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How A Good Wife Built Tony Elumelu

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By-Chukwudi Iwuchukwu

In 1993, Tony Elumelu got married to his love of life, De Awele Elumelu.

The Elumelu’s were not this big at that time.

Tony was just a banker with All States Bank, and Awele was a young medical doctor.

The young couple did not have the whole world, but they loved each other well enough, and that is what matters and was enough for them to start life as a young married couple.

The couple was uncertain about many things, but they were certain that the future was bright and they would create the future they desired, so they set out to make it happen.

Her husband, Tony, later left All States Bank to start Standard Trust Bank  (STB) in 1997.

Dr. Awele was there by the side of the husband as a rock of Gibraltar.

From STB to UBA, Dr. was with her husband every step of the way.

We live in an uncertain world; nothing is certain in this life, but there is one thing that is certain: Tony can count on his wife, Dr. Awele, as he builds up the empire they own together.

A CBN memo forced Tony to leave the helm of the affair at UBA in 2010, and again, the couple came together to start what is known as Heirs Holdings in 2011.

Since then, Heirs Holdings has grown to a conglomerate; it has created over 30,000 solid jobs, and I’m sure the Elumelu’s are proud of what they have built together.

Heirs Holdings has different investments in different sectors of the economy, but being an intentional woman, De Awele spearheaded the establishment of Avon Healthcare Limited and Avon HMO, a subsidiary under Heirs Holdings, based on her expertise as a medical doctor.

Her medical background includes medicine, surgery, paediatrics, obstetrics, gynaecology, and emergency medicine. Her commitment and dedication to a risk-free childhood for African children have attracted global attention, leading Gavi, an influential global health organisation, to appoint her as its Champion for Immunisation in Africa.

Aside from her imprimatur’s and signature over her husband’s life and the conglomerate they run together, the fact that the couple are both exercise freaks is a reminder that it is imperative to marry a partner that shares the same value.

Because they are both exercise freaks, the couple also shares a passion for philanthropy, which is why,

Every year, during the husband’s birthday, the couple empowers 5,000 African entrepreneurs with a $5,000 grant as a way of giving back to the society that has given them so much.

Dr. Awele Elumelu was 60 years old yesterday. Friends and family came together in their Ikoyi home to celebrate an iconic woman who made the path of her partner easier and who has been herself and never lost her individuality all through it all.

One of the lessons from Elumelu’s successful marriage, which is 31 this year, is simple

Marry right

Marry a person who shares the same values as you.

a partner who mirrors your ambition and where you want to be in life

For Tony, as for Awele, theirs is a marriage made in heaven. The roots are deep, the covenant is solid, love is sweet, life is hard, and God is good.

Happy 60th birthday, Dr. Awele Elumelu.


*Iwuchukwu, A Senior Media Executive, Wrote In Form Lagos


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