Goddy Leye was born 24 November 1965 in Mbouda, Cameroon. He obtained his diploma at a bilingual high school in 1989 and studied African literature and philology at the University of Yaoundé between 1986 and 1991. In 1990 he obtain his master's in African literature.
His artistic training started in 1987 with the artist and art historian Pascal Kenfack in Yaoundé until 1992. He continued his training in 1994 at the National Art Institute in Bamako, in 1997 at the ZKM Karlsruhe Centre for Art and Media in Germany, in 1999 at 18th Street Arts Complex in Santa Monica, California and between 2002 and 2002 at the Rijksakademie van Beeldende Kunsten in Amsterdam. In the Netherlands he co-funds and he becomes member of the Rijksakademie International Network (RAIN), a network of artists who support contemporary cultural practices in their countries of origin. Specifically for his interest in supporting art practices, Leye moved back to Douala in 2002 to create the art centre ArtBakery in Bonendale, devoted specifically to facilitating artistic training and exchanges among artists and to support multimedia, installations, video and digital art.
In 2002 he was the curator of the project "Bessengue City", a workshop and a series of site-specific art projects in the neighbourhood of Bessengue in Douala; the project involved Goddy Leye, James Beckett, Hartanto, Jesus Palomino and the local community. In 2006 he promoted and participated in "Exit Tour". In 2007 contributed to the Ars&Urbis Workshop organised in Douala by doual'art for the preparation of the SUD Salon Urbain de Douala and he was in residency at the Blachère Foundation in Apt, France. In 2008 he was in residency at the Gasworks cultural space in London; in 2009 he participated at the project "Image Art After" in dialogue with Florence Ayisi and he contributed at the Cairo Residency Symposium.
Leye's work received prizes from UNESCO, the Rockefeller Foundation and the Dutch Ministry of Foreign Affairs. As an artist and intellectual, he was involved in numerous expert committees; he was a member of the think tank of the Africa Centre in Cape Town and was an ambassador of CAN (Creative Africa Network).
Goddy Leye died on February 19, 2011 at the age of 46 at the District Hospital in Douala Bonassama, following a short illness.