It was a day of tributes and celebration of the legacies of the late Chike Okoli, son of Dr (Mrs) Stella Okoli, CEO, Emzor Group, as the Chike Okoli Foundation marked its 15th anniversary. The event which was streamed live on Zoom, had in attendance dignitaries drawn from different walks of life.
The occasion deliberatedly mostly on the advocacy activities the Foundation has been carrying out in Nigeria in the area of cardiovascular disease. According to veteran Nollywood actor, Mr Francis Onwochei, the Foundation has made immense impact by reaching out to primary schools, secondary schools, colleges of education, polytechnics and universities.
He noted that a number of health information series published by the Foundation are circulated in hospitals, churches and mosques. He also stated that the Foundation has been organising medical outreaches such as free health checks coordinated by healthcare experts from the Lagos University Teaching Hospital.
Onwochei also added that since 2007 when the Foundation collaborated with the Lagos chapter of the Association of Community Pharmacists of Nigeria(ACPN), it has made more impacts with its advocacy, especially with secondary schools in Lagos with the support of the Lagos State Government.
On why the advocacy campaigns are focused largely on the youth, the Nollywood actor said it was because they are the most vulnerable to cardiovascular disease due to their lifestyles. He reiterated the Foundation’s commitment towards propagating adequate information on heart health and how to prevent and manage the onset of cardiovascular disease.
On her part, Chief (Mrs) Taiwo Taiwo, managing director of Shonny Properties Limited; and a bosom friend to Dr Okoli, recounted how the healthcare amazon was able to weather the storm of her son’s death and moved on with life. She also celebrated the entrepreneurial spirit of the late Okoli, a spirit that inspired the setting up of the Foundation.
She also extolled the virtues of hard work and dedication which has seen Dr Okoli become one of the gladiators in the Nigerian pharmaceutical landscape. And to nurture the legacies of the late Okoli, the Emzor boss donated a billion naira worth building for the School of Entrepreneurial Studies at the Nnamdi Azikiwe University, Awka.