21 Years After: Tribute to Gbenga Adeboye

By Ayo Adams

Gbenga Adeboye was a well celebrated name in numerous households until and even after his death. His talent which thrived largely in the Nigeria entertainment industry gathered him an array of fans who were scattered across different corners of the society.

His discography and myriads of works recorded in varying mediums, appraise and unarguably, define him as one of the figures who redefined comedy, radio and television broadcasting in Nigeria. Through his works, He found his voice chastising the political scene, poverty, education, religion and numerous vices which has long existed in Nigeria while putting Government and the masses on their toes to take significant actions.

In the course of his living, Gbenga was an ardent liberal and free spirited personality who held no prejudice against religious beliefs and individual choices. Many of his fans and colleagues highly revered him for his philanthropic acts which had no boundaries.

His connection to different cultural backgrounds and religion philosophies was phenomenal that he became critically acclaimed as an Enigma of the entertainment industry. Gbenga Adeboye was a mentor of mentors whose creative acumen and innovative intelligence inspired even colleagues and upcoming persons in his field.

While navigating progressively his vehicle of creative exploits in humor, drama and music during his lifetime. Like Joseph, he earned himself a coat of many names including Alabefe, Funwontan, One Man Battalion, King of Oduology, Jengbetiele, Itu Baba Ita, Laisi Abesupinle, Alaye mi Gbengulo, Pastor, Alhaji, Oluwo among others.

Born Elijah Oluwagbenga Adeboye on September 30th, 1959 at Ode Omu, Gbongan, Osun State. In the early 80s, he joined the Radio Lagos as the chief host of a popular show where he became famous with the appellation, Funwontan Oduology. Some of his works include Pasan Oro, Discovery, Itu Baba Ita, Oro lati ori Ite Mimo, Supremacy, Controversy, Ijinle Oro, PH.D Beetle, Funwontan 1& 2 and more.

In one of his controversial works, Ayeto, Adeboye narrated how he died and was returned to earth, because God instructed him to compete his unfinished mission in the land of the living. However, he passed away on Wednesday, April 30th of 2003 and was buried on Wednesday, May 14th of same year.

When he left the scene to the great beyond, Gbenga left his torch of contagious happiness, his undaunted spirit and passion for the survival of Arts behind for others to pass on.

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