Biyi Bandele, a United Kingdom based Nigerian novelist, playwright and filmmaker has died in Lagos according to a press statement from his family.
The film director who just finished work on the film Elesin Oba, an adaptation of Wole Soyinka’s Death and the King’s Horseman for Mo Abudu-led Ebony Production reportedly died on Monday and the cause of death was not disclosed.
He also directed the feature film, ‘Half of a Yellow Sun’ which was also an adaption of Chimamanda Adiche’s novel of the same title.
Bandele, a graduate of Obafemi Awolowo University, Ile-Ife was globally known for his prodigious literary and creative talents. He moved to London in 1990 after his university education from where he regularly visited Nigeria.
He was born Biyi Bandele-Thomas on October 13, 1967 in Kafanchan, Kaduna State.
Steve Ayorinde, a renowned film critic and kindred spirit of Bandele described his death as “shocking and sudden” in his Facebook post.
Ayorinde, a former Commissioner of Culture and Tourism in Lagos State wrote: “Shocking and sudden, a bright mind departs…You shot Death And The King’s Horseman and took a sudden exit. Elesin Oba, what a mystery…Adieu, Biyi!”
Elesin Oba, the film Bandele just filmed is in post-production and is billed to be premiered at the 47th Toronto International Film Festival starting from September 8-18 in Toronto, Canada.