Biyi Bandele cause of death is unconfirmed yet
Nigerian writer and filmmaker, Biyi Bandele died on Sunday in Lagos on August 7 of yet to be disclosed cause. Below are 13 things you need to know about the acclaimed filmmaker of Half of a Yellow Sun and the popular Netflix Series, Blood Sister.
- Biyi Bandele was born in Kafanchan, Northern Nigeria, on 13 Oct. 1967. He was 54 years when he died.
- Biyi studied Dramatic Arts at the University of Ife and thereafter proceeded to study at the Royal Court Theatre, London, the prolific dramatist, Wole Soyinka’s Alma Matter.
- Biyi started writing before the age of 12 and published his fiction works which won him a BBC Award as a teenager.
- Biyi lost his brother in the Nigerian Civil War in 1968
- His father fought in the Second World War. He was a war hero and died with bullet shrapnel in his body. Biyi grew up with his father and learned storytelling from him.
- The two experiences inspired the young Biyi to become a writer and it’s evident that it ultimately influenced his entire career.
- Biyi’s filmography has spanned four decades and would have continued were it not for his untimely death on Sunday. Biyi shocked the industry when he directed season 3 of MTVShuga series for MTV and solidified his talent as a true powerhouse of creative arts.
- Biyi also directed the adaptation of Chimamanda Adichie’s war novel, ‘Half of a yellow sun’ starring Chiwetel Ejiofor and other Hollywood stars.
- Before then in 2015, Biyi directed Fifty, an EbonyLIfe film starring Irety Doyle and other Nollywood big fishes.
- In 2022, Biyi co-directed Blood Sisters, an EbonyLIfe production for Netflix’s limited original film. Biyi directed Episodes 1 & 2 of the franchise.
- In 2020, Biyi reprised his works for BBC on his BBC special documentary on the Afrobeat Legend, Fela Anikulapokuti titled, ‘ Fela- Father of Afrobeat.’
- Still in 2022, Biyi’s latest film, ‘Elesin Oba, the King’s Horseman,’ is an adaptation of Wole Soyinka’s classic play, ‘Death and The King’s Horseman,’ and will be screened at the Toronto Film Festival in September this year. Unfortunately, the film will be premiered post-mortem.
- Biyi was really a literary icon. Some of his literary works include The Burma Boy, which seems like a tribute to his father who fought in the Second World War and died a war hero; The Man Who Came in the Back of Beyond; The Sympathetic Undertaker; and The Yoruba Boy Running.’
Biyi’s death came as a shock to anyone who knew him, especially his daughter who broke the sad news on her Facebook post on Monday morning. She said, ‘I am heartbroken to share the sudden and unexpected death on Sunday, 7th August in Lagos of my father, Biyi Bandele.’
She went on to eulogize her father and described him 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 his arts, in poetry, novels, plays and so on.’
What a loss, indeed!
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Tributes pour in for Bandele
Also, as expected, other Hollywood buffs have continued to express their shocks and regrets over the irreparable loss of one of the industry’s finest professionals. Some of such figures to pour tribute to the late star were Kate Henshaw, Etim Effiomg, Hilda Dokubo, and Lola Akintola, to name but a few.
Meanwhile, Netflix Nigeria rendered a heartrending tribute to the late star and described the sad passing as a monumental loss. This is what the streaming giant has to say, ‘Biyi Bandele’s passing is a monumental loss to Nigeria’s film and creative industry. He will be remembered as a powerhouse who made some of the finest films out of Africa. As we mourn him, we commiserate with his family, friends and colleagues. May he rest in power!’
In the same vein, the CEO of EbonyLifeTV, Mo Abudu, shed tears over the passing of the filmmaker who directed one EbonyLife’s most successful movies to date. She said Biyi will be sorely missed because of his dedication to his craft.
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In her Instagram page, she wrote, “it is with deep sadness that we commiserate with the family of Bandele who died on August 7, 2022, on Sunday in Lagos. Biyi Bandele worked with us at EbonyLife Media directing several of our projects, including Fifty (2015), Blood Sisters Episode 1& 2, and the forthcoming film, Elesin Oba, the King’s Horseman which he wrote the screenplay. Elesin Oba will premiere at the Toronto International Film Festival in September.
“Biyi had an eye for a story, was always passionate about his work, and had a great work for Yoruba culture. We will miss his dedication, cheerful spirit and collaborative nature. Rest in peace, dear friend.”
However, details of his internment have not yet been released by the family. Nigeria today will keep you updated as more development unfolds.