Nigerian poet, journalist, writer and actor Adebayo Faleti is dead. He will be laid to rest on the 8th of September 2017 in Ibadan. He was born on the 26 December 1921 in Oyo, Nigeria and was responsible for translating Nigeria’s National Anthem from English to Yoruba. He also translated speeches being made by military president of Nigeria, General Ibrahim Babangida and Chief Ernest Shonekan, Head of National Interim Government of Nigeria, from English to Yoruba.
In the turn of the new century, his most notable work included Thunderbolt: Magun (2001), Afonja (1 & 2) (2002), Basorun Gaa (2004), and Sawo-Sogberi (2005). He was a teacher at Ife Odan, located near Ejigbo Town. He was also the General Manager of Broadcasting Corporation of Oyo State (BCOS), which is also known as Radio OYO, Ibadan. In 1959, he once worked at Western Nigerian Television (WNTV), now known as NTA Ibadan, as a film editor and a librarian.
It is important to note now that the government took a different approach with the Acting President Yemi Osinbajo commiserating with the family of the Late Pa. Faleti calling him a national hero. This is the first time in a long time that the sitting government will recognize an artist. Usually, the government is dismissive of artists and the arts generally.
STATE HOUSE PRESS RELEASE
ADEBAYO FALETI WAS A MULTI-TALENTED ACTOR, TRANSLATOR, & BROADCASTER WHO USED HIS SKILLS TO SERVE THE NATION – ACTING PRESIDENT OSINBAJO
Acting President Yemi Osinbajo, SAN, commiserates with the family of ace actor, broadcaster, journalist and multi-lingual translator, Adebayo Faleti, who has passed on.
Acting President Yemi Osinbajo also condoles with the Oyo State government, the Nigerian literary community, movie industry and all the media houses where Faleti served variously as a broadcaster, dramatist, scriptwriter, poet and translator. Faleti was a staff of the pioneer television station in Africa, the then Western Nigeria Television, WNTV, which became what is now the Nigerian Television Authority, NTA.
The Acting President extols the multi-talented actor, who deployed his time and skills in the service of the nation through the creation of patriotic narratives on the tube and interpretation of speeches of Presidents and Heads of Governments to reach a wider audience.
Acting President Osinbajo recalls that the late thespian found his passion at an early age and worked against all the odds to acquire relevant knowledge and expertise, bequeathing to the upcoming generations not only an inspiring legacy but also that of focus, discipline and hard work.
Prof. Osinbajo noted that the local and international recognitions that Faleti won in his life time were not only well-deserved, but proof of his acclaim and patriotism.
The Acting President prays that the Almighty God will comfort his family, friends and associates and bless the memory of Pa Adebayo Faleti.
Senior Special Assistant to the President on Media & Publicity
Office of the Vice President
28 July 2017.
This statement from the presidency under Osinbajo’s watch is proof that he has sense.
Oluwatosin Adeshokan is a freelance journalist and writer reporting stories about West Africa. He was previously the Culture Editor for YNaija. He tweets at @TheOluwatosin