Samuel Ajayi Crowther. Herbert Macaulay. Stella Ameyo Adadevoh. You would never link these names. One was a clergyman, the second an engineer, and the third a doctor.
But they are linked biologically. Crowther was the grandfather of Macaulay. Macaulay was the great grandfather of Ameyo. And Ameyo was the doctor that saved Nigeria from a certain outbreak of the Ebola virus disease that would have ruined the country and, most probably, the rest of the world.
She, unfortunately, is not alive to celebrate the fruit of her heroic intervention.
Her forefather, Crowther, was a little boy, born in Osogun (in today’s Oyo State) sometime around 1809, captured as a slave along with his mother and other family members, sold to Portuguese traders, rescued by a British Royal Navy ship and taken to Freetown, Sierra Leone, transformed and returned to Lagos.
By then he had converted to Christianity and learnt languages. He became the first African Anglican bishop, and translated the English Bible into Yoruba. His version, written in the Oyo dialect, is believed to have contributed in no little way to making the dialect the lingua franca of the Yoruba till this day.
His grandson, Herbert Macaulay, was one of the founding fathers of Nigeria. He started the nationalist movement that would later inspire the likes of Nnamdi Azikiwe, HO Davies, Ernest Ikoli, James Vaughan and Kofo Abayomi.
He died on “national service”. He was preparing for the 1946 constitutional conference in London. A fierce opponent of the British colonialists, he embarked on a tedious nationwide tour to mobilise Nigerians for the conference. But at the age of 82, he was no longer a young man. He fell ill in Kano. He returned to Lagos and died on May 7, 1946.
In 1923, Macaulay had founded the first political party in Nigeria ─ the all-conquering Nigerian National Democratic Party (NNDP). In 1944, he and Dr. Nnamdi Azikiwe founded the National Council of Nigeria and the Cameroons (NCNC), the biggest party in southern Nigeria for decades. Macaulay was a genuine nationalist who suffered untold hardship in the hands of the British colonialists in his bid to set Nigeria free.
And his great granddaughter, Ameyo, kept the flag flying.
She was not an engineer. She was not a journalist. She was not a politician. None of those attributes of her great grandfather.