Biyi Bandele: Mo Abudu, Uche Jombo, Others React As ‘Blood Sisters’ Director Dies

Biyi Bandele, director of ‘Half of a Yellow Sun’ and co-director of the Nigerian series ‘Blood Sisters’, is dead.

The Nigerian novelist and playwright died at the age of 54, said a statement released via his Facebook page by his daughter, Temi Bandele, late Monday.

According to Temi, he died in Lagos on Sunday, August 7, 2022.

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 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 that 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.”

Many celebrities have taken to social media to pen tributes to Bandele, including Moabudu, Uche Jombo, Beverly Naya, Kemi Falodun, Lola Shoneyin, Deyemi, Kenneth Gyang, and Adewole Adebayo.

@moabudu wrote: “It is with deep sadness that we commiserate with the family of Biyi Bandele who died on Sunday, 7th August 2022 in Lagos.

“Biyi worked with us at EbonyLife Media, directing several of our projects, including ‘Fifty’ (2015), ‘Blood Sisters’, episodes 1 & 2 (2022), and the forthcoming film Elesin Oba, The King’s Horseman, for which he wrote the screenplay. Elesin Oba will premiere at the Toronto International Film Festival in September.

“Biyi had an eye for a story, was always passionate about his work, and had a great love for Yoruba culture. We will miss his dedication, cheerful spirit, and collaborative nature. Rest in peace, dear friend.”

Uche Jombo, in her post, said: “I keep playing back our last conversation! This hurts. Rest in peace uncle B #BiyiBandele.”

@BeverlyNaya also said, “Such devastating news to wake up to. Wow, Rest In Perfect Peace, Biyi Bandele. My thoughts and prayers are with his family and friends during this difficult time.”

@_deyemi wrote “Last night I went to bed with tears in my eyes and a heavy heart… RIP Egbon Biyi Bandele.”

@lolashoneyin in her tribute sympathized with the deceased family: “Shocked and greatly saddened to hear that author, playwright, poet, and filmmaker #BiyiBandele has left us so soon, too soon. My heart goes out to his loved ones, and the creative communities he touched and enriched with his talent and generosity.”

Adewole Adebayo (@Pres_Adebayo) in his tribute wrote, “I pause to mourn soulful Biyi Bandele, eponymous scion of the Burma Boy, Solomon Bamidele Thomas, aka Tommy Sparkle, grandson of railways man of rustic Kafanchan. Biyi was a time machine in a dreamy realm called Nigeria where tragedy and triumph twin to meet a world at war. Adieu”

@kennethgyang said, “My heart is heavy. We were planning to make his book Burma Boy into a Major Motion Picture. There were many others in the works. RIP Biyi Bandele. Thank you for being a friend, mentor, therapist, and supporter.”

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