Crowther’s life of sacrifice (and a book for your donation) by Pelu Awofeso
The man who has occupied my thoughts for much of this year – Bishop Samuel Ajayi Crowther – died 130 years ago this month, on 31 December 1891, aged 82. It is the reason why I’m working on a documentary and crowd-sourcing funds for it.
As we have researched him over the past couple of months, we’ve turned up a great amount of information – from his own personal accounts and those of others – that have revealed more more about him,his ideology, struggles and accomplishments.
Man of many parts
Before now, the much I cared to know about him was the fact that he translated the English Bible into the Yoruba language. Imagine how utterly surprised I was to learn that he did same in Igbo, Igala and Nupe dialects among others.
Also imagine my surprise at learning that he spoke 13 languages, and awarded Doctorate by the University of Oxford, a sterling achievement in his time (1800s), and a former slave for that matter.
The more we pored through diverse documents, the more I realised that there was a lotthat Bishop Crowther can teach us in the 21st century. And that includes his leadership style, his thoughtful approach to problem solving, his communications skills, his understanding of the human nature, his desire for enterprise, his belief in the importance of science and Agriculture, his passion for education, his willingness to leave people better than he met them, and his single-minded devotion to his life-long mission of evangelism.
We learned new things about him with every passing week, more or less. It was like peeling the layers of an onion and beholding a shiny new skin.
A life of sacrifice
We are making a documentary about a Christian missionary, yes; but the documentary is more than his missionary exploits, which are numerous: the film is about his humanity, his principles, concern for the other person, his stand for justice and equity, his many efforts at peace-building and mediation, his mindset about crime and punishment. And more.
The documentary in question will not be ready until June/ July 2022 but we plan to do a lot this December, the anniversary month. Thanks to the donations we’ve received so far, we have been able to do a lot already; but there is still a lot to be done, for which we need more support – financial and otherwise.
We believe the world needs to be told this story of an individual who did a lot of good in his lifetime, who gave a lot of himself, and expected practically nothing in return. His was a life of sacrifice.
If you’re in a position to send a donation, you may do so using any of the options below. December being what it is, and in the spirit of the season, I’ve decided that for every donation we get (from N5, 000 – N20, 000) this month, we will send out a copy of one of my books — and dispatch it at no cost – to the donor.
This is my little way of saying a big “Thank you” for your support.
Donation link (local): https://travu.ng/donate/
Cash transfers (local): Homestead Nig Ent (UBA Acct 1015558184)