Nigerians To Pay Last Respect As Presentation Of 'Tongues of the Forecourt' by Olawale Obadeyi Is Set For Release



Olawale Babajide Obadeyi, popularly known as Wally Jay, was an artiste, writer, compere extraordinaire and social commentator.



Sadly, he passed on to eternity in the early hours of Saturday, 30th June 2018.  If Obadeyi was alive today, he would have celebrated his 57th birthday on 28th September 2019.

But as the Yoruba would say, tí iná bá kú, á f'eérú bo’jú; tí ọ̀gẹ̀dẹ̀ bá kú, a f’ọmọ rẹ̀ rọ́pò (when a fire is finally extinguished, it replaces itself with ash; when the plantain withers, it replaces itself with its sapling).

So it is with Obadeyi: when he suddenly and unexpectedly passed away on that fateful morning, he left behind a wife, three wonderful children and a number of uncompleted artistic projects. One of such projects is his book of proverbs, Tongues of the Forecourt: A Collection of Yoruba Proverbs and Aphorisms.

It is thus to forever keep Obadeyi in our hearts and to ensure that his idea of a book of proverbs sees the light of day, that a committee of friends have come together to posthumously publish and host on 28 September the formal release and presentation of Tongues of the Forecourt: A Collection of Yoruba Proverbs and Aphorisms. This date coincides with Wally Jay’s second posthumous birthday.


Uniquely translated by Obadeyi, the book comprises a careful selection of 250 Yoruba proverbs, epigrams, saws and aphorisms that have been subdivided into five themes as edited by Leke Akinrowo. “As one turns every page of Tongues of the Forecourt, one will always remember that there once lived Olawale Obadeyi, a vivacious and innovative poet, storyteller and dramatist who mastered his mother tongue, Yoruba, and his second language, English, with astounding profundity,” writes Professor Gbemisola Adeoti of the English Department of Obafemi Awolowo University, in his Foreword to the book.

“Quite certainly,” Adeoti concludes, “the book will be an immense asset to scholars of African cultural studies, Yoruba folklore, oral literature and language. It will also be of assistance to the practitioners of Nigerian home video film tradition in Yoruba language, especially the script writers and sub-title writers, who often find translation of Yoruba proverbs into English a kind of hard nut to crack.

Contemporary writers and general readers will also find in it, a wide window into the ancient and modern world view of the Yoruba people as well as the essence of their complex existence.”

Please join family, friends and associates to celebrate Obadeyi’s second posthumous birthday and the formal release and presentation of his book, Tongues of the Forecourt: A Collection of Yoruba Proverbs and Aphorisms.

Special Guest of Honour: Mr Steve Ayorinde, former Lagos State Commissioner for Information and Culture.
Chief Launcher: Mr. Jide Somefun, CEO, Banksome Group.
Special Appearance: Norbert Young, Segun Arinze, Hafeez Oyetoro, Yinka Davies, Tunji Sotimirin, Yinka Akanbi, Onos and many more.

Venue: Arts Gallery, Kong’s Harvest, Freedom Park, Broad Street, Victoria Island, Lagos.
Date: 28 September, 2019.
Time: 4:30p.m to 7:30p.m.
For enquiries and interviews, please contact Bisi Adigun 08178672200 or Leke Akinrowo 08034880516.

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