Zlatan Ibile Biography! Education, Net worth, Music Career

Who is Zlatan Ibile?
Zlatan Ibile whose real name is Omoniyi Temidayo Raphael is one of Nigeria’s top artists. He is a hip hop rapper, singer, songwriter, street music sensation, stage performer and a recording artist. He was born on 19th December 1994 in Lagos, Nigeria. This very gifted, skillful, creative and talented artist hails from Ekiti State. He is a household name in Nigeria’s entertainment industry.

Growing Up
Zlatan Ibile was born and raised in Lagos, he hails from Ekiti State. After completing his primary and secondary school education in Lagos, Zlatan Ibile proceeded to Moshood Abiola Polytechnic in Abeokuta, Ogun State in the south western part of Nigeria and graduated with a Higher National Diploma (HND) in Business Administration.

Inventing Zanku Dance Step
Zlatan is credited with inventing the very popular “Zanku” dance step which almost every music lover knows how to dance. He put an end to the Shaku Shaku trends with the Zanku “Leg Work” vibes. So how did the Zanku dance step emerge?
Towards the end of 2018, Zlatan released a single titled “Zanku” with a new dance move known as Leg Work. “Zanku” means Zlatan Abeg No Kill Us.

Music Career
Zlatan launched his musical career shortly after graduating from high school in 2011. His talent ensured his growth emwas rapid in the music industry. At the age of 19, he won Airtel’s “One Mic Campus Tour” music competition which was held in Abeokuta, the capital city of Ogun State. He first came into the Nigerian music scene in 2017 when he released a single titled “My Body” where he featured Olamide. The song went viral after a video of Davido dancing to the song surfaced on the internet. That video did not only help increase the song but also marked the beginning of his friendship with Davido.
Zlatan grew in popularity in 2018 after featuring on “Able God” a hit song by Chinko Ekun which also featured Nigerian rapper Li Kesh. Shortly afterwards, he dropped a new song titled “Zanku” which was accompanied by a crazy new dance move popularly known as Leg Work. Towards the end of 2018, Zlatan closed the year with another hit song titled “Osanle” in which he featured Davido.
Zlatan started 2019 with the release of “Glory” before appearing on another hit single, “Killin Dem” alongside Burna Boy. So Zlatan is credited with coming up with the nownvery popular Zanku dance.
Zlatan has suffered some near misses in terms of awards which angered his fans. For instance, On 19th October 2019, he was nominated for Next Rated at the Headies Award though he lost the award to Rema. He was nominated twice at the Headies Award but ended up not winning anything. This caused uproar among his fans on social media who blamed the Headies for manipulating the award. That didn’t stop him from being very influential in the entertainment industry in Nigeria.
Zlatan was featured on Naira Marley’s hit single “Am I a Yahoo Boy”. On 26th July 2019, Zlatan Ibile announced that he had signed an endorsement deal with carbonated soft drink manufacturer, Coca-cola.

Encounter with a young comedian
In 2017, a video of a 9-years-old boy named Segun Wire surfaced on Instagram. In the video, the young boy reportedly revealed his desires to become an internet fraudster. This caused outrage among members of the public who saw the video.

Much later it was discovered that the boy was only playing pranks on tree he public. On seeing the video, Zlatan Ibile decided to do something good for the boy. He created an Instagram account for the boy and started promoting him as a comedian. And then realizing how talented the boy was, Zlatan Ibile decided to send the boy to a private school and made financial provision for his upkeep. But this gesture turned sour eventually.

In 2018, it was alleged that Zlatan Ibile was using the 9-years-old boy as a tool for extortion. It was also reported that some thugs related to the family of the young boy attacked and assaulted Zlatan Ibile, which led to the end of his relationship with the young boy. Few weeks later, Zlatan released a song with Harrysong to explain himself to his fans. That incident also went past without affecting his growing career negatively.

Friction with the Law
Zlatan has also had friction with the law in Nigeria. In April 2019, he was arrested alongside Naira Marley and two others in connection with an alleged case of internet fraud and money laundering. He was subsequently released by the Nigerian Economic and Financial Crime Commission (EFCC) after investigations revealed he was innocent.


Zlatan Ibile’s worth is estimated at is currently $1.5 million. His influence in the music industry in Nigeria has continued to soar with numerous show bookings which fetch him a lot of money.

Trouble after diss track on Tacha

Zlatan came under intense criticism on social media after he made a song mocking one of the 2019 BBNaija housemates, Tacha, over her alleged “body odour”. The singer took to his social media pages to share the footage after Tacha was disqualified from the BBNaija show for acts of physical violence against Mercy, the eventual winner of the show.
In the video, the singer is seen in a studio with four of his friends with bottles of perfumes, dancing and echoing the lyrics churned out by Zlatan.
Though a few persons endorsed the track and asked him to go ahead and release it, numerous comments on social media condemned the act as extreme.
Quite a number of users condemned the video, labelling it “extreme” and saying it could have adverse mental effects on Tacha. Among those who condemned the action was Naira Marley, another big name in Nigeria’s entertainment industry. Though Zlatan tired to play down on the controversies by saying he likes Tacha’s fans and that Tacha was the only housemate he knew in that edition of BBNaija, the friction linguered for quite a while to the extent that he even raised alarm at a point that Tacha had blocked him in social media. Zlatan managed to overcome the trouble caused by the Tacha story and move on with his career.

Summing Up

Though his brief face off with Tacha fans after he released a diss track on her might have cost him a few fans, that was just momentary as he overcame that and won back a number of fans. Zlatan is one of Nigeria’s fast rising artists.

The Author

Chinenye Nwabueze

Nwabueze is a communication researcher with several years of lecturing experience in Nigerian universities.

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