Nigerian novelist, playwright, and filmmaker Biyi Bandele passed away in Lagos, Nigeria on Sunday, August 7, 2022.
Biyi Bandele was born in Kaduna State in 1967 and did his undergraduate studies at Obafemi Awolowo University, Ile-Ife. During a long career, he worked with the Royal Court Theatre, and the Royal Shakespeare Company, as well as writing radio dramas and screenplays for television. His plays included: Rain Marching for Fausa (1993); Resurrections in the Season of the Longest Drought (1994); Two Horsemen (1994); Death Catches the Hunter and Me and the Boys (1995); and Oroonoko, an adaptation of Aphra Behn’s 17th-century novel of the same name. He also wrote the novels The Man Who Came in from the Back of Beyond (1991), The Street (1999), and Burma Boy (2007).
In 2006, he made his directorial film debut bringing Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie’s novel Half of a Yellow Sun to screen. He also directed the third season of the popular MTV drama series, Shuga and directed the first Netflix Nigerian Original Series Blood Sisters. He was the director of the new Netflix’s The King’s Horseman, the screen adaptation of Wole Soyinka’s stage play Death and the King’s Horseman, which will premiere next month.
On Sunday, August 7, his daughter Temi Bandele announced the news of his passing on Facebook with the following message;
As Biyi’s daughter, I am heartbroken to share the sudden and unexpected death on Sunday 7th of August in Lagos of my father Biyi Bandele.
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.
Biyi’s Facebook account is now being run by family and close friends
Our friends at Brittle Paper have done an amazing tribute to Bandele featuring 100 African writers. You can get it by clicking the below link;