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Biyi Bandele: Biography, Education, Wife, Children, Career, Cause of Death and More



The Nigerian movie industry, Nollywood, on Sunday, August 7, 2022, lost one of its talented persons, Biyi Bandele.

His death however was announced by his daughter on August 8, 2022.


Biyi Bandele is a Nigerian novelist, photographer, playwright, and movie director. He is from the Yoruba tribe but was born in Kafanchan, Kaduna state in 1967.

Bandele’s parents

His father’s name is Solomon Bandele Thomas, who fought in World War II while Nigeria was still colonized by the British Empire.


Bandele spent the first 18 years of his life in the north-central part of the country. He had ambitions to be a writer and when he was 14 years old he won a short-story competition.

Later on, Biyi Bamidele moved to Lagos. In 1987 he studied drama at the Obafemi Awolowo University (OAU), Ile-Ife.

Wife and Children

Details about Biyi Bandele’s marriage is not publicly available. However, the couple has a daughter named Temi Bandele.

Young Temi Bandele.


Bandele as a playwright

Bandele worked with the Royal Court Theatre, the Royal Shakespeare Company, as well as writing radio drama and screenplays for television.

His plays include: RainMarching for Fausa (1993); Resurrections in the Season of the Longest Drought (1994); Two Horsemen (1994), selected as Best New Play at the 1994 London New Plays Festival; Death Catches the Hunter and Me and the Boys (published in one volume, 1995); and Oroonoko, an adaptation of Aphra Behn’s 17th-century novel of the same name.

Biyi Bandele and Brymo on in his (Brymo’s) big-screen acting debut, on the set in Lagos of The King’s Horseman

In 1997 he did a successful dramatization of Chinua Achebe’s Things Fall Apart.

Brixton Stories, Bandele’s stage adaptation of his own novel The Street (1999), premiered in 2001 and was published in one volume with his play Happy Birthday Mister Deka, which premiered in 1999. He also adapted Lorca’s Yerma in 2001.

He was writer-in-residence with Talawa Theatre Company from 1994 to 1995, resident dramatist with the Royal National Theatre Studio (1996), the Judith E. Wilson Fellow at Churchill College, University of Cambridge, in 2000–01. He also acted as Royal Literary Fund Resident Playwright at the Bush Theatre from 2002 to 2003.

Bandele as a filmmaker

His debut as a film director was in Half of a Yellow Sun which was screened in the Special Presentation section at the 2013 Toronto International Film Festival, and received a “rapturous reception”.

He also directed the third season of the popular MTV drama series, Shuga. In 2022 he directed the first Netflix Nigerian Original series, Blood Sisters. He directed two episodes of the series namely: Run Sisters Run and It’s a Bloody Affair.

He was announced as the director of the new Netflix and Ebonylife TV co-production Elesin Oba, The King’s Horseman the screen adaptation of Wole Soyinka’s stage play Death and the King’s Horseman, and is set to premier at the Toronto International Film Festival in September 2022.


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.

He 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.


His movies include:

  • Elesin Oba, the King’s Horseman (post-production)
  • Blood Sisters (TV Mini-Series) (2 episodes) (2022)
  • Fela Kuti – Father of Afrobeat (TV Special documentary)
  •  Fifty (2015)
  •  Shuga (TV Series) (8 episodes) (2013)

Cause of death

His cause of death is currently unknown at the time of filing this report. Meanwhile, his death was announced by his daughter, Temi Bandele late Monday, in a statement on Facebook.

Biyi Bandele and daughter Temi.

The statement read, “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 wish everyone to please respect the privacy of his family and friends as we grieve his loss.”


The information in this article was curated from online sources. NewsWireNGR or its editorial team cannot independently verify all details.

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