•His last moments, by son
•Wives, children: we’re proud of him
Actor, author and broadcaster, Adebayo Faleti, is dead.
Born on December 26, 1930, the renowned thespian reportedly died on Saturday morning after an illness.
He was 86.
The late Faleti was a pioneer at the first television station in Africa, the Western Nigeria Television (WNTV) in Ibadan, Oyo State capital.
He was a poet and Yoruba translator.
He translated Nigeria’s National Anthem from English to Yoruba and translated speeches by military President Ibrahim Babangida and Head of Interim National Government (ING), Chief Ernest Shonekan, from English to Yoruba.
Faleti, a recipient of many awards, including the Order of the Niger (OON), the Festival of Arts award with Eda Ko L’Aropin and the Afro-Hollywood Award for Outstanding Performance in Arts, has published a dictionary containing the formal or official use of Yoruba names.
Faleti died in the early hours of Saturday while taking his bath in his Ibadan home.
One of his sons, Adeniyi, said his father observed his morning devotion with his family.
The renowned actor reportedly told his family that he had prayed to God to send someone else to continue his mission on earth because he was tired and longing for home.
Adeniyi said: “After the morning devotion, I helped him to the bathroom, as I normally did. He said he wanted God to send someone else to complete his assignment because he had done all he could do. He also said he wanted to go home.
“Suddenly, I noticed that he was not breathing again. We took him to the University College Hospital (UCH) in Ibadan, where he was confirmed dead. We shall miss him greatly.”
Another son of the deceased, Gbemi, said their father led a good life, adding that the family would remain grateful to God for granting him a good life.
He said: “He reached the peak of his career in life. As an actor, he was celebrated; as an administrator, he headed the Broadcasting Corporation of Oyo State (BCOS) and the Oyo State office of Mass Mobilisation for Self-Reliance, Social Justice, and Economic Recovery (MAMSER). He fitted into every good role a father and a friend could play. He was caring and loved by all. We are sad about his demise, but we are grateful for a fulfilled life he lived. He is survived by children, grandchildren and great grandchildren. That is a grace anyone should be thankful for.”
Faleti’s first son, Ayoola, said he spoke with his father three days ago and that he was on his way home when he was told that his father had passed on.
He said: “In his usual attitude, he called me three days ago and we discussed like father and son. After I received a call this morning from my brother concerning the state of his health, I hit the road to come home and see him. But I did not see him alive as he had died before I got home. He took care of all his children and gave us good education. We shall all miss him.”
One of the deceased’s wives, Moteniola, said she married him in the 1950s.
She said he was a loving husband who was always concerned about the welfare of the family.
Mrs Faleti said: “I knew him as a loving husband and I will always remember how well he catered for the family. He prepared the children for a good future by ensuring that they got good education.”