The veteran filmmaker, Ladi Ladebo, has passed. The filmmaker and media personality died on April 16 in London, aged 78.
A statement announcing his demise and signed by one of his children, Precious Ladebo Osagie, on behalf of the Ladebo family read: “With gratitude to God for a life well-lived, we announce the passing on to glory of our dearly beloved, husband, father and grandfather, Raymond Oladipupo Ladebo who passed away peacefully on Friday, April 16, 2021, in London, United Kingdom; he was 78 years old.
“An intimate memorial service will be held on May 7, 2021, in London, UK. Ladi, as he was fondly called, was survived by his wife Irene Ladebo, his three daughters and two grandchildren.
Popularly known as Uncle Ladi, the late Ladebo was born on May 7, 1942. He directed famous works including ‘Bisi – Daughter of the River’ (co-author/producer), 1977; and ‘Countdown at Kusini’ (co-author/producer) 1974 in collaboration with Ossie Davis. Ladebo also directed ‘The Silent Sufferer’ in collaboration with UNESCO/UNFPA; ‘Vendor’ (writer/ director) 1987 for MAMSER, and several Television serials including ‘Pariah’ and ‘The Thrift Collector’.
His films include ‘Heritage’ (2003), about an archaeologist who is unjustly sent to prison because officials believed that he knew about the disappearance of a sacred artefact. He is visited by a doctoral student, who may be his biological son, and ‘Baba Zak’, a docu-drama about a retired civil servant who returns to his hometown to live. After losing his wife, he is offered a house-girl to marry by her very traditional father. The girl, however, has other ideas about how she wants to live her life.
Ladebo also produced ‘In the name of Tradition’, a docu-drama about female circumcision based on field interviews and ‘The Throne, about a modern-day prince of a fictional African city who attempts to subvert the traditional succession system to the throne.
The late Ladebo was a graduate of Business Administration from the Bowling Green State University, Ohio, USA (1968). He also earned an MBA in Marketing from the New York University Graduate School of Business in 1969.
He worked as Media Analyst/Account Executive with Ogilvy & Mather, New York, USA, 1969-72; Clerk, Central Bank, 1963-65 before taking up film production fully.
He was a multi-award-winning filmmaker whose death has further diminished the country’s field of tested cineastes.