Bantu (band)

Bantu group at Burgerfest 2015 Berlin.jpg
Background information
Also known asBantucrew, B.A.N.T.U. or Brotherhood Alliance Navigating Towards Unity
OriginLagos, Nigeria
GenresAfrofunk, Hip hop, Afrobeat, Highlife music
Years active1996–present
LabelsSoledad Productions

BANTU is a 13-piece band based in Lagos, Nigeria. Their music is a fusion of Afrobeat, Hiphop, Afrofunk, Highlife and Yoruba music. The group features multi-instrumentalists and singers who perform as a collective.


Nigerian-German brothers Ade Bantu & Abiodun, Sierra Leonean-German-singer Patrice and Nigerian singer Amaechi Okerenkwo founded BANTU[1] in 1996 in Cologne, Germany. BANTU is an acronym for Brotherhood Alliance Navigating Towards Unity and according to band member Ade Bantu the name was also chosen to honour South African anti-apartheid activist Steve Bantu Biko.[2] The band’s first recording was "No Vernacular (Humber Version)" which they released on the Cologne Carnival compilation Humba 2-Fastlovend Roots in 1996. Their debut album Fufu was released in 2000 and it became an instant success in Nigeria earning them two radio hit singles: "Nzogbu" (featuring Trinidadian Rapso artist Brother Resistance) and "Fire Inna Dancehall". After the departure of Amaechi and Patrice from the band a second self titled album BANTU featuring Jamaican drummer Sly Dunbar, Peter Tosh guitarist Earl "Chinna" Smith, Positive Black Soul and Pee Froiss from Senegal was released in 2004 with Ade Bantu & Abiodun handling most of the vocal duties.[3][4] In 2005 Bantu was awarded the Kora Awards (the Pan African equivalent of the Grammies) in the categories “Best Group West Africa” and “Best Group Africa” for their third album release Fuji Satisfaction a collaborative effort that featured Nigerian Fuji music singer Adewale Ayuba. In 2011 Bantu released their fourth studio album titled No Man Stands Alone [5][6] an album of collaborations mostly recorded in Nigeria. The album featured Highlife music legend Fatai Rolling Dollar, Nigerian singer Sound Sultan and Nigerian-German singer Nneka amongst many others. Since 2013 the BANTU collective has been hosting Afropolitan Vibes a monthly live music concert series and annual music festival in Lagos, Nigeria.[7] On July 7th 2017, the 13 piece BANTU collective released Agberos International. The 10 track album was produced by Aman Junaid. It featues Tony Allen on drums ("Niger Delta Blues") and Nigerian spoken word poetess Wana Wana ("Oni Temi"). The music on the album straddles Afrobeat, Highlife, Funk and Hiphop, while the lyrics have been described as witty, political and satirical.[8]


BANTU's broad musical scope has led to an extensive list of collaborations across all genres of music. They have recorded with the likes of British reggae group UB40, German Reggae artist Gentleman, Afrobeat co-founder Tony Allen, jùjú musician Ebenezer Obey, Juju artist Dele Ojo, Highlife singer Paulson Kalu, Orlando Julius, Nigerian actor and folk singer Jimi Solanke, Schäl Sick Brass Band and the Berlin-based Afrobeat Academy Band.[9]

Awards and nominations

BANTU was awarded the Kora Awards in the categories “Best Group West Africa” & “Best Group Africa” for their album “Fuji Satisfaction- Soundclash In Lagos” in 2005 in Durban, South Africa.[10]

BANTU's single "Where Di Water" was nominated for the 2009 Channel O Music Video Awards in the category "Best Ragga Dancehall Video [11] "Lagos Barbie" the lead single off BANTU's "Agberos International" album was nominated in the "Best Alternative Song" category at the 2018 edition of The Headies Award in Lagos, Nigeria [12]

Band members

  • Ade Bantu (Vocals)
  • Ayomiku Martins (Vocals)
  • Ireoluwa Ayodele Allen (Vocals)
  • Damilola Williams (Vocals)
  • Peter Sadibo (Bassguitar)
  • Dare Odede (Drums)
  • Akinkunmi Olagunju (Talking Drums)
  • Olufemi Sanni (Guitar)
  • Opeyemi Oyewande (Trumpet)
  • Akinyanmi Akinhinmola (Saxophone)
  • Isaiah Oladele (Trumbone)
  • Babajide Okays (Keyboards)
  • Abiodun Wurasamba Oke (Percussions)


External links


  1. ^ UHAKHEME, OZOLUA (29 July 2014). "Music became therapy when my father was murdered". The Nation Newspaper. Lagos,Nigeria. Retrieved 21 November 2007.
  2. ^ "'Why I relocated to Nigeria' – Ade Bantu". Encomium Weekly. Lagos, Nigeria. 8 August 2011. Retrieved 7 September 2015.
  3. ^ UHAKHEME, OZOLUA (29 July 2014). "Music became therapy when my father was murdered". The Nation Newspaper. Lagos,Nigeria. Retrieved 21 November 2007.
  4. ^ "Funkhaus Europa Global Pop Lexikon Ade Bantu". Funkhaus Europa.access date 27 June 2016
  5. ^ Agbede, Terh (11 November 2011). "Bantu: Exhibiting talent, energy, benevolence". National Mirror. Lagos, Nigeria. Retrieved 18 September 2012.[permanent dead link]
  6. ^ "Ade Bantu – Surprising Europe". Al Jazeera English. Doha, Qatar. 8 August 2011. Retrieved 18 September 2012.
  7. ^ Mark, Monica (29 July 2014). "West Africa Afrobeat uprising musicians Afropop big-band political spirit". The Guardian. London, United Kingdom. Retrieved 25 November 2014.
  8. ^ Mkhabela, Sabelo (12 July 2017). "First Listen: Lagos Group Bantu Will Make You Dance With 'Agberos International'". Okay Africa. New York, United States. Retrieved 8 August 2017.
  9. ^ Keazor, Ed (1 December 2014). "The Ade Bantu Conversation". Music In Africa. Johannesburg, South Africa. Retrieved 26 June 2015.
  10. ^ "Winners of 2005 Kora Award". Kora Awards. South Africa. 28 June 2016.
  11. ^ TV South Africa: 2009 Channel O Awards Nominees
  12. ^ Headies 2018 Davido, Wizkid, Simi lead nominees list: [1]

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