Adebisi Abu, the father of the renowned Nigerian-British singer Helen Folasade Adu, better known as Sade Adu, played a significant role in the singer’s early life. His journey included love, separation, multiple marriages, a distinguished educational background, and a remarkable career as an Economics lecturer.
Love and Separation of Adebisi Abu
Adebisi met Anne Hayes, a nurse, during their studies in London. Their connection blossomed into a marriage that led to the birth of their daughter, Sade. However, four years after the arrival of their second child, Banji, the couple separated. Adebisi remained in Nigeria, pursuing a career in academia, while Anne moved to England with their children.
Personal Life of Adebisi Abu
Following the separation from Anne, Adebisi Abu entered into two subsequent marriages, one with a Swiss woman and another with an African-American woman. Details regarding whether he had children from these marriages remain unclear.
Adebisi Abu Education and Professional Career
Adebisi Abu stood out in his community as one of the few individuals with a university education. Completing his college studies in London, he became one of the first statistics graduates in Nigeria. Upon returning to his home country, Adebisi became a lecturer in Economics at the University of Lagos. His dedication led him to rise through the ranks, eventually becoming the Head of the Department of Economics before retiring as a professor in 1975.
Sade Adu, Adebisi Abu’s daughter, embarked on her journey. Educated at Saint Martin’s School of Art, she gained recognition as a part-time model and fashion designer. Transitioning to music, Sade formed the band “Sade,” signing a contract with Epic records in 1983. Their debut album, “Diamond Life,” released in 1984, achieved widespread success. Despite subsequent hiatuses, Sade and her band continued to produce albums over the years.
His Death and Burial Drama
In 1985, Adebisi Abu passed away at a crucial time in Sade Adu’s music career. Sade, deeply affected by her father’s death, flew to Nigeria upon hearing the news. The burial ceremony, however, took an unexpected turn when the officiating pastor made controversial remarks about the deceased professor. Despite Sade’s attempts to defend her father, the emotional ordeal led her to vow never to visit her paternal country again.
Adebisi Abu’s legacy is woven into the narrative of a family marked by love, separation, and the pursuit of individual paths. His impact on Sade Adu’s life, despite the challenges, remains an integral part of the singer’s story.