Writer and film-maker, Biyi Bandele, is dead

Writer and film-maker, Biyi Bandele, is dead
Biyi Bandele

Writer and film-maker, Biyi Bandele, is dead.

He died in Lagos on Sunday.

His death was announced by his daughter, Temi Bandele, in a statement on Facebook.

The statement reads: “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.”

Born on October 1967, Biyi Bandele was a Nigerian novelist, playwright and filmmaker based in the United Kingdom.

He was the director of Half of a Yellow Sun and co-director of Blood Sisters, a Nigerian series.

A Yoruba, he was born in Kafanchan, Kaduna State, Nigeria.

His father Solomon Bandele Thomas was a veteran of the Burma Campaign in World War II, while Nigeria was still part of the British Empire.

Bandele spent the first 18 years of his life in the north-central part of the country.

Bandele had ambitions to be a writer and when he was 14 years old he won a short-story competition.

He later moved to Lagos, and in 1987 studied drama at the Obafemi Awolowo University, Ile-Ife.

He won the International Student Playscript competition of 1989 with an unpublished play, Rain, before claiming the 1990 British Council Lagos Award for a collection of poems.

Bandele moved to London in 1990 at the age of 22 armed with the manuscripts of two novels.

His books were published, and he was given a commission by the Royal Court Theatre.