Monday, September 21, 2009

Herbert Samuel Heelas Macaulay (1864-1946). The first Nigerian civil engineer, a Pan-Africanist and a great Lagosian.


Nigerian surveyor and leader of Nigeria's first political party. In 1893 he joined the colonial service, experiencing injustice at first hand when he was paid less than his British counterparts. Resigning from the service in 1899, he launched a campaign against colonial rule. He was the first Nigerian to be sponsored by the colonial government to study abroad.

Nigerian political leader

Considered the founder of Nigerian nationalism*, Herbert Samuel Heelas Macaulay promoted self-government in NIGERIA in the early 1900s. Born into an educated, Christian Nigerian family, Macaulay attended school in Lagos. In 1890 he won a scholarship from Nigeria's British colonial government to study abroad. After earning a degree in civil engineering in England, he returned to Nigeria and worked for the colonial administration. In 1899 Macaulay resigned to set up his own business, and he began a career of political protest against colonialism.

Engineering work brought Macaulay in contact with Nigeria's traditional rulers, and he became familiar with the land-ownership customs that had existed before colonial times. He began publishing a newspaper, the Lagos Daily News, to champion the land and political rights of Nigerians. In 1923 he founded the country's first political party, the Nigerian National Democratic Party (NNDP). Twenty-one years later, he was elected the first president of the National Council of Nigeria and the Cameroons (NCNC), one of several parties formed as Britian began to allow its colonies a greater degree of self-government.

Herbert Macaulay was an unlikely champion of the masses. A grandson of Ajayi Crowther, the first African bishop of the Niger Territory, he was born into a Lagos that was divided politically into groups arranged in a convenient pecking order – the British rulers who lived in the..



2 comments:

Anonymous said...

this is my great grandfather again! heyyy lol

Anya P said...

Was he of mixed (biracial) heritage? That mustache is suspect.