In a show of love and solidarity, several pharmacist colleagues, notable personalities, top government officials, friends and family members turned up for the 50th birthday ceremony of Pharm. Adebayo Afon, chief executive officer, Safco Mega Solutions Limited, and managing director, Afonchies Pharmacy.
At the glitzy ceremony, which recently took place at the Empressa Hotel, Ajah, Lagos, friends and family took turns to felicitate with the celebrant, while listing the various ways he had affected their lives positively.
The visibly elated Afon, decked in white native attire, like that of his friends, could not hide his feelings as he moved around the auditorium exchanging pleasantries with guests.
Speaking at the event, Pharm. Ogeneochuko Omaruaye, managing director of Newheight Pharmaceuticals Limited, and vice-president of the Pharmaceutical Wholesalers and Distributors Association of Nigeria, (PWDAN), noted that Afon had been a good and dependable colleague and brother to him. He added that their relationship spanned close to 20 years, having graduated from the same school, the University of Benin, Edo State.
He further described the celebrant as a philanthropic soul, who had helped many with his generosity. He revealed that their relationship became more solidified, when the need to form an association that would represent the interest of the pharmaceutical wholesalers and distributors in the country arose, saying he became a founding member and a dedicated stakeholder.
Said Omaruaye, “The celebrant and I share a lot of things in common, from attending the same university, doing the same business to practising in the state; but, I must be sincere, Afon is a very interesting personality, who is always passionate about whatever cause he believes in and he offers value wherever he is.”
Expressing a similar view, Pharm. Laide Soetan, managing director of NHC Pharma Limited lauded Afon’s achievements in the pharmaceutical field as well as in life, describing him as a hardworking and dependable person.
According to Soetan, who is also the secretary of PWDAN, Afon’s astuteness in the business world is the reason the branches of his pharmacy keep increasing.
Disclosing that she got to know the Afonchies’ boss closely about 10 years ago, Soetan said she had found him to be a very selfless person who is ready to assist and offer value, both in personal relationship and professionally.
“If Pharm. Afon is convinced about something, he is ready to spend all his money on it, and he has been exhibiting this, even at the level of PWDAN. He has done a lot of things selflessly without asking to be paid back. He is a committed and passionate colleague, and he is a socialite that likes to enjoy life. So I wish him well in his business and personal life,” she said.
Also speaking, Pharm. George Okon, managing director of Dlightsom Mount Pharmacy Limited, and former coordinator of ACPN, Eti-Osa Zone, remarked that his relationship with the celebrant dated back to their internship days, adding that they were also fortunate to serve in the same ACPN, as coordinator and assistant coordinator respectively.
He continued, “Pharm. Afon is a very industrious and focus-driven person, and in every endeavour, he knows what he wants to achieve. As they say, the look does not determine who a person is, but it is when you get closer that one would know that he knows what he is doing. I wish him more life in good health and I pray his desires will come to pass.”
An in-law to the celebrant, Dr Ide Onah, as well as other loved ones and friends also attested to Afon’s tenacity of purpose, professionalism, dedication, kindness, cheerful giving, and cool-headedness, among other virtues.
In his reaction, the celebrant appreciated God for allowing him to witness the Golden Jubilee adding that not everyone enjoys such a priviliage.
Recalling his earlier years, he said growing up was a bit tough, especially after the demise of his dad, Pharm. Adegboyega Afon, who he said taught him so many things. He added that the effort of his mum, coupled with a good upbringing, saw him and his siblings through till today.
He said: “I never wanted to study Pharmacy, even though it was the wish of my mother and the family. When I eventually did, I preferred to finish from the school of pharmacy and leave the country for greener pastures abroad, not minding the desires of the family. But, as fate would have it, I left Benin, Edo State, for Lagos for internship, and in 2004, I set up my own pharmacy, Afonchies, which has grown to over 10 branches today.”