Gov. Rauf Aregbesola of Osun has described the death of the popular playwright, Adebayo Faleti, as a huge loss to the Yoruba language and cultural heritage.
In a condolence message issued on Monday in Osogbo by his media aide, Mr Semiu Okanlawon, Aregbesola said Faleti was a `complete man of the theatre – an actor, director, choreographer and designer ’ who created performance spaces influenced by traditional architectural forms. ‘’
He said the appearance and dressing of Faleti spoke volumes of his origin, adding that he was always ready to advocate the promotion of Yoruba language and culture.
“I received with great sadness, news of the passing away of one of Nigeria’s gifted scholars, culture icons, nationalists and top-on-the-shelf dramatists, Pa Adebayo Faleti.
“The death of the playwright, theatre director and teacher was a huge loss not only to the creative world alone but also to the world of Yoruba language and culture heritage which he promoted till his death,’’ he said.
Aregbesola, who said the deceased contributed immensely to the promotion and advocacy of Yoruba Language, added that his exit would create a yawning gap in the theatre and cultural world.
“The death of Pa Adebayo Faleti is a huge loss in so many ways.
“His death is a big blow to the theatre and entertainment circle, a big blow to the cultural world as well as to the Yoruba Language community.
“His appearance and personality attested to the promotion of Omoluabi ethos the Yoruba people are known for and which the State of Osun stands for and promotes in all facets of human endeavours.
“Faleti exemplified the advocacy for an exhibition of Yoruba Language and culture in his writings and on stage, particularly with one of his celebrated novels, `Won ro pe were ni.’
“Thespian of a first class mould and a cultural ambassador, Faleti will not be forgotten for his immense patriotism and sincere commitment to a better Nigeria and promotion and contributions to Yoruba language and culture.
“On behalf of the government and people of Osun, I convey our heartfelt condolences to the immediate and extended families of the late stage icon, Oyo State Government, literary and drama communities.
“May his soul rest in peace,’’ Aregbesol Faleti, who was born on Dec. 26, 1930, died on Sunday at 86 years.
He died at the University College Hospital (UCH) in Ibadan, a city in which he had spent most of his life.