When the name Biyi Bandele Thomas is mentioned in the Art world, what readily comes to mind is a film director, novelist and a playwright. My first contact with Biyi was several years back through his award winning absurd play “RAIN” before he then left for the UK.
How many of you know him as a photographer? I didn’t know this part of him either, not until recently when a close friend Anthony Abbey called to invite me for a photography exhibition by Biyi, in honour of Fela. “Is he curating?” “No, he’s been documenting Fela’s shows for some years and now exhibiting the works as part of Felabration 2016 at the Radisson Blu Hotel.” He replied. I could not make the opening which was the 13th of October, 2016 but visited the second day.
The power of photography as a vehicle for documenting history cannot be contested. Biyi’s documentation attested to this fact. One shot I find quite interesting is the one with one of the most reknown photographers in the theatre world, late Hakeem Shitta. Another shot that really cut my attention was the capture of a nun. I find that contrast between a social gathering and a religious figure quite interesting too. The memory of Fela lingers on in our minds. Happy Felabration to all. Well-done Oga Biyi