Who is Olamide:
Olamide Gbenga Adedeji, known professionally as Olamide, is one of the biggest names in Nigerian hip hop and afrobeats music today. With millions of fans across Africa and a string of hit singles and albums, Olamide has become a major force in the Nigerian music scene. But beyond just his music and fame, Olamide’s background and personal life have long been a source of interest for fans. In particular, questions around Olamide’s faith and whether or not he is a Muslim have circulated for years.
Olamide Adedeji was born on March 15, 1989 in the Bariga area of Lagos, Nigeria. He grew up in Lagos in a lower middle class family and has said that his parents struggled to provide for him and his siblings during his childhood. Lagos is Nigeria’s largest city and also the heart of its buzzing entertainment industry. As a child, Olamide was influenced by the sights and sounds of the city, especially its thriving hip hop scene.
From a young age, Olamide found solace in music. He attended Catholic school as a child before switching over to a Muslim school at the age of 10. This early exposure to both Christian and Muslim communities would later fuel speculation about his own personal faith. As a teenager, Olamide began honing his rap skills; he was inspired by American hip hop stars like 2Pac, Bob Marley and Fela Kuti. He began performing locally under the stage name Eniola.
For his higher education, Olamide attended Tai Solarin University of Education in Ogun State, Nigeria. He studied Mass Communication and graduated in 2010 the same year he released his debut single.
Olamide’s professional music career kicked off in 2010 when he released his debut single “Eni Duro” and followed up with his first album Rapsodi. The album was a breakout success, establishing Olamide as one of the most promising up-and-coming Nigerian hip hop artists. His follow up album YBNL was released in 2012 and was even more successful, producing several major hit singles. Olamide founded his own independent record label YBNL Nation to release his music.
Over the next few years, Olamide continued to drop albums and singles at a prolific rate. In 2013, he released his third studio album Baddest Guy Ever Liveth. Hit tracks from the album like “Durosoke” and “Yemi My Lover” were huge successes locally and increased his profile further. That same year, Olamide became the first Nigerian hip hop artist to sign an endorsement deal with Ciroc.
Olamide’s success continued to grow; his album Street OT and singles like “Bobo” and “Melo Melo” dominated Nigerian radio. He began collaborating with other leading afrobeats stars like Davido, Wizkid and Tiwa Savage.
Is Olamide Muslim?
Given his split religious upbringing and the fact that he attended both Catholic and Muslim schools, many have wondered whether Olamide is a Muslim or a Christian. His lyrics seldom make direct references to faith, and he has been deliberately vague when asked about his religious affiliation in interviews.
Some observers point to the fact that his first name Olamide means “My wealth has come” in the Yoruba language as evidence of a Muslim background. Yoruba is an ethnic group based predominantly in southwestern Nigeria. Many Yoruba people practice Islam, so a traditionally Muslim name like Olamide suggests that may be his faith as well.
Additionally, Olamide performs frequently in traditional Muslim dress and has been photographed attending mosque services on occasion. In 2018, he released an album titled Lagos Na Wa which included an interlude track called “Shakiti Bobo” that featured a recitation of Quran verses. Parts of the album seem to promote spiritual themes and denounce worldly living.
However, Olamide has not made any definitive public claims about being a Muslim. He still occasionally references church and Christianity in his music as well. Ultimately, like many Nigerians, Olamide may choose not to rigidly identify with one faith over another, instead blending practices and philosophies from both Islam and Christianity. His personal religious views remain largely ambiguous.
Philanthropy and Business Ventures:
Beyond his music career, Olamide has involved himself in various philanthropic efforts and business ventures. In 2016, he founded the Olamide Adedeji Foundation to support the education and development of disadvantaged youths in Nigeria. The foundation has cooperated with several state governments on education initiatives and funds scholarship programmes for university students.
Olamide also founded music label YBNL Nation, which has signed several popular Nigerian hip hop and afrobeats stars aside from himself. The label has its own recording studios and focuses on artist development.
In 2018, Olamide became one of the first African musicians to launch his own television station, VOTS TV. The channel broadcasts music, culture and sports content to a youth audience.
Olamide Net Worth:
Olamide has signed many lucrative endorsement deals for global brands like Guinness Nigeria, 9Mobile and Sterling Bank. He has an estimated net worth of around $12 million.
Unlike many other celebrities, Olamide has kept most of his personal and family life very private. However, it is known that he has a long term partner named Adebukunmi Aisha Suleiman. Olamide and Aisha have one son named Maximilliano born in 2015 and a second son born in 2018. The family resides primarily in Lagos.
While he avoids making direct comments on his religious affiliation, Olamide credits his parents and his upbringing for instilling positive values that he applies in his music and life:
“Religion is about personal beliefs. For me, I just try to say things that can better peoples’ lives because what you say on record or in public goes a long way to influence peoples’ thinking and lives.”
In conclusion, the ten years since he broke onto the Nigerian music scene, Olamide has become one of the country’s biggest hip hop stars. His energetic music and catchy lyrics have earned him legions of fans across Nigeria and Africa. While his religious background remains shrouded in some mystery, Olamide continues to make uplifting, socially conscious music that resonates across faiths. His life story reflects the diverse, melting pot nature of modern Nigeria. After over a decade on top, Olamide remains one of afrobeats’ most relevant, popular and talented acts.