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It would be difficult to talk about experienced Yoruba movie producer and actors in Nigeria without mentioning Baba Adebayo Faleti. Apart from this obvious fact, baba was a renowned journalist in his prime having held top management positions at the Broadcasting Corporation of Oyo State (BCOS) in the role of a General Manager and also as the Film Editor and Librarian at the National Television Authority (NTA), Ibadan, Oyo State. Although a graduate of English Language from the University of Ibadan, Oyo State, baba’s mastery of the English, French and Yoruba languages was also something worthy to talk about.
Baba Adebayo 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 baba 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.
Baba Faleti was also instrumental in publishing a dictionary containing the formal or official use of Yoruba names. Apart from this, he also translated speeches made by former Heads of State, Ibrahim Babangida and Chief Ernest Shonekan, Head of National Interim Government of Nigeria, from English to Yoruba. He received many awards, both locally and internationally, including the national honour of Officer of the Order of the Niger, OON, the Festival of Arts award with Eda Ko L’aropin (1995) and the Afro-Hollywood Award for Outstanding Performance in Arts.
He 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). Baba Faleti died at the University College Hospital (UCH) Ibadan, a city in which he had spent most of his life. He is survived by three wives and about 15 children. May his gentle soul continue to rest in peace.