Adebayo Faleti: Biography, Age, Career, Family And Movies
Adebayo Faleti (26 December 1921 – 23 July 2017) was Africa’s first newscaster, Africa’s first stage play Director, Africa’s first film editor and librarian with the first television station in Africa (WNTV/WNBS), Nigeria’s first Yoruba presenter on television and radio alike, a Nigerian poet, journalist, writer, Nollywood films director and actor. He was also known as a Yoruba translator, a broadcaster, TV exponent and pioneer of the first television station in Africa, Western Nigeria Television (WNTV), now known as the Nigerian Television Authority (NTA). He was responsible for translating Nigeria’s National Anthem from English to Yoruba, his native language. He also translated speeches being made by former Attorney-General of the Federal Republic of Nigeria – Chief Bola Ige, former military president of Nigeria – General Ibrahim Babangida, former premier of the Western region of Nigeria – Chief Obafemi Awolowo and Head, National Interim Government of Nigeria – Chief Ernest Shonekan, from English to Yoruba. Faleti has published a dictionary containing the formal or official use of Yoruba names. He has received many awards, both locally and internationally, including the National Honour Of Officer Of the Order of the Niger (OON), Doctor of Letters (D.Litt), Justice of Peace (JP), Jerusalem Pilgrim (JP). Adebayo Faleti received the Festival of Arts award with “Eda Ko L’aropin” in 1995 and Afro-Hollywood Award for Outstanding Performance in Arts in the United States (in 2002). His movie – “Basorun Gaa” also received commendation at Breeze Awards in London as the best epic movie of the year in 2004. The first-ever magazine he wrote for was called Triumph when he was at the University of Ibadan as an undergraduate. He was also a columnist with the Nigerian Tribune.
Early life and education
Faleti was born in Agbo-Oye, Oyo State though lived in Obananko, Kuranga, near Oyo State. He is the first son of his father, Joseph Akanbi Faleti and the only child of his mother, Durowade Ayinke Faleti. From an early age, Alagba Faleti always had a passion for drama. Unfortunately, his parents could not fund his education to pursue his dreams due to lack of income, so he decided to put his primary education on hold. He then gathered a couple of interested colleagues and started his own successful theatre group, named Oyo Youth Operatic Society (founded in 1949). Faleti later found his way back to school by getting a job in a primary school, in which he worked for six years to raise enough funds for his secondary schooling with the financial support of his father. In 1966, he attended the University of Dakar in Senegal and obtained a Certificate of proficiency in French Language and Civilization. Two years later, he graduated from the University of Ibadan, Nigeria, with an honours degree in Lit-in-English. In 1971, he attended the Radio Netherlands Training Center in Hilversum, the Netherlands, and received a certificate in Television Production.
Faleti has written, produced and acted in several popular Yoruba plays. He is also known for his poems. He was the first school teacher at Ife Odan, located near Ejigbo Town in Osun State. He was also the General Manager of Broadcasting Corporation of Oyo State (BCOS), which is also known as Radio OYO, Ibadan. In 1959, he worked at Western Nigerian Television (WNTV), now known as NTA Ibadan, as a film editor and a librarian.
Faleti had two wives, one of whom had been living with him for more than 35 years till she died. Her name is Mrs Olubunmi Faleti, television personnel at the Nigerian Television Authority. Faleti’s first wife was Mrs Moteniola Faleti, a retired nurse at the University College Hospital, Ibadan. Faleti has up to 15 children. His first child is Mrs Adebola Orunsolu (née Faleti) while his last child is Adesiyan Olamilekansi Faleti.
Faleti has acted, written, and produced a number of movies, which include: Thunderbolt: Magun (2001), Afonja (1 & 2) (2002), Basorun Gaa (2004), and Sawo-Sogberi (2005).