Famous Yoruba thespian, Adebayo Faleti, poet, journalist, writer and actor is dead aged 86.
Faleti, known as a Yoruba Language translator and actor, died Sunday morning at the University College Hospital, Ibadan.
An old student of the Ibadan Boys High School, Faleti was a pioneer staff of the first television station in Africa, Western Nigerian Television (WNTV).
Faleti published, among other things, a dictionary containing the formal meaning of Yoruba names. He was also responsible for translating the National Anthem into Yoruba. He also translated the speeches of former military president, Ibrahim Babangida and chief Ernest Shonekan, head of the Interim National Government, into Yoruba.
He has received many local and international awards, including the national honour of Officer of the Order of the Niger (OON), the Festival of Arts award with Eda Ko Laropin and the Afro-Nollywood Award for Outstanding Performan in the Arts.
In 2014, the online was awash with the report on Monday that the renowned artist has lost battle to a protracted ailment.
However, Faleti while reacting to his death rumour said “I am alive. I am alive. Long life will be my lot”.
Faleti was born on December 26, 1930 at 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 the 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 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. Faleti was known to have had three wives, and now only has two. His first and legally married wife is Mrs. Moteniola Faleti. His current wife is Mrs. Olubunmi Faleti. Alagba Faleti had up to 15 children. His first child is Mrs. Adeboola Orunsolu (née Faleti).
He has acted, written, and produced a number of movies, which include: Thunderbolt: Magun (2001), Afonja (1 & 2) (2002), Basorun Gaa (2004), and Sawo-Segeri(2005).