It was fun, excitement and reunion last forthnight when the two veteran film makers,Francis Oladele and Tunde KELANI met at the former’s country home in Oyo town after a long time.
Francis Adetunji Oladele, pioneer film producer was born in 1932. He worked as a photo-journalist with Daily Times of Nigeria where he introduced the then very popular column, Social Diary. He traveled to the United States of America in 1955 at the young age of 22, to study photography at the popular New York Institute of Photography. He later worked at the Technicolor, USA, where he was recruited by the then Premier of Western Region, Chief Obafemi Awolowo to return home as the pioneer African Head of the Film Unit of the defunct Western Nigeria Television (WNTV), Ibadan.
Francis Adetunji Oladele was the first Nigerian filmmaker to incorporate a film production company named Calpenny Film Production (USA)Calpenny Nigerian Film Production which produced the film,Kongi’s Harvest, an adaptation of Prof. Wole Soyinka’s novel in 1970,with Prof. Wole Soyinka playing the lead role.
The company further produced Things Fall Apart which was later changed to Bullfrog in the Sun in 1971.
Francis Oladele,now 81, leaves in his serene Lapiti estate in Oyo town.