Samuel Ajayi Crowther was born in 1809, Nigeria; he became a slave at age twelve after Fulani slave raiders captured his family.
Despite being a slave at such a young age, Crowther beat the odds to become a prominent figure in world history.
In 1841, Crowther was selected to join a missionary expedition to Niger by James Fredrick Schon.
According to reports, the mission aimed to spread commerce from the colonised Nigeria into Niger as well as teach agricultural techniques through Christianity and help bring an end to the slave trade in the area.
Crowther was a standout missionary that caught the attention of the church authorities. As a result of the success of the mission, which was mainly due to Crowther’s commitment and hard work; he was ordained a Bishop in 1864.
Crowther was ordained by the Church Missionary Society as “Bishop of the countries of Western Africa beyond the Queen's dominions,” making him the first African Bishop in the Anglican Church.
Bishop Crowther made a lot of achievements, including initiating the Christian-Muslim discourse in the Upper and Middle Niger regions.
Samuel Ajayi Crowther was also a linguist, he translated the holy bible to Yoruba language and was instrumental in translating it into the Igbo language.
He died in December 1891, in Lagos, Nigeria.
He was the grandfather of Herbert Macaulay, a Nigerian nationalist, politician, surveyor, engineer, architect, journalist, and musician.
Many Nigerians consider Macaulay as the founder of Nigerian nationalism.
Sadly, despite his work for Nigeria’s independence, Herbert Macaulay did not see Nigerian independence. He became ill in 1945 while on a speaking tour promoting the NCNC agenda.
He returned to Lagos, where he died the same year. Nigeria was granted independence from Britain on October 1, 1960.
Both father and son are regarded as heroes, not just in Nigeria and Africa, but the world in general.
Header Image Credit: The Guardian Nigeria