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|Birth name||Gbadewonuola Olateju Oyelakin|
|Born||January 20, 1979|
|Alma mater||University of Lagos|
Gbadewonuola Olateju Oyelakin (born January 20, 1979), known professionally as Teju Babyface, is the LEAD MENTOR at the TEJU BABYFACE MENTORSHIP ACADEMY, a virtual platform with a mission to mentor young Nigerians to discover, develop & deploy their talents to solve problems for humanity and achieve success (for themselves) in the process. He is also a United Nations Sustainable Development Goals Ambassador for Nigeria with a focus on Decent Work & Economic Growth. In 2016, he authored his first book, SECRETS OF THE STREETS: 23 SECRETS FOR ACHIEVING SUCCESS WITH TALENT. Though he started his career as both an actor and a comedian, his first major break was the creation of his hit talk show, The Teju Babyface Show, which he still produces and runs on TV stations across the globe.
Teju was born in Lagos, Nigeria. He attended Corona School Apapa, Federal Government College Ogbomoso and the University of Lagoswhere he graduated with a bachelor’s degree in Insurance. According to Teju ‘I never set out to read Insurance. As a matter of fact, I was largely uninterested in all the courses that were on offer and I left the choice of my major to my parents who put in for accounting whereupon I was offered Insurance, which we had to take’.
Teju’s first foray into entertainment was as a member of Theatre 15, from where he came to the attention of ace movie director, Tade Ogidan who was looking to cast the main character in the block-buster movie, Diamond Ring. Teju auditioned for the role and was selected and the movie was released to critical acclaim. Whilst he would enjoy a lot of recognition from movie goers across Nigeria, it did nothing to help his dreams of being an actor. ‘I kept waiting for something to happen’, he says, ‘and when it never did, I tried to make it happen by going to meet the established directors of that day but nothing I did seemed to work’. During these times, Teju soon realized that whilst acting was greatly dependent on being cast in any role by producers and directors, stand-up comedy was a field that offered perhaps equal fame and fortune with a freedom to perform that he would never find in acting and so he took a friend up on an offer to act as the Emcee for a departmental end of year whilst in the university. He enjoyed the experience so much that he spent less time trying to act and focused more on comedy and was soon rewarded with success and recognition. He went on to create The Teju Babyface Show in 2010.
The Teju Babyface Show
In 2010 Teju developed The Teju Babyface Show, which became an instant hit on television in Nigeria and beyond. He had always been of the opinion that stand-up comedy was a means to an end and after a decade as one of Nigeria’s headline stand-up comedy acts, he saw the show as the perfect way to impact and influence more people. The very first of its kind in Nigeria, the show brought an infusion of late night American television with hints of recent projects like the Ellen DeGeneres, Steve Harvey and Arsenio Hall Shows to African television. In production for its 6th Season, the show has played host to many celebrities and important personalities and remains an original African offering with such features as the theme music (Eri Okan/Conscience by King Sunny Ade) introducing viewers to a glimpse of the African soul.
Secrets of the Streets
In May 2017, Teju Babyface officially presented his book, Secrets of the Streets: 23 Secrets for Achieving Success with Talent to the public in Lagos.
The Teju Babyface Mentorship Academy
In June 2017, Teju Babyface introduced his mentoring academy. As Teju explains it, “our academy was born out of overwhelming demand from the masses of youth who craved direction and instruction on talent development and had little means of finding it in the Nigerian and African space”.
- “Fame almost ruined me”. Vanguard. December 11, 2009.
- “Watch out Leno & Letterman, “Late Night” for Nigeria: The Teju BabyFace Show”. Bella Naija. May 4, 2010.
- “Teju Baby Face, the Nigerian youth and the rest of us”. Daily Independent. May 2, 2010.
- “Teju Babyface Show… The Next Big Thing!”. Thisday. December 11, 2011.
- “Marriage has not cost me my freedom”. Tribune. October 28, 2012.
- “Teju Babyface heads for the altar”. Punch. August 11, 2012.