Biyi Bandele, Prolific Novelist, Filmmaker, Is Dead!


The popular Nigerian filmmaker and novelist, Biyi Bandele is dead. He died at 54. This shocking news was confirmed by his family in an official statement on Monday. The family revealed that the iconic writer and filmmaker passed away on Sunday, 7th August 2022. Biyi was a native of Abeokuta in Ogun State, Nigeria although he lived and worked in the UK. 

According to the Tribune newspaper, the statement was released by Temi Bandele, the daughter of the deceased. In the statement, Temi wrote: 

“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.

She also stated that “He was taken from us much too soon. He had already said so much so beautifully and had so much more to say.”

Furthermore, Biyi’s family also pleaded with the public to respect their family privacy at a time like this, as they grieve the loss of their dear one.

Nollywood and indeed all Nigerians and book lovers have lost an important man, voice, and talent. Biyi Bandele wrote several novels and directed a lot of iconic films. 

Among the iconic works of Biyi Bandele are:

  • Blood Sisters (Netflix-Original Nigerian TV Drama Series) – Co-Director for EbonyLife Films. 
  • FELA – Father of Afrobeat (2018. TV special documentary) – Director for the BBC;
  • Nigerian Prince (2018.) – Executive Producer
  • Fifty (2015. Movie) – Director for Ebony Films
  • Half of a Yellow Sun (2013. An adaptation of Chimamada Adichie’s Novel of the same name) – Screenplay for Shareman Media & State Films
  • SHUGA: What’s Your Reality? (2013. TV Series) – Director for Ebony Films.
  • Africa States of Independence (2010. TV-Movie documentary) – Novelist/Playwright by himself.

Some other fiction and non-fiction works like The Sympathetic Undertaker, Burma Boy, and The Man Who Came in from the Back of Beyond were all Biyi Bandele’s creations..

Biyi Bandele’s Latest works

In addition, Biyi Bandele had been working on some new projects before his death. They are ‘Elesin Oba, the King’s Horseman’, and ‘Yoruba Boy Running’.

Elesin Oba, the King’s Horseman (2022. An adaptation of Wole Soyinka’s ‘ Death & The King’s Horseman’ ). Biyi Bandele was the director of the drama for EbonyLife Films. The drama is set for screening in September at Toronto International Film Festival (TIFF).

He had just finished the novel ‘Yoruba Boy Running’ and submitted it for publishing before his demise. 

We will greatly miss Biyi Bandele. He was an icon, a hero, an inspiration to many, and a dear father.

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