weekly, to fuel my car and buy recharge cards.

I’d started second guessing my decision. Should I have moved back at all? Should I have listened to folks and stayed in NYC? It was hard. I wasn’t getting any show bookings, in fact Segun & I used to show up to events way early just to make sure we could get inside, and times without number we would beg & plead to get 5 mins to perform on shows only to get turned down. I was frustrated.

Why wasn’t my music working here? Why couldn’t people see what we saw? Maybe I wasn’t meant to be here? And then after church that morning, I got accosted by armed robbers, driven around on the joy-ride-from-hell, roughed up, and robbed of everything on me. Phones, money, jewelry, iPod, hat, shoes, u name it. They kept threatening to shoot me, but I just kept praying psalm 91 and somehow I made it home to Segun’s house in one piece. And while I was grateful to be alive, I sunk into further depression.

For a week plus I wouldn’t leave my room. I felt like my whole world had come crashing down, and like I had nothing to show for all my effort and prayers. And then Segun walked into my room and said “hey bro… I know it’s really bad right now. But the good news is, this is rock bottom. U have hit it, and ur still alive. It can only get better from here, but U can’t let it defeat U. U gotta get up, dust it off, and channel all that nervous energy into making music again!!” I was in shock…

How did he expect me to just shake everything off just like that? My mental state was a total mess. I didn’t have a penny to even pay for the studio time, and even my car had been bashed. I said “bro even if I want to record, how would I pay for it?” He asked who I’d wanna work with and I said Cobhams.

He asked me to find out how much it would cost… I did. The next day he walked into my room with the entire amount in full that he had borrowed from someone. Plus extra for cab fare. I paid for the Cobhams sessions, and the very first song we created was “Strong Ting”… till date one of my biggest hits in Africa. The requests for performances started coming… I started actually receiving airplay.

People finally started understanding me and my music, and better yet, they ACTUALLY liked it! My life changed from that moment and so did my finances. God has used Segun to guide, direct, help, support and save me on too many occasions. I want to wish him a happy birthday and pray for him that he and his family will never know lack in Jesus name.

For the seeds of kindness, love and support he has sown in my life and many others, may God bless him and every generation born of him. I love you forever, and I look up to you. I shared this particular story because I also want to encourage y’all. I know life can be hard and harsh, but don’t give up hope after the darkest of nights, because your morning is right around the corner.

Segun Demuren and his Kids

Segun Demuren and his Kids

Adesola is the BellaNaija Head of Content and Digital Ventures. She is a BN stan.. Yes, things are that serious for her when it comes to She's a lover of gist, novels, music, and food. She's constantly trying not to take life for granted. She spends most of her time either keeping up with the world on the Internet or sharing some acquired knowledge about digital media. She is passionate about using her voice to speak against injustice, especially towards women. To communicate with her directly, you can hit her up on: Instagram - Twitter - @Adesola_AU


  1. Ndidi

    October 27, 2015 at 1:51 pm

    This was so touching, inspiring, and was such a blessing to me

    • Ade

      October 27, 2015 at 5:41 pm

      Segun, is an amazing man. He’s always trying to help in the best way. And a great family man. His children are probably saying, daddy please take us to get ice cream, and he’s like ok, when I get back from work. Yeah, he’s that type of dad. Happy birthday, may God’s blessings continue to be upon you and your family.

  2. l

    October 27, 2015 at 2:01 pm

    what were his kids saying to him…… too cute and he looks good for 40. happy birthday BOSS!!!

    • BlueEyed

      October 27, 2015 at 2:46 pm

      40 is the new 30!!

  3. Missdodo

    October 27, 2015 at 2:40 pm

    and somehow I ended up knowing more about Banky than the celebrant … but isorrai. Happy birthday to Segun Demuren

  4. Olugbile

    October 27, 2015 at 2:49 pm

    Wow, very inspiring…….

  5. Hoover

    October 27, 2015 at 3:03 pm

    Ebute Meta,Meta,Meta, Eh Eh Eh. Banky W has come a long way. The signing of Wizkid was the best thing since Arsenal signed Henry.

  6. tish

    October 27, 2015 at 3:15 pm

    Oh wow! This got me. Thank God for angels on earth. Happy birthday Sir!

  7. NaijaPikin

    October 27, 2015 at 3:54 pm

    Ehen Banky you sure say all these grass to grace story na you. We know say you come from a very comfy background. Unless you absolutely didn’t want help from fam.

    Anyways good to celebrate a great friend. Good friends are so hard to find, esp in a place like lagos with so many fake and confused pple running around

  8. onetallgirl

    October 27, 2015 at 4:07 pm

    Always be nice to people you never know how you will change their life! Happy b-day Segun! May God bless you with many more!!

  9. Mskems

    October 27, 2015 at 4:35 pm

    I love Segun Demuren, his wife and his beautiful kids. From what I see on IG he is an amazing person, long life and prosperity Segun.I wish you many more blissful years.

  10. prince

    October 27, 2015 at 4:48 pm

    Banky has shared his story not knowing the lives that would be touched by it. Thank you Banky for this and happy birthday Uncle Sege.

  11. Opsy

    October 27, 2015 at 5:51 pm

    Happy Birthday Segun!

    Banky W 🙂

  12. Ako

    October 27, 2015 at 6:46 pm

    Nice Nice. Thanks Banky for sharing and God bless you all particularly @segunand family.
    Generous honest friends and hard to come by

  13. Hian!

    October 27, 2015 at 8:11 pm

    This was about SEGUN GUYS, about SEGUN.
    HBD Segun. God Bless you

    • Hian!

      October 27, 2015 at 8:11 pm

      See title “Banky W’s struggle… mschewww

  14. cleo

    October 27, 2015 at 8:50 pm

    I as almost move to tears. Happy birthday Segun

  15. Miss Anonymous

    October 27, 2015 at 9:26 pm

    Awwwww! My eyes are teary.

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