Thomas Horatio Jackson

Thomas Horatio Jackson was the co-founder of the Nigerian National Democratic Party with Herbert Macaulay and one of the most colourful personalities in the history of the Nigerian press. Born in 1879, Horatio was a son of John Payne Jackson, one of the most important Lagos journalists of his time, whose editorial chair at the Lagos Weekly Record he filled from 1915. Horatio Jackson was educated at Sierra Leone Grammar School where he distinguished himself in Classics and for his impressive reading habit. Horatio was tried and jailed for sedition as editor of the Nigerian Times newspaper in 1909 when the government enacted the sedition law to curb the excesses of the fearless editors of the time. He was also jailed for two months in 1925.

Horatio was prolific and he made use of complex words and quotations as a journalist. Like his father, he was a drunk, and when competition stiffened in the 1920s, his newspaper scheme came to a halt, but had already become the most celebrated in Nigeria. Horatio’s literary accomplishment and journalism influenced architects of Nigerian independence like Nnamdi Azkiwe who celebrated him with the establishment of the Thomas Horatio College of Journalism in the University of Nigeria, Nsukka midwifed by the politician. Horatio died in 1936.

Tope Apoola
Profession: Writer