Role Model

Thomas Birch Freeman / Henry Townsend / Samuel Ajai Crowther

Birch freeman 1

Thomas Birch Freeman, who was the son of an Africcan Father and an English mohter, was born in 1809.

At an early age Birch Freeman was accepted into  the Methodist Church. He began in missionary career in the then Gold Coast(now Ghana).

On his arrival; in Badagry, Nigeria, he discovered that there was no Church. Without been discouraged, he started his evangelism under a tree.

Afterwards, he built a missionary house, while he along those assisting him built a place of worship.

Having  spread the gospel satisfactorily in Badagry, he moved on to Abeokuta, where he conducted the first Christian service  in the ancient town, in front of Oba Sodeke's palace.

Henry townsend

Henry Townsend, an Anglican missionary, arrived Nigeria in 1842. Towsend's voyage was prompted by the freed slaves of the Anglican denomination of Yoruba descent, who pleaded with the Church Missionary Society in Sierra Leone to send a ''shepherd'' to cater for the ''flock''. In response to this request, Townsend was sent to Badagry.

On Christmsa eve, in 1842, Townsend, who was accompanied by two African aides, met with Birch Freeman, who had just returned from Badagry.

Both discussed extensively of their plans to  spread the gospel in Yorubaland.

On Cirstmas day, the tqwo missionaries joined other Christain fathful of Anglican and Methodist persuasions in a joint service.

Birch Freeman also, enligthenend Townsend on all he needed to suceed. The former returned to Sierra Leone, while the latter proceeded to Abeokuta.

Townsend was given a rousing welcome and hosted at Oba Sodeke's palace in Abeokuta.

The next day, he held a  service in front of ther Oba palace and everthing he said in English was interpreted to Yoruba langauge by one of his aides.

After spending a week, he returned to Sierra Leone, to give a comprehensive report to the  Church Missionary Society.

Not long afterwards, he returned alongside other missionaries,, including  Samuel Ajai Crowther having been ordained a minister.

In 1852, Townsend established a printing press, the first in Niggeria and in 1859 he published the first TYoruba newspaper, ''Iwe Irohin'', a bi-monthly publication. In addition, he also, published and printed a book of Yoruba hymns.

The missionary also establiehd, a school, where people learnt how to read and write, thery were also trained in different vocations, including carpentary.

In 1859, over 3,000 people had passed through the C.M.S Schools in Badagry and Abeokuta.

In 1862, Townsend, established a motherless babies home, after which he retired in 1876.

Bishop samuel ajai crowther 1

Samuel Ajai Crowther was born in a small village, Osogun, about 1806. History has it that Crowther's father was assassinated by warriors from Sokoto in 1821, while himself, his mother and two sisters, Lanre and Amosa, were taken into slavery by the Fulanis.

In the first instance, Ajai and one of his sister ended up in a chief's home and afterwards, he was bartered for a horse.

The horse did not impress the chief, so he returned it and retrieved Ajai, who he subsequently sold to a Portuguese slave trader at the coast.

Ajai and other slaves were put on an American bound ship, which was intercepted by two British war ships, which apprehended the ship conveying the slaves and set them free.

The British Government had outlawed slave trade.

Ajai and five other slaves were taken to Sierra Leone.

In the Sub-Saharan country, Ajai was cared for by a guardian and after six months, he could read the Bible, and was given a leadership position in school. His monthly emolument was 71/2 d.

Ajai was baptized on 11 December, 1825 and named Samuel Crowther and a year later, his guardian took him to England on a visit.

While in England, he attended a church school for eight months and when he returned to Sierra Leone in 1827, he was made a village school master.

Samuel Ajai Crowther was the first student at the Fourah Bay College and the Principal of the college described Crowther as a student of good character, who was very studious.

In Freetwon, Crowther met Susannah Thompson, a daughter of the Alaafin of Oyo, who was also rescued from a slave ship. He got married to her and they had six children.

Crowther was part of an expedition mandated by the British Government to explore the Niger in 1841.

Several Europeans in the expedition took ill and passed on, however, Crowther survived. This convinced him that the task of introducing Christianity in Africa could only be achieved with the assistance of Africans.

In 1843, he became a minister of the church and the next year, he alongside Hnery Townsend, arrived Yorubaland for evangelism.

He was highly talented. He translated the prayer book to Yoruba language and wrote grammars of the Yoruba, Igbo and Nupe languages.

He showed great interest in Medicine and Health, and as a result established a dispensary in Abeokuta.

He visited England on several occasions and on one of such visits, he met Queen Victoria at Windsor castle. Pleased with his ability to read the Lord's prayer in Yoruba langauge, the Queen presented hi with a golden pencil.

Crowther was consecrated a Bishop in 1864, in the famous Cantebury Cathedral in England. The wife of his aged guardian and the captain, who rescued him and others from  the salve ship witnessed the ceremony.

Afterwards, he returned to Africa, to continue his missonary work, not only in Yorubaland, but across the Niger and in the North.

Challenges never discouraged him, to the admiration of Africans and Europeans, who had dealings with him. He passed on, on 1 December, 1891.



David Hinderer

David and anna hinderer 1

 David Hinderer was a European missionary who arrived Nigeria at a time, that there civil wars in Yorubaland.

Initially, Hinderer was mandated to visit villages boradering Abeokuta, to determine the possibility of introdcuing Christianity.

Even though he had to undertake the assignments,most times, on foot and ocassionally on horseback and canoe, he did it with happiness.

Having spread the gospel in Abeokuta and neihgbouring villages, Hinderer took and got permission from the C.M.S to proceed to Ibadan.

Been the only white man and often confronted with health challenges, he decided to return to England via Abeokuta.

In 1853, Hinderer alongside his wife, Anna, who was also a missionary, returned to West Africa, firstly visiting Abeokuta and eventually proceeding to Ibadan, where they resided and worked for 17 years.

During this period, they provided shelter and food for several indigent children. Hinderer and his wife established Churches at Ogunpa, Kudeti and Aremo, while also introducing Christianity in Ijebu and Oyo, at a time when wars were common place.

However, with time, challenges brought about by wars were surmounted. Anna founded the Kudeti Girls School, which is today known as St. Annes School. Anna returned to England in 1869 and passed on in 1870.

Although a set back, this did not stop Hinderer from establishing Churches in Ode and Ondo. And in 1912, he passed on to glory.

Mary Slessor

Mary slessor

Mary Mitchel Slessor was born at Aberdeen, Scotland in 1892.

Although of a poor background, Mary began to fend for herself and seek education at the young age of 11.

At this point in time, there were several stories of the evil and sinful practices of the people of Africa, Nigeria inclusive.

In the 19th century, a sizable number of Europeans had the belief that it was impossible to convince blacks to turn away from their evil ways.

Mary did not share in their thoughts, but rather resolved to assist the people in her own way.

As a member of the Church of Scotland Mission, she was sent as a missionary to Calabar,Nigeria.

On arrival at Calabar, she first learnt the local language, Efik and also studied the culture and tradition ofthe people, there was a secret society, Ekpe.

Their members were very few, but yielded great powers, even more than the King.

The society was involved in the enforcement and punishment of offenders. Its laws were binding on the people.

The society's punishment were severe, while its members treated women harshly. When titled Chiefs passed on, their wives were severely beaten and at times buried alongside their husbands. During this period, the killing of twins were rampant, even though the ones that were not killed were put in baskets or pots and abandoned in thick forests to die, while their mothers were sent away from their home villages. These evil practices influenced the decision of Mary Slessor to impact positively on the lives of women. She started by preaching the gospel of Christianity to women, while also providing medical care to anyone in need of it. She catered and educated those in need, homeless, abandoned children including orhpans, just as she advocated against slave trade. As a result of her great interest in education, she built a school for girls and women in 1902 in Itu. When the British Government noticed that Mary Slessor understood the problems of the people of Calabar,she was appointed Vice Consul in 1892. Mary Slessor passed on in Use,in January, 1915. Her tomb is there till this day.

Sir Frederick Lugard

Sir federick lugard

Federick Lugard was born in Madras, India in 1858. Lugard had an upbringing that was challenging, while he lost his mother at a tender age.

His father had difficulties in caring for him. At the age of 21, he was among the troops who fought against Afghans in India.

He was also in Sudan and Burma and between 1888 and 1892, he was among troops that fought in East Africa.

While working for the Royal Niger Company in 1894, he led troops to Borgu and Nikki to ward off French invasion.

Lugard was appointed Commander of the West Africa Frontier Force in 1897 and in 1899, he became Commissioner of Northern Nigeria.

In 1906, he unified eight provinces in the Northern region, this was opposed by some Emirs in the region.

They were deposed. As a result of shortage of personnel to administer the provinces and lack of assistance from Britain, he adopted the traditional native rule system.

This system enabled him to administer and rule the people through their traditional rulers.

This was known as indirect rule. By 1912, he became the Governor of Northern and Southern protectorate.

And in 1914, he amagamted the two protectorates and became the Governor General. Lugard also established the Legislative council in Lagos in 1914.

The name ''Nigeria'' was the initiative of Lugard's wife.

He retired in 1919 and in recognition of his leadership qualities and his active role in the abolition of slave trade and curbing of corruption among traditional rulers, he was honoured with the title of a Baron in 1928. He was thereafter, addressed as Sir Lugard. He passed on to glory in 1945.

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Madam Efunroye Tinubu

Madam efunroye tinubu

In the 19th century, Madam Efunroye Tinubu was the most outstanding female.

She was the daughter of a farmer of Owu descent and also a relation of Oba Akintoye of Lagos.

In pursuit of a living, she migrated from her homeland to Badagry, to trade.

She was the go betweeen for Brazilian slave dealers.

Madam Tinubu was a caring woman, who catered for over a thousand slaves.These slaves were loyal to her.

While in Badagry, Efunroye got married to Tinubu.

In addition, while still in the ancient town,she met her relative, Akintoye, who was on exile, as a result of his displacement, from the throne in Lagos, by Kosoko.

In the course of time, Efunroye assisted Akintoye back to Lagos,while she consolidated her trade in slaves,now acting as go between for the European and Abeokuta traders.

Due to his disposition towards slave trade, Consul, Benjamin Campbell, banished Madam Tinubu to Abeokuta.

While in Abeokuta, Madam Tinubu assisted the Egbas to defeat the Dahomeans in a war and in appreciation, she was conferred with the chieftiancy title 'Iyalode of Egabland''. She played leading roles in the politics of her time. Madam Tinubu passed on in 1878.

Herbert Macaulay

Herbert macaulay

Herbert Samuel Heelas Macaulay was born on 14 November, 1864 in Lagos to Thomas Bobington Macaulay, the founder of Lagos Grammar School and Abigail, a daughter of Samuel Ajai Crowther.

At the age of five, Young Herbert was enrolled at St. Paul's Breadfruit School, Lagos. For a while, he worked as a clerk at the Public Works Department(PWD) and during this period, he developed interest in building, drawing and town planning.

In 1890, at the age of 26, he won a government scholarship to study in the United Kingdom and in 1893, Herbert returned to Nigeria as a qualified Surveyor. His interests included music and reading.

At the beginning of his career, he was appointed Surveyor of Lagos and he played a crucial role in the re-planning of several buildings in Lagos, including the Anglican Christ Church Cathedral.

Interestingly, he was the first Nigerian to buy and use a car.

As a result of his brave and fearless nature he was pouplarly called ''Ejongboro'', ''The snake in the street''.

Herbert Macaulay founded Nigeria's first political party, the Nigerian National Democratic Party(NNDP) in 1923.

In 1944, the National Convention of Nigerian Citizens(N.CN.C) came into being and Herbert Macaulay was elected its first President, while Dr. Nnamdi Azikiwe was elected the party's first General Secretary.

In 1946, the NCNC led by Herbert Macaulay embarked on a nationwide tour, to educate Nigerians on the reasons why it opposed the Richards constitution. In the course of the tour, he took ill at Kaduna and had to return to Lagos.

He passed on the same year at the age of 81. Hebert Macaulay, in his time, was known as a great fighter and was in fact Nigeria's first politician.

Leon Battista Alberti / Mary Kies / Alfa Rome

Leon battista alberti

Leon Battista Alberti from Genoa, was an Italian Philosopher, Architect, Musician, Painter and Sculptor, who invented the first Mechanical Anenometer in 4150

Mary kies

Mary Kies was the first woman in 1809, to receive the United States of America(U.S.A) patent for weaving straw during hatmaking.


Alfa romeo

In 1915, Anonima Lombarad Fabbrica Automobili(ALfA) was bought over by Nicola Romeo and in 1920, the Torpedo 20-30hp, was produced.

Chestor Carlson / Katharine Graham/ John Smeaton/ Joseph Aspdin/ Joseph Monier

Chestor carlson

Chestor Carlson Chestor Carlson is the brain behind the dry copying process, called xerox, which represents the modification to the wet copying methods. Xerox in Greek means dry.

Katharine graham

Katharine Graham became the first woman Chief Executive Officer of a Fortune 500 company-The Washington Post-in 1963

John smeaton

In 1756, John Smeaton,an Engineer from Britain, discovered concrete by mixing aggregate with cement.

Joseph aspdin

Joseph Aspdin, also a Briton, burnt ground limestone and clay together, to produce Portland cement

Joseph monier

Joseph Monier was a French gardner, who got the patent for reiforced concrete

Andrew Carnegie / Muriel''Mickey'' Siebert / Edwin Beard Budding

Andrew carnegie

Andrew Carnegie from Dumfermline, Scotland was very wealthy in his time.

Carnegie owned the Carnegie Steel Company, which produced a quarter of America's steel in 1900 and had a profit margin of $40 million.

He held strongly to the belief that great wealth was valueless, except it was used to promote all that is good in society.

He authored the Gospel of Wealth, among several other books, in which he asserted that wealth above those required for the sustenance of an individual's family should be used for the betterment of society. In 1901, Carnegie sold his company to J.T Morgan for $480 million.

He was a self educated, but cultivated man, who believed in public libraries.

He expended over $50 million establishing about 2,500 libraries.

During his lifetime, he gave away $350 million

Muriel mickey siebert

Muriel Mickey' Siebert was the first woman to purchase a seat on the New York Stock Exchange in 1967.

Edwin beard budding

Edwin Berad Budding was an Engineer, who hailed from Stroud in Gloucestershire.

Budding got the first patent for mechanical lawn mower.

Marjorie Scardino/ Walt Disney / Alexander Bain

Majorie scardino

In 1997, Marjorie Scardino becmae the first woman, Chief Excutive Officer of a FTSE 100 company-Pearson.

Walt disney

Walt Elias Disney was born in Chicago, United States of America.

At the age of 16, he left school and took up a driving job with the Red Cross in France. He relocated from France in 1919, having survived an influenza attack in the great epidemic.

Disney, set up a little company, Laugh-O-Gram films and prior to his move to Hollywood, he sketched cartoons.

He created  Oswald the Lucky Rabbit and Mickey Mouse.

Disney was one of the poineers of sound for bringing cartoons and subsequently nature films to life.

In addition, he was the first to be involved in Technicolor, which won him an Academy Award for Flowers and Tress in 1932.

With these achievements as springboard, he established offices, costing $3 million for the sale of Disney cartoons.

He also produced informational films, such as the one on NASA, with the assistance of ex-Nazi, Wernher von Braun, inventor of v2 Rocket.

The famous Disneyland opened for business in Anaheim, Carlifonia in 1955.

The Experimental Prototype Community of Tomorrow(EPCOT) was in the pipeline, when Wlat Disney passed on to glory

Alexander bain

Alexander Bain was a Scottish  clockmaker, who in 1843, patented the fax machine, 33 years prior to the granting of a patent  for the Telephone.

In 1865, the first commercial service began between Paris and Lyon.

Carly Florina/ / Henry Ford(1863-1947)/ / Walter Hunt

Carly florina

Carly Florina was the first Chief Executive Officer in the 30 company, Dow Jones Industrial Average(Hewlett-Packard)

Henry ford

Henry Ford's parents were Irish immigrants from county cork.

Ford worked as a machinist in Detroit and in 1882 returned to the family farm.

Not long after his return, he was employed  by a local company as a maintenance Engineer.

In 1891, he started work at the Edison Illuminating company, and while still there, invented his Quadricycle.

This led to the establishment of the Henry Ford company. The company was later taken over by investors, who renamed it Cadillac.

In 1903, Henry Ford founded the Ford Motor Company and produced the Model T, six years later.

By 1918, a sizable number of cars in America wee Model T Fords.

As an employer of labour, Henry Ford adopted the fatherly approach in dealing with his workers.

Even though he frowned at union activity, he treated suitable workers generously.

Henry Ford was also the publisher of the controversial anti-semitic ''Protocols of the Elders of Zion'' in his newspaper The Dearborn Independent 

Walter hunt

In 1849, Walter Hunt , an inventor based in New York city, United States of America, was granted a patent for the safety pin.

Clara Furse/ /William Gibbs(1790-1875)/ /Elias Howe

Clara furse

In 2001, Clara Furse was the first  woman to become the Chief Executive Officer of the London Stock Exchange

Willima gibbs

William Gibbs was on of the sons of Anthony Gibbs.

William made a fortune trading in guano. Guano means seabird dung, rich in nitrates and phosphates.

It was found off the coast of South America.

In 1842, William alongside his brother, George, signed their first contract with the government of Peru and in 1858 imported 300,000 tons of guano to Britain.

With the profits of a year's trade, William built the grand house of Tyntesfield near Bristol at a cost of 70,000 Pounds Sterling and in 2002, the house was bought by the National Trust for 25 million Pounds Sterling.

Gibbs also financed the construction of Churches, including the Chapel of Keble College, Oxford.

 Elias howe

In 1851, Elias Howe got the patent for an Automatic Continuous Clothing Closure

Baroness Sarah Hogg/ Ray Krock / Eilas Howe / Whitcomb Judson/ Gideon Sundback

Baroness hogg

In 2002, Baroness Sarah Hogg became the first Chair-woman of the Financial Times Stock Exchange(FSTE Company(31)

Ray krock

Ray Krock persuaded Dick and Mac Mcdonald to open restaurants across the United States and to recruit him to saupervise the project. He had earlier sold eight mixing machines to Mcdonalds.

Krock place  a great emphasis on standards of quality, service and cleanliness.

He  was  chairman of the Mcdonalds Corporation from its etablishment in 1955, until his death.

When Krock's widow, Joan, passed on in 2004, she left a bequest of 800 million Pounds Sterling to the Salvation Army.

Elias howe 1

In 1851, Elias Howe got the patent  for an automatic Continuous Clothing Closure

Whitcomb judson

In 1896, Whitcomb Judson facilitated the sale of a hook-and-eye shoe fastener, the clasp locker.

Gideon sundback 1

In 1913, Gideon Sundback, who was a native of Sweden and resident of Canada modified the Judson C-curity fastener and invented the modern zip.

Bishop Katharine Jefferts Schori/ / Alfred Krupp / Elisha Otis

Bishop katharine jefferts schoriIn 2006, Bishop Katharine Schori was the first woman leader in the Anglican church.

Alfred kruppAlfred Krupp was born in Essen into a family of metal work professionals. Krupp began work at the family iron forge at a time his father took ill.

On the death of Alfred's father in 1826, his mother took charge of the family business, while the young Alfred began exploration of the opportunities in the steel industry.

The firm became a key player in railway construction and eventually diversified into armaments, with the production of the first steel gun in 1847.

In 1848, Alfred became the head of the company and by the time of his death has employed 20,200 workers.

At a later date Krupp's frim produced the artillery used to shell Paris in the first World Wra-''Big Berth''.

Gustav Bohlen und Halbach's collaboration with Adolf Hitler resulted in the break up of the Krupp empire.

He changed his name after marriage to Alfred's grand daughter, Bertha.

Elisha otisElisha Otis got the patent for the ''Improvement in Hoisting Apparatus''. Even though lifts had been in use for some time, Otis invented a safety mechanism that stopped the lift falling, should the rope broke, thereby heralding safe passenger lift and enabling the development of the high rise building.

Carly Florina / George McGill

Carly florina 1In 1999, Carly Florina became the first woman Chef Executive Officer(CEO) in the 30 company Dow Jones Average(Hewlett-Packard).

George mcgillIn 1866, George McGill invented the Patent Single Stroke Press used to inert brass fasteners into papers.

In 1895, the Jones Manufacturing Company of Norwalk, Connecticut, produced the first stapler that used steel staples formed into a continuous strip.

Last edited: 04/02/2019

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