Biyi Bandele, the renowned Nigerian novelist, playwright and filmmaker behind 2022’s Netflix Nigerian Original series “Blood Sisters,” has died. He was 54.
Biyi Bandele died on Sunday in Lagos, Nigeria, according to a Facebook post from his daughter, Temi Bandele. A cause of death was not given.
“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,” Temi writes in the post. “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.”
Fans, friends and colleagues are still mourning the loss of an iconic star who holds a special place in their hearts.
Biyi Bandele’s yet to be released work, “Elesin Oba, the King’s Horseman (2022),” an adaptation of Professor Wole Soyinka’s classic drama, “Death and The King’s Horseman,” is slated to be screened at the Toronto International Film Festival, TIFF, in September, this year. The film was produced by Mo Abudu’s EbonyLife Films for Netflix.
Speaking to Variety, Abudu described Bandele’s death as “totally unexpected and a real shock to us all.”
“He was over the moon about ‘Elesin Oba, The King’s Horseman’ premiering at TIFF, and of course we were all planning to be there,” she said, noting that the film was beloved by Bandele “more so than any of the other projects he had worked on with us.”
“He knew the source material well and was so excited when he heard about our selection at TIFF,” she added. “It’s so unfortunate that he will not be there to see the world enjoy a piece of his work that I know he was very proud of and so passionate about.”