Nigerian history is littered with instances of the progeny who never get to reap the benefits of their labour and the get paid off the trends they create.
Like Fela Anikulapo-Kuti, Gbenga Adeboye was a hero before his time and influenced Nigerian Pop culture with his style at everything he did and his direct influence on others.
Elijah Gbenga Adeboye, also known as Alhaji Pastor Oluwo or Abefe or Alaye Mi Gbengulo, depending on the act was born in Ode-Omu, in 1959. He was a comedian, actor, compete, broadcaster and musician.
He lit up Radio Lagos and later stand up comedy and comical music creations as well as random skits with his multiple personas.
In his era, Adeboye created a new style, blending the swagger of his Yoruba Language with Ewì, Yoruba Homages with subliminal, directed at everyone and social commentary as well as satire that affected the landscape of military rule.
Asides that, his multifunctionality across several fields, despite being in media and entertainment became made him a cultural staple that like Fela, became progeny for certain brands of internet sensations.
He might not have directly influenced them, but what he did can be seen in all the things they have also done. Directly, he influenced acts like Yinka Ayefele, Ambrose Shomide, and Abbey Fagboro.
Further down the South-West, radio acts like Fatai Dan Wahab, Sunkanmi Adebayo, and Gbenga Filani will have something to say about Adeboye.
Even his simultaneous double acts of playing an old lady and a young chap in conversation have since become staples of ethnic dialect shows across Nigeria.
He was so vertically accepted and influential that then Governor of Lagos State, Alhaji Lateef Jakanderecognized his viral influence on Radio Lagos.
Despite his influence, the landscape at the time didn’t favour such acts.
By the time he died on April 30, 2018, for rumoured kidney problems which he looked to have beaten, his house at Akute, Ogun State was uncompleted.
On his remembrance in April 30, 2018, writing for NET, Jide Taiwo noted that if ace thespian, Odunlade Adekola is earning this incredible money off endorsements, Adeboye will be making twice that.
In clear terms, Gbenga Adeboye is the greatest multifunctional radio, media, entertainment and performing act guru Nigeria has ever seen.
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Arguments might be made that he mostly communicated in Yoruba and they would be compelling, but will ultimately fail. Lagos remains the centre of all things Nigeria.
He owners Lagos and many other parts of Nigeria. He even crafted a name in, Alhaji Pastor Oluwo, which reflected the national character of all the Nigerian religions.
Everything we currently see in stand up comedy, especially from people in the Southern movement of Nigeria cannot be underestimated.
In the area of radio madness and the rage showed in radio acts like Murphy Ijemba, most famous with Brilla FM, Francis Dogo, now of Brilla or Sweet Steve at Orange FM in Akure, Adeboye is reflected.
He had engaged this acts to influence the scape back in the 80s and 90s. He might not have created the move, or directly influenced these guys, but he popularized these vocally humorous and brazenly confident act.
To the modern era of Nigerian internet comedians who make skits and create personalities for them, Adeboye was famous for switching between two characters simultaneously on live radio.
He could be communicating as both an old woman and a young chap at the same time on radio. Acts like Maraji, Twyse, Craze Clown now savour the success, but he made popularized them and created that need.
Asides that, he also confined the movement and had alter egos like Abefe, Gbengetiele, Alaye Mi Gbengunlo, Laisi Abesupinle, Itu Baba Ita and Funwontan.
These were evident in his comical songs and acts like LondonYabbis that mirror modern social media comic skits from Maraji, Twyse or Craze Clown.
The brilliance of Maraji and OdunladeAdekola playing multiple characters, with different acts and different accents had been seen with Adeboye. He was a true trendsetter.
Directly, his influence is on the radio acts and music success of someone like Yinka Ayefele who worked with him.
In the end, it’s just a shame that he never reaped the fruits of the industry he helped build like the modern day guys are.
Even the advent of stand up comedy got a kick up the backside from Abefe. Sometimes, he made them satirical. Other times, they were pure comedy or musicomedy.
Like what social media comedians do, Abefe created art with societal relevance. He might not have made skits, but he created audio albums and played them on radio as skits.
He also recorded music albums based off musicomedy and phony props in his music videos. He was a true phenomenon.
We remember the only Gbengulo, continue to rest in peace. You influenced an entire generation. Flourish.