By Emma Ujah
ABUJA â€”DR. Stanley Macebuh, The Guardian newspaperâ€™s first managing director, died, Sunday, at the National Hospital, Abuja, after a brief illness. He was rushed to the hospital Saturday afternoon.
Born on December 28, 1942, Macebuh attended Govt. Primary School, Port Harcourt and the Ngwa High School, Aba, on scholarship. He had his Higher School Certificate at Kings College, Lagos, where he also taught for a while immediately after passing out of KC.
He studied English at the University of Ibadan, 1963-66, left Nigeria in 1967 to the University of Sussex, England, where he acquired his Doctor of Philosophy, D.Phil degree at the age of 26. When the University of California, Berkeley, California, USA began a search for an in-house African philosopher, during the Civil Rights years in the US, his doctoral supervisor recommended the young Macebuh and he joined the Berkeley Faculty.
After two years at Berkeley, Columbia University, New York, and City College of New York, USA, both pitched to have him on their faculties, but had to settle to sharing his services as he began to lecture in both universities at the same time â€“ but taught full-time at the City College and part-time at the Institute of African Studies at the Columbia University.
Macebuh left City College in 1977 as a tenured Associate Professor of English, to return to Nigeria as he was invited by the Daily Times newspaper to be the Editorial Adviser. But his un-cherished return to Nigeria was an annoying breach to him of his ultimate ambition of moving to and retiring at the Harvard University as a Professor Emeritus.
Until he died, he always rued that breach.
From the Daily Times, he left to found what he had intended from day one, to be not just a great liberal newspaper but a flagship of Nigerian journalism, The Guardian newspaper. On leaving The Guardian, and after a sojourn in the business world as an entrepreneur, he still returned to his beloved journalism. But his other efforts at The Sentinel magazine and the Post Express newspaper, both now defunct, were not that successful.
In 1999 he became Senior Special Assistant, Special Duties, to former President Olusegun Obasanjo but later appointed the Deputy Chief of Staff to Obasanjo. He left within the first year of Obasanjoâ€™s second term. Since then, he had lived in semi-retirement doing only consultancy jobs.
Macebuh became an author in 1973 with the publication of â€œJames Bladwinâ€ a critical evaluation of aesthetics within the Black Civil Rights Movement. Another academic work of his, on Jewish American studies, unpublished, however, has this curious title â€œThe Tyranny of Thingsâ€. Up till his death, Macebuh lamented its non-completion, even after he had written over 400 pages.
Burial arrangements would be announced later.