Adebisi Abu was the father of Nigerian-British singer Helen Folasade Adu famously known as Sade Adu. He met Anne Hayes, a nurse when they were both studying in London; they dated for a while before tying the knot. Adebisi and his wife moved to Nigeria, where his daughter Sade was born. Four years after the birth of their second child, Sade, they separated.
Adebisi remained in Nigeria, where he was a lecturer of Economics at the University of Lagos. At the same time, his wife Anne moved with their two children, Sade and Banji, to England, where they stayed with their grandparents.
After separating from Anne Hayes, Adebisi Abu married two other women, a Swiss and an African-American woman, before his death. However, whether he had children from his second and third marriages is unclear.
Education and Professional Career
Adebisi Abu was educated; he was one of the few in his community to have studied at the university level. Adebisi was one of the first statistics graduates in his country, having completed his college studies in London.
After returning to his country Nigeria, he started teaching Economics at the University of Lagos. While in the institution, he rose through the ranks to become the Head of the Department of Economics. He retired as a professor in 1975.
Adebisi Abu’s daughter completed her college education at Saint Martin’s School of Art, where he gained recognition as a part-time model and fashion designer. After college, she joined a music group but left after a short time to form her band, Sade; they signed a contract with Epic records in 1983.
Sade and her band released their first album Diamond Life in 1984, hitting country-wide, and it was one of the best-selling albums that year. After releasing four albums, Sade and her band did not perform or record any songs because of the birth of her child. They reunited in 1999 and released another album a year later before another hiatus. Since 2000 the band has not produced many songs, recording less than five.
His Death and Burial Drama
Adebisi Abu died in 1985; at the time, his daughter Sade Adu was at the peak of her music career. When she heard the news of her father’s passing, she took a plane and went to Nigeria. Sade was saddened by her father’s death even though she did not spend most of her life with him.
At his burial, a pastor officiating the ceremony took the microphone and started saying crazy stuff about the dead professor. In anger, the pastor said that even if Adebisi Adu was one of the first graduates in the community, he never did something. The pastor did not stop at that and said that when Adebisi was asked to help paint the church, he refused.
Sade tried to defend her father but was too emotional to burst into tears. It was a horrible ordeal for Sade, and she swore never to visit her paternal country again.