A pioneer of the Nigerian film industry and former newspaper columnist, Pa Francis Oladele, is dead.
He was said to have died on Monday morning in his home town, Oyo, after a brief illness.
He would have been 83 years in August.
Oladele was the producer of the first indigenous film in Nigeria, which was a screen adaptation of Prof. Wole Soyinka‘s play titled Kongi’s Harvest, released in 1969.
Also, he worked as a photo journalist with Daily Times of Nigeria where he started the popular column, Social Diary, before travelling to the United States of America to study photography at the popular New York Institute of
He was also the pioneer African Head of the Film Unit of the defunct Western Nigeria Television in Ibadan.
Oladele’s works have continued to attract scholarly attention by students and researchers in the area of film production, both at home and abroad.
Reacting to the news of his death, seasoned film-maker, Tunde Kelani, says the Nigerianbfilm industry has just lost one of its greatest pioneers.
He says, “I remember when I visited him in 2013 to re-present his i-Rep award.
He was very cheerful, charming and full of anecdotes as he conducted us round his rich library and wooded compound, ending the tour with his prepared grave of more than 15 years, right by his late wife’s grave.
Incidentally, Femi Robinson (Village Headmaster), who acted in Kongi’s Harvest, was buried in Lagos last week.
May their gentle and creative souls rest in peace.”