By Fr George Adimike
It has been 36 years of love story that never ends. The marriage of Sir Anthony Ifeanyi Ndubuisi & Mrs Elizabeth Adaeze Ezenna (Chairman/CEO Orange Drugs LTD) unfolds with sustained energy of the youth bubbling with life, peace and joy.
It is solidly based on their undying goodness rooted in God. In other words, goodness spells the quality of this marriage, and true to its nature diffuses to the society with the sweet aroma of acts for the common good, social justice, entrepreneurship that is encompassing and surrender to God.
It all began when the young Tony Ndubuisi & Lizzy Adaeze of Owerre Akokwa in Ideato Local Government, Imo State sacramentalised their love for each other before God and His Church at the Immaculate Heart Parish, Fegge Onitsha on December 3, 1983. Since then they are still on the do-ing, which married love entails. It is an unfolding love narrative!
Grace proves the only sufficient alibi for the longanimity that characterises this union for three dozen years. Grace spells this love narrative and parses the lives of the dramatis personae, Tony and Lizzy. As such, their marital union constitutes a fountainhead of graciousness streaming love to the multitude as they form a vast delta of goodness resulting in many distributary streams of generosity and channels of grace. Streaming goodness is their stock in trade and integrity their pride. The family created out of their marriage is more like a humanitarian exchange broker of charity and a clearing-house of generosity.
The delta of the streams is so vast representing the thousands of families they have impacted positively and directly through employment, job and economic value creation, charity and public-spirited acts, supporting of the mission of Christ by their annual financial donations/subventions to over 10 dioceses in Nigeria, provision of social amenities for communities (construction of a Church, Schools, a Monastery and factories), sponsorship of sportive and socio-cultural events, human capital development (sponsorship of training programs and award of scholarships), Medical missions to the rural areas, empowerment programs and financial succour to many families, among others.
The recognition of their success as a blessing from God funds their commitment to lifting people to a desirable measure of greatness. Their various engagements in the service of God demonstrate their understanding that they were blessed to be a blessing to others. It is within this framework that one appreciates their giving to God and society. Sir Tony channels grace and Lady Lizzy streams goodness. He loves gold, and they serve God.
In his appreciation of art, in her love for serenity, in his love for gold, in her love for spiritual pilgrimages, they live their understanding that gold is from God for His glory and human flourish. Sir Tony’s profundity of thought and Lady Lizzy’s prodigious simplicity resonate as a sweet melody of the complementarily of their marriage.
Sir Tony Ezenna goes beyond being an optimist or pessimist to being a meliorist. He never fails to awe his interlocutor with his deep intellect, sagacious wisdom and profound faith in God, which drives his confidence in the eventual triumph of the good through our collective effort. He has an active hope that things can be better if we do our bit. Mrs Lizzy Ezenna’s devotion is a testimony that God gathers to Himself those who offer true worship to Him. You cannot miss the adult faith of Tony and cannot miss the childlike spirituality of Lizzy. Their complementarity arouses a great desire for marriage and reveals the beauty of married love as mediate anticipation of eternal bliss. The harmony and communication of their distinctive idioms and gifts make their family alluringly charming, engaging and coming. Their union radiates the splendour of peace and typifies union-in-difference, and stands out as a model to many in this age in which solidity of character, the stability of commitment and respect for difference are rare commodities. Their entrepreneurship, professionalism, humility and godliness liquidate despair and turn it into active hope and dynamic force. The depth of Sir Tony’s thoughts compensates for his economy of words, and Lady Lizzy’s serenity outclasses her beauty.
As a stickler for excellence and integrity, Sir Tony stamps the mark of his leadership dexterity in his endeavours as a confident meliorist. Never a wannabe, Ijele Akokwa, Tony’s honorific title from his people eschews any form of wannabeism and dedicates his time to self-development. He dedicates himself to silently touching lives with Mrs Adaeze as his companion and helpmate. Ugo Ernest, the eldest son of this family, testifies to the quality of this journey. He notes that “one of the true strengths of their relationship is a deep understanding of the role each plays and respecting each other to play out the role both in public and private.
There is a genuine friendship and respect. They spend a lot of time talking and gisting with each other.” He further remarks that his dad, Tony, “understands people well and has great empathy.” While his “mom is very reserved yet is incredibly generous with her time without discrimination.”
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The love story is just beginning, and the effects of its diffluence are already being felt in many areas by many people as they form a paradigm for the upcoming generation. Through their active engagement with the Church and commitment to the common good, their gift keeps giving. Sobriety in wealth, the stability and solidity of their love and family life parse the place of grace in their lives. While they mourn the squandered opportunities in our nation, they never fail to work to liquidate and offset their adverse effects. Indeed, because of them many live better lives. In their trials and triumphs, they give glory to God and surrender to Him as the author and perfecter of all good things. Delightfully, I pray for and wish them many more loving, healthy and glorious years ahead. Congratulations Ijele, Sir Dr Tony Ifeanyi & Mrs Elizabeth Adaeze Ezenna KSS (Ijele Akokwa) (Chairman/CEO Orange Drugs LTD). Happy 36th Marriage Anniversary!
- Fr George Adimike email@example.com