Gbenga Adeyinka, Grand Comedian of the Federal Republic, GCFR, a colossus, incurable addict of success, protagonist of dedication and hard work, highly resourceful and dependable man, humble jolly good fellow, tireless visionary and incredibly funny man, today, Monday, May 7, joins the gracious league of the quinquagenrians, the golden 50!
Many up and coming entertainers hungry to cut their teeth in the entertainment industry have always quizzed the older generations, with the question: ‘What is the way up the ladder of success in the industry?” or “What is the secret of consistency and staying relevant in the show-biz?”
Dear friends, I present to you, ‘Gbenga, a breathing compendium of doggedness, astuteness, humility and of how staying original takes you up the cadre and keeps you up there’.
Gbenga and I have been friends for close to two decades. We met about a time I was putting up an event at the time. He approached me and offered to host my show free of charge. That singular act of selflessness thrilled and warmed me to Gbenga.
The level of our closeness way back made some persons speculate that I was probably his manager. The bond I share with this man is beyond being friends. He has become like my fraternity; we vibe alike so much.
Writing about Adeyinka, this multi-talented man at 50, may not exactly be very easy, but having known him from when his career was just taking off, to now that he has become a brand to reckon with on the Nigerian entertainment scene, then I should be qualified to assert that what stands this special man out is his strength of character and humility.
So many success stories in the entertainment industry, the comedy industry especially aren’t complete without a mention of his name in their journey at some points or the other. He is noteworthy for mentoring quite a number of next generation of comedians, and also pitching them for jobs he is not available to handle himself. Not too many established acts do that.
While Gbenga was leaving Unilag, popular comedian and compere, Tee A had just been admitted into Unilag at the time, even though Tee A was already a name to reckon with, Gbenga was instrumental to his joining the famous Theatre 15 group back then, and also assisted Tee A with publicity for his first show.
A thorough business man, Gbenga’s human relations skills are exceptional. He is great at engaging his clients and knows how to retain them. There are families here in Nigeria that Gbenga has been the compere for the wedding of (almost) all their children.
He has a knack for keeping to time. Gbenga arrives events where he is billed to perform way ahead of time, and even joins the organizers in the last minute arrangements for the event. These are rear qualities.
A fine gentle man, with an enviable marriage of over 25 years, not many know that Gbenga already has two kids who are graduates of Covenant University, and a third who is prepping to leave the University too from Babcock.
While congratulating my good friend on this momentous occasion, I pray that the Creator grants him good health, and that he is granted the privilege to continue to be relevant in the scheme of things on the Nigerian Entertainment landscape and beyond.
Happy 50th, my dear friend!
Seun Oloketuyi writes from igbemo and is COO of Best of Nollywood Awards