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Again, Nollywood mourns as Co-director of 'Blood Sisters,' Biyi Bandele dies at 54

Bandele's death is coming less than one month after popular actress, Ada Ameh passed on. His latest movie, Elesin Oba, The King's Horseman (2022) is yet to be released but slated for screening in September.
Biyi Bandele directing the movie, Blood Sisters
Biyi Bandele directing the movie, Blood Sisters

THE Nigerian movie industry has yet again been thrown into mourning as a popular novelist, playwright, iconic filmmaker, and co-director of 'Blood Sisters,' Biyi Bandele is confirmed dead.

Biyi Bandele
Biyi Bandele

"I am heartbroken to share the sudden and unexpected death on Sunday, August 7, 2022, in Lagos of my father Biyi Bandele.

“Biyi was a prodigiously talented writer and filmmaker, 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,” the statement announcing his death said.

The 54-year-old was a dedicated artist with a strong passion for life and a string of successes in his writing and filmmaking career. His latest work is Elesin Oba, the King’s Horseman (2022), which he adapted from Wole Soyinka’s classic drama, Death & The King’s Horseman, and directed for EbonyLife Films. The film is yet to be released but slated to be screened at the Toronto International Film Festival (TIFF) in September 2022.

He had earlier co-directed Blood Sisters, a 4-part Netflix-original television drama series, also for EbonyLife Films. His earlier works include Half of a Yellow Sun (Shareman Media & State Films, 2013) adapted from Chimamanda Adichie’s novel of the same title; Fifty (Ebony Films, 2015). He was also a director of the highly successful Television Series, SHUGA: What’s Your Reality. He directed FELA – Father of Afrobeat (2018), a TV special documentary for the BBC; and his self-produced TV-Movie documentary, Africa States of Independence (2010).

His fiction and non-fiction work include The Street, Burma Boy, a novel, a recreation of the story of his father and other veterans of the Second World War, who served in Burma, India, which he was working on to be adapted for Film. His other writing works include The Man Who Came in from the Back of Beyond, The Sympathetic Undertaker, and Yoruba Boy Running, which he recently concluded and submitted for publishing.