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Acclaimed Novelist and Filmmaker Biyi Bandele has Died

Bandele, 54, was a prolific author, playwright and filmmaker whose work includes the adaptation of famed Nigerian author Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie’s Half of a Yellow Sun starring Chiwetel Ejiofor and Thandie Newton. His death was announced in a statement signed by his daughter Temi Bandele. She wrote, “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,” she wrote in the post. Bandele also co-directed the Netflix hit Blood Sisters. The streaming platform paid tribute to him in a Twitter post calling his passing “a monumental loss to Nigeria’s film and creative industry.” Mo Abudu, founder of Ebony Life Studios and one of his long time collaborators told CNN they were preparing to debut their new film, Elesin Oba (The King’s Horsemen) at the Toronto International Film Festival in September.