Nigerian-born British playwright and director, Biyi Bandele, is dead.
The prolific creative professional died on Sunday in Lagos at age 54.
His death came exactly a month to the landmark premiere of his latest film, Elesin Oba: Death And The King’s Horseman, which will screen at the Toronto International Film Festival next month.
Her daughter, Temi, released a statement on Monday night:
“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.”
Born on October 13, 1967 as Biyi Bandele-Thomas, he studied dramatic arts at the University of Ife, Nigeria and England.
He directed Halfvof a yellow sun in 2013, a screen adaptation of Chimamande Ngozi-Adichie’s novel of the same title on the Biafran war of the late 1960s.
Before Elesin Oba, he had worked with EbonyLife Studios as the director of Blood Sisters, a Netflix original series.