THE PAN-AFRICAN UNIVERSITY PRESS & ISAAC O. DELANO FOUNDATION
BOOK LAUNCH & 40THANNIVERSARY MEMORIAL LECTURE
December 17, 2019 @10.00AM
The Agip Hall
The Musical Society of Nigeria (MUSON) Centre
PUBLIC PRESENTATION OF:
Cultural Modernity in a Colonized World: The Writings of Chief Isaac Oluwole Delanoby Toyin Falola
Selected Works of Chief Isaac O. Delano on Yoruba Language, edited by Toyin Falola & Michael O. Afolayan
Isaac O. Delano: A Dictionary of Yoruba Monosyllabic Verbs, edited by Toyin Falola and Michael O. Afolayan
To be delivered by Professor Toyin Falola
Distinguished Teaching Professor and the Jacob & Frances Sanger Mossiker Chair in the Humanities, The University of Texas at Austin
UNDER THE DISTINGUISHED CHAIRMANSHIP OF:
Chief Olusegun Obasanjo GCFR, Fmr. President of the Federal Republic of Nigeria
ABOUT CHIEF (Dr.) ISAAC O. DELANO
Chief Isaac Delano (1904-1979) has been eminently described as a nationalist, language educator and scholar of all times. He started his career in the Colonial Civil Service.Although he was invalidated by the Service in 1947 due to an accident that he faintly escaped, Delano had already published four books during his years in the Colonial Civil Service. The Chief made his debut into the intellectual world as a civil servant in 1937 when he published his work titled The Soul of Nigeria. This was followed by three others consecutively in 1944. They included The Singing Minister of Nigeria, An African Looks at Marriage and Notes and Comments from Nigeria. These publications were in addition to his articles in newspapers and the translation of the book Robinson Crusoe. So, when the Colonial Civil Service thought his services were no longer needed due to the tragic accident in 1947, it was the universe opening a greater path for him. This path he followed to the latter as he went on to bequeath his generation and those after, with intellectual productions in books that count over a dozen in number.
In his time, he had relationships with the University of Nigeria, Nsukka; Obafemi Awolowo University (then the University of Ife) and its affiliated institutions like the Institute of African Studies; University of Ibadan (then the University College) and its affiliated institutions like the Yoruba Historical Research Scheme; the West African Examination Council; the School of Oriental and African Studies, the University of London; Oxford University Press; Kraus Reprint; Western Printing Services Ltd.; Lutterworth Press; the Nigerian Broadcasting Services; Egbe Omo Oduduwa, the Action Group; the Anglican Church and many more. Without a doubt, he was one of the building blocks of these institutions in Nigeria. Through his intellectual works, he served as one of the earliest African voices to communicate Africa to the wider world at a time when its detractors were bent on distorting its realities.
His political activities led to his appointment as the first Administrative Secretary of the Egbe Omo Oduduwa, a position he held between 1948 and 1951. During and after this period, he served in several committees mapping-out strategies for the independence of Nigeria. Thus, we also must see Chief Delano as a pioneer Nigerian nationalist.
Chief Isaac Delano was a man whose life is worth celebrating for his dedication to the preservation of Yoruba culture, and by extension, that of Africa. This year, he has resurrected with the re-publication of some of his major books (Dictionary of Yoruba Monosyllabic Verbs and an anthology of four of his language-related works, titled Selected Works of Isaac O. Delano. This is an almost 1000-page book comprising of A Modern Yoruba Grammar; Agbeka Oro Yoruba: Appropriate words and expressions in Yoruba; Conversation in Yoruba and English; and Atumo Ede Yoruba) and the first scholarly monograph written on him by Toyin Falola, Cultural Modernity in a Colonized World: The Writings of Chief Isaac O. Delano.
Contact: Toyin Falola, The University of Texas at Austin, Austin, Tx