Iyanya Onoyom Mbuk, better known as Iyanya, is a Nigerian singer and songwriter who was born on October 31, 1986. He was born in Calabar, Cross River state, to a head mistress and a forester father.
Iyanya rose to prominence after winning the first ever MTN project Fame West Africa competition in 2008, and thereafter had his name being mentioned in almost every single home in Nigeria for his viral hit single “Kukere,” which was popularized by a viral Etighi dance step.
This award-winning Calabar singer who started honing his music skills by singing in famous Karaoke lounges in Calabar like Fiesta Fries, Mirage Nite Club and well-meaning bars across Calabar Municipality has developed rapidly in the world of music, sharing musical stages across Nigeria with lots of Big names in the Nigerian Music industry.
|Real Name:||Iyanya Onoyom Mbuk|
|Date of Birth||October 31,1986|
|Place of Birth:||Calabar|
|Occupation:||Singer and Songwriter|
|Net Worth||$5 million|
Early Life, Childhood and Education
Iyanya was born in Calabar, Cross River State, precisely in Palm Street where his parents stayed. His father was a forester, and his mother was a head mistress. Iyanya’s mother was the household disciplinarian, while his father was the gentler of the two. In 2008, both of his parents died (dad at age 50 and his mum at age, 42), and his older brother died around the same time.
Iyanya Onoyom Mbuk began singing as a child in the church choir where his grandfather was the clergyman and he started leading the children’s choir at a very tender age of 5.
Mbuk has his primary, secondary, and university education in Calabar where he was born. He holds a bachelor’s degree in Business Administration from the University of Calabar, Calabar.
Iyanya got a job as a hotel worker after finishing his undergraduate degree.
He frequently performed at Fiesta Fries Bar, Mirage Nite Club, and West-Life Night Club. Craig David, Bob Marley, West Life, Backstreet Boys, and R. Kelly were all influences for Iyanya.
He decided it was time to pursue a career in music after watching a television show that featured the lavish
lifestyles of 2Face Idibia and Olu Maintain.
Iyanya rose to prominence in Nigeria after winning the first season of the MTN Project Fame Reality TV show in 2008 which he contested after being encouraged by KCee to participate in the competition and he carted home with the star prizes which included ₦2.5 million cash. Following that, in 2009, he released his debut album, My Story.
My Story was a commercial flop due to insufficient distribution and promotion. He eventually rose to prominence in the industry after releasing Kukere in 2011 which made him known in every nook and cranny of Nigeria. His released of Kukere was sequel to how he saw people love the Etighi dance as at that time when he visited Calabar.
He collaborated with producer DTunes to record the Kukere song, which became a global hit, particularly in Nigeria, Ghana, and the United Kingdom. The song was followed by the album’s second single, Ur Waist.
It was reported on October 16, 2013, that Iyanya had become an ambassador for Solo Phones Nigeria, a mobile phone company based in Computer Village, Ikeja. The one-year contract was reportedly worth $220,000 (35 million naira). Iyanya also received a 2014 Toyota Prado as part of the deal.
According to the Daily Independent, Iyanya also signed a $300,000 one-year contract with Zinox Computers (Nigeria’s first certified branded computers) in 2013. Iyanya was made to appear on Zinox billboards and in television commercials as part of the agreement.
Iyanya performed at comedian AY Makun’s show at the INDIGO2 arena on November 25, 2012. Iyanya headlined the Iyanya vs. Desire concert in the United Kingdom to promote his second album. It began in London and concluded in Manchester.
On June 9, 2013, the London concert took place at the INDIGO2 arena. Tonto Dikeh and Emma Nyra both gave performances. The Manchester concert began on June 14, 2013, with performances by Emma Nyra and DRB Lasgidi. In early 2013, Iyanya and his labelmate Emma Nyra embarked on a mini tour across the United States and Canada. On April 11, 2013, Iyanya performed at the Shrine in Chicago.
He also performed at the launch of African Muzik Magazine on April 12, 2013, in Dallas, Texas. Iyanya performed at the world-renowned New York Fashion Week and serenaded Grammy Award nominee Melanie Fiona at the LTB Jean store in Soho, New York.
He also performed at the launch of African Muzik Magazine on April 12, 2013, in Dallas, Texas. Iyanya performed at the world-renowned New York Fashion Week and sang with Grammy Award nominee Melanie Fiona at the LTB Jean store in Soho, New York.
The Kukere Master has won many awards which include:
- Nigerian Music Awards
- Headies Awards
- Ghana Music Awards
- World Music Awards
- City People Entertainment Awards
- Soul Train Music Awards
- Nigerian Entertainment Awards
- African Music Magazine Awards
- Channel O Music Video Awards
- Ambassador for Solo Phones Nigeria – a mobile phone company located at Computer Village, Ikeja. The contract came with a 2014 Toyota Prado.
- Iyanya signed a one-year endorsement deal with Zinox Computers (Nigeria’s first certified branded computers).
- MTN Nigeria endorsed him as one of its brand ambassadors after winning MTN Project Fame
- Brand ambassador for Dunes Center, Abuja.
Some of Iyanya’s songs include:
- “Love Truly”
- “No Time” (featuring Faze)
- “Iyanya (My Story)”
- “Ur Waist”
(featuring Emma Nyra)
- “Kukere Remix” (featuring D’banj)
- “Sexy Mama” (featuring Wizkid)
- “Jombolo” (featuring Flavour N’abania)
- “Head Swell”
- “She Can Get It”
- “Le Kwa Ukwu”
- “Story Story” (featuring Oritse Femi)
- “Mr Oreo”
- “Ijeoma” (featuring peruzzi)
Iyanya dated Yvonne Nelson, a stunning Ghanaian model and actress. According to reports, the two dated for about 7 to 8 months. The stunning Ghanaian actress admitted to dating Iyanya and was left heartbroken due to the Calabar Boy flirting with other girls
Tonto Dikeh has also dated Nigerian Iyanya, but the relationship ended quickly. According to reports, Ghanaian actress Yvonne Nelson accused Tonto Dikeh of luring him and forcing him to dump her. But Iyanya later dumped Tonto after he had enough of her.