UNILAG Edges OAU to Clinch 2020 Shalina Young Talent Award


-As Ohuabunwa, Adejumo, Others Applaud Initiative

A final year student of the Faculty of Pharmacy, University of Lagos (UNILAG), Adeleke Adekunle, has taken over from last year winner, Folashade Salako, of the Obafemi Awolowo University (OAU), to emerge as the “Best Pharmacy Brain in the country” after clinching the 2020 Shalina Young Talent Award (SYTA).

The competition, tagged the ‘Biggest Hunt for the Best Pharmacy Brains in Nigeria’ initially saw over 700 Pharmacy students from five universities across the country, which included Obafemi Awolowo University (OAU), University of Ibadan (UI), University of Lagos (UNILAG), University of Nigeria, Nsukka (UNN), and Ahmadu Bello University (ABU), Zaria, fiercely fought at regional rounds, while the grand finale of the competition had 16 students, took place at Radisson Blu Hotel, Ikeja, Lagos, recently.

Somnath Malakar, Managing Director, Shalina Healthcare Nigeria, Olanrewaju Israel of OAU, first runner up, Adeleke Adekunle of UNILAG, winner, Esther Damilola Olukorede of UI, second runner up, Dr. Rahul Mandlik, Head of Medical Marketing, Shalina Healthcare, Dubai, and Mr. Folorunso Alaran, Regional Marketing Manager (West Africa), Shalina Healthcare at the 2020 Shalina Young Talent Award (SYTA).

The contest, which was more of a horse race seeing sixteen Pharmacy students aiming to outsmart and outwit one another in a bid to win the coveted prize at stake saw young Adekunle cutting an edge over two other contestants from Faculty of Pharmacy, Obafemi Awolowo University (OAU) – Israel Olanrewaju, and Esther Damilola Olukorede of the University of Ibadan, to second and third places respectively.

After about three hours of intense competition which saw the sixteen young scholars going for one another’s jugular to garner maximum points through their arguments, debates, case study, open presentations, clinical and pharmacological quiz, mode of dressing and comportment, which formed parts of the criteria that decided the eventual winner, Adeleke Adekunle of UNILAG piped OAU to emerge champion for this year.

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In his speech at the programme, Mazi Sam Ohuabunwa, president, Pharmaceutical Society of Nigeria (PSN), commended all the sixteen contestants for putting up good fight and for representing their different schools well, adding that no matter the position they have taken, they should not be disappointed but see it as an opportunity to prepare better next time.

Somnath Malakar, Managing Director, Shalina Healthcare Nigeria, Prof. (Mrs) Glory Ajayi, Dean, Faculty of Pharmacy, University of Lagos, Adeleke Adekunle, the winner, Dr. Kingsley Amibor, National Chairman, Association of Hospital and Administrative Pharmacists of Nigeria (AHAPN), and Miss Folashade Salako, who was the 2019 winner.

Commending Shalina Healthcare Nigeria for organising such a laudable and innovative programme, the number one pharmacist in the country suggested the company should  sustain the initiative to ensure that brilliant and talented young scholars are identified and rewarded. Also adding that the university lecturers too should keep molding the young talents continuously in preparation for their future careers.

Mazi Ohuabunwa, who was ably represented by Dr Kingsley Amibor, National Chairman, Association of Hospital and Administrative Pharmacists of Nigeria (AHAPN), said the programme will contribute immensely to the quality of graduating Pharmacy students in the country.

While speaking with journalists, the Director of Pharmaceutical Services, Lagos State Ministry of Health, Dr (Mrs) Moyosore Adejumo, applauded the initiative by Shalina Healthcare and urged them to continue the programme and make it even bigger in the coming years.

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Also speaking, Pharm. Samuel Adekola, ACPN National Chairman also congratulated and commended Shalina Healthcare for sustaining the laudable initiative, in terms of quality of presentations, the increased number of schools and others.

While speaking earlier, Somnath Malakar, managing director, Shalina Healthcare Nigeria explained that in keeping to its promise made last year to make the programme bigger and better, the company has worked assiduously to increase the number of participating schools from three which were at the inaugural edition to five and the number of participants from nine to sixteen.

He disclosed that at the regional level, Shalina connected directly with over 700 contestants from five schools of pharmacy out of which sixteen finalists emerged for the grand finale, emphasizing that the Pharmacy profession is an integral part of healthcare and it is the company’s desire to partner with them in bringing out future talents for the industry.

Speaking in the same vein, Mr Folorunso Alaran, regional marketing manager (West Africa), Shalina Healthcare, and Dr Rahul Mandlik, head – medical marketing, Shalina Healthcare, Dubai, said the primary objective of the initiative was to groom and nurture the young talents and support them, saying this will, in turn, affect the industry, healthcare sector and country positively.

At the end, the judges – Prof (Mrs) Oluwatoyin Odeku, Dean, Faculty of Pharmacy, University of Ibadan; Prof. Nuhu Danjuma, Dean, Faculty of Pharmacy, Ahmadu Bello University, Zaria, Kaduna State; Prof. Moses Akanmu, Dean, Faculty of Pharmacy, Obafemi Awolowo University, Ile-Ife, Osun State; Dr Chukwuemeka Ubaka, senior lecturer, department of Clinical Pharmacy and Pharmacy Management, Faculty of Pharmaceutical Sciences, University of Nigeria, Nsukka, Enugu State; Prof. (Mrs) Glory Ajayi, Dean, Faculty of Pharmacy, University of Lagos and Dr Rahul Mandlik, head of medical marketing, Shalina Healthcare, Dubai – expressed satisfaction and commended all contestants before announcing the three winners.

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The remaining contestants at the second edition of SYTA were Adepoju Moses Ayosunkanmi; Nwakwo Lillian Chinonso; Olukorede Damilola Esther; Ibrahim Ochapa; Yua Torsen Dominic; Igboko Chinenye Stellamaris; Ofidhe Yolemenso; Zainab Bamidele; Sunday Seun Apandaku;  Amos Unagbon; Salamat Onini Sadiq; Olumuyiwa Victor Babalola; Edachi David Odoh; Oladayo Israel Olanrewaju; Faid Adekunle Adeleke; and Olufunke Virginia Ojo.

Other dignitaries at the event included Prof. Arinola Joda, senior lecturer, Faculty of Pharmacy, UNILAG; Pharm. Victoria Ukwu, national chairperson, ALPs; Pharm. (Mrs) Bolanle Adeniran, chairman, PSN, Lagos State, represented by Pharm. Babayemi Oyekunle; Pharm. (Mrs) Ejiro Foyibo, deputy president, South, PSN; Pharm. Emeka Adimoha of Shalina Healthcare and Pharm. Laide Soetan, managing director, NHC Pharma among others, Pharm. (Mrs) Funke Awopegba, MD – Funket Pharmacy and Pharm Leonard Ohams, MD- Ohams Pharmacy.



  1. Very nice article. However, There is a slight correction to the name of the winner. It is ‘Adekunle’ not ‘Adekanle’. I would appreciate it if the correction is made.


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