D'BANJ'S HEART OF GOLD
The heart of Dapo Oyebanjo, popularly known as D'banj is certainly not cast in iron. The rave of the moment, who turned 29 on Tuesday, must have had his heart carved in pure gold. The Igwe crooner couldn't have chosen a more auspicious way to celebrate his birthday when unlike most Nigerians, who throw huge parties for their friends and families, chose to spend the day in the company of the underprivileged, and secondary school students.
Sporting a designer gray suit and oxblood shirt, D'banj spent a good part of his 29th birthday with the abandoned children born with life-threatening and terminal ailments and disabilities like down syndrome, polio, cerebral palsy, epilepsy and hydrocephalus at the Hearts of Gold Children's Hospice, an orphanage located in Surulere, Lagos.
Accompanied by his producer and CEO of Mo'hits records, Don Jazzy and other artistes on the label like Ikechukwu, Wande Cole and Naeto C, the music star took time out to cuddle and serenade the children. He later gave them a cheque of N1 million as well as food items.
On his decision to visit the children, D'banj told Blockbuster thus: 'It's a spontaneous decision. I just woke up this morning and decided to celebrate my birthday with the underprivileged children. It's my own way of giving back to a society that has given me so much. Though, I have done a lot in the past for the underprivileged through my Koko Foundation, this is the first time I would be visiting the hospice.'
Speaking on behalf of Mrs. Laja Adedoyin, Chief Executive Officer and founder of Hearts of Gold Hospice, Irene Ikediashi thanked D'banj for the gesture which she said would go a long way in providing for the upkeep of the children.
D'banj later paid a surprise visit to Dowen College in Lekki, Lagos where he extended his philanthropic gesture to three best graduating students of the school in the 2008-2009 academic sessions. The students, Oritsemisan Ikpobe, Ramon Shitta and Saheedat Onifade had each received a scholarship grant worth $20,000 from the Koko master.
According to D'banj, the gesture was a way of repaying the students who had for long craved for a live musical performance by him. The artiste disclosed that some time in 2007, an On-Air-Personality of a major radio station in Lagos had posed as his manager and duped the students of about N5 million with the promise that he would bring him for a live musical performance in the school.
Blockbuster learnt that each of the students had paid N10,000 for the purported performance by D'banj. But then the agony and disappointment of the students were forgotten as they finally had the chance to see their favourite music star perform live in the school hall on Tuesday. Along with Wande Cole, Ikechukwu and Naeto C, D'banj gave the students the fun of their lifetime as he performed most of his popular songs like Igwe, Tongolo and You Don Make Me Fall in Love, among others.