Shock as Renowned Filmmaker, Biyi Bandele Dies at 54

Shock as Renowned Filmmaker, Biyi Bandele Dies at 54

Yinka Olatunbosun

Nigerian filmmaker, novelist and playwright, Biyi Bandele is dead. The shocking news of his death on August 7 was announced on social media by his daughter, Temi Bandele yesterday. 

The Facebook post found on late Bandele’s wall reads:

“Biyi was a prodigiously talented writer and film-maker, as well as a loyal friend and beloved father.   He was a storyteller to his bones, with an unblinking perspective, singular voice and wisdom which spoke boldly through all of his art, in poetry, novels, plays and on screen.    He told stories which made a profound impact and inspired many all over the world.  His legacy will live on through his work.

“He was taken from us much too soon.  He had already said so much so beautifully, and had so much more to say. We ask everyone to please respect the privacy of his family and friends as we grieve his loss.”

Bandele made his directorial debut with the Nigerian civil-war themed drama movie “Half of a Yellow Sun” which was screened in the Special Presentation section at the 2013 Toronto International Film Festival. His television credits include the Netflix Original Series, “Blood Sisters” and the third season of MTV’s “Shuga.”

Prior to his walk of fame on screen, the 1987 graduate of Dramatic Arts, Obafemi Awolowo University, Ile Ife had worked with the Royal Court Theatre, the Royal Shakespeare Company, as well as writing radio drama and screenplays for television. His plays include: Rain; Marching for Fausa (1993); Resurrections in the Season of the Longest Drought (1994); Two Horsemen (1994), selected as Best New Play at the 1994 London New Plays Festival.

As a novelist, his works include The Man Who Came in from the Back of Beyond (1991) and The Street (1999) as well as a 2007 novel titled Burma Boy. 

His latest directorial work is the new Netflix and Ebonylife TV co-production “Elesin Oba, The king’s Horseman”- a screen adaptation of Wole Soyinka’s classic tragic play “Death And The King’s Horseman”, which is set to premiere at the Toronto International Film Festival, Canada in September 2022.

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