Norbert Young, Segun Arinze for posthumous presentation of Olawale Obadeyi’s book

Olawale Obadeyi Wally Jay

Nollywood actors, Norbert Young and Segun Arinze, have been listed to make a special appearance at the presentation of a book written by the late artiste and social commentator, Olawale Obadeyi.

Popularly known as Wally Jay, Mr Obadeyi died on Saturday, June 30, 2018, leaving behind a wife, three children and a number of uncompleted projects.


One of Obadeyi’s uncompleted projects is his book of proverbs titled Tongues of the Forecourt: A Collection of Yoruba Proverbs and Aphorisms.

To ensure that his idea of a book of proverbs sees the light of day, a committee of friends have concluded plan to present it to the public on September 28, 2019, the day he would have turned 57 if he was alive.

Uniquely translated by Obadeyi, the book comprises a careful selection of 250 Yoruba proverbs, epigrams 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 scriptwriters 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.”


Immediate past Lagos State commissioner for tourism, arts and culture, Steve Ayorinde, will be the special guest of honour at the book launch on Saturday.

Chief launcher is CEO of Banksome Group, Jide Somefun.

Other artistes that will make special appearance include Hafeez Oyetoro, Yinka Davies, Tunji Sotimirin and Yinka Akanbi.

Venue of the launch is Freedom Park, Broad Street, Lagos.