Nigerians from different walks of life including Nollywood celebrities, industrial chieftains and others on Saturday in Lagos joined the family of Onwumere from Orsu Local Government Area, Imo State to celebrate the 80th birthday of Chief Anthony Uchechukwu Ezeoma Onwumere and his 50th wedding anniversary with his wife.
The event which was well attended by a cross section of personalities from the public and private sectors held at the event hall of Our Lady of Perpetual Help, Victoria Island. In attendance from the Nollywood community were Messrs Zack Orji, Ejike Asiegbu, Dr. Don Pedro Obaseki, Moji Oyetayo (a.ka. Mama Ajasco) Victor Osuagwu, Arinze Okonkwo and others.
The two-in-one event which was put together by the children of Chief Onwumere whose popularity over the years stemmed from his pharmacy and supermarket known as Tonyson Pharmacy and Stores Limited, was a huge success in every ramification as guests were lavishly entertained with both local and continental cuisine that were well prepared by the various caterers contracted to manage the occasion.
There were also enough choice drinks to cater for all categories of guests just as the event managers diligently attended to all guests in the best of manners irrespective of tribe, religion or social class.
One of the social clubs well represented at the occasion was Hazie Masters International Club of Nigeria led by High Chief Richard Agbapuru, a well placed industrialist and Chairman/Chief Executive of Richygold Group of Companies.
Speaking to Atlanticnewsonline on the sideline of the event, Agbapuru said he had known Chief Onwumere (a.k.a. Iri Kaa Nnu I of Orsu) for a very long time. He described him as a highly intelligent man, with a lot of wisdom in him.
According to him, the same wisdom in the octogenarian has been replicated in his children explaining that his first son Anthony Onwumere (junior) is like father, like son. In Chief Agbapuru’s words, he had learnt a lot from Chief Onwumere as a businessman, emphasizing that the octogenarian is a very quiet achiever who loves what he is doing and has remained a great philanthropist who does things at his pace.
His philanthropic gestures had been extended to his Orsu community where he single-handedly built and donated a two-storey house to his people in the village. To the RichyGold boss, the 80 years Onwumere has continued to be a role model right from his youthful days and loves to enjoy good life which has invariably precipitated the birthday celebration in his honour.
Borrowing from the life experience of the octogenarian, Agbapuru advised youths of today to be patient in the pursuit of their life ambition particularly with respect to acquisition of wealth. He enjoined young couples to also understand each other very well and collectively work towards building their families with love and patience so that they could be celebrated like Chief Onwumere and his wife who incidentally is a sister to his own (Agbapuru’s) mother.
Speaking also to Atlanticnewsonline at the occasion, one of the sons of the octogenarian, Dr. Mac Austin Onwumere, who is the Chairman/Chief Executive Officer of PWAN Group said he was extremely happy that his father was alive to celebrate his 80th birthday and 50 years in marriage with his wife (Austin’s mother) in good health.
The PWAN chieftain disclosed that the secret behind the stability of his parents’ marriage was premised in humility, integrity and focus. He explained that like any other human being, his parents in the time past could have their differences and misunderstandings but such things were never brought open to their children and they had always resolved same in the room without a third party knowing happened transpired.
Dr. Onwumere described his father as a very successful businessman and attributed his father’s success in the business of selling, to his being focused and never got distracted by any other thing or circumstance. According to him, his father owns one of the biggest supermarkets in Ebutte Metta, Lagos with branches in four other states in Nigeria. The supermarkets are still functional as some of his sons are currently managing them.
According to Zack Orji who co-anchored the event, “there is something unique about the octogenarian and his wife. They have stayed for 50 years in marriage in a country where couples in contemporary time easily walk out of marriage even in few months after wedding. I thank the couple for being a good example as I pray that they would celebrate more years.”
Chief Anthony Ezeoma Uche Onwumere had arrived Lagos in 1978 after leaving the Republic of Cameroun in 1977 as a businessman. In Lagos, he established Tonyson Pharmaceutical Chemists & Stores which was a fore-runner to his other business concerns over the years. Due to his philanthropic nature, he has been honoured with different titles including the “Ezeoma” of Umuhu-Okabia as well as the Eziafakego of Ezianwa, Iri Kaa Nnu I of Orsu.
His life philosophy largely centres on his belief in one God and that honesty is always the best policy, just as he believes that humility is next to Godliness.