The Sun Award Winners 2021: Ebuka Okafor: Unassuming Industrialist

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By Chika Abanobi

When some years ago, Chief Ebuka Okafor, chairman, Vixa Pharmaceutical Ltd. and a foresighted business entrepreneur, set up a company to produce drugs, in partnership with similar licensed companies in China and India, nobody thought that it would grow into a multi-billion naira outfit. Some years down the line, it has become one of Nigeria’s leading pharmaceutical companies, a position it clinched with its production of high quality antifungal, antibiotic, anti-infective, anti-emetics, anti-diarrheal, anti-malaria drugs, analgesics, haematinic, and steroid, among others.

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With over 100 registered products with the National Agency for Food and Drug Administration and Control (NAFDAC), a feedback system/customer survey that allows the authorities to know, in real time, what consumers, sellers, marketers feel about their products, Vixa Pharmaceuticals has, in pushing the boundaries, become a household name.

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Born in Eziora-Ifite village, Ebenesi-Nnobi, Anambra State, nobody knows what Okafor’s parents saw in his star as to give him the name, Ebuka, a name which, in its shortened form, translates as “grown beyond imagination” or “bigger than imagined.”

But over the years, by dint of hard work, uncommon vision and tenacity, he has succeeded in building a business empire that not only gives credence to his prophetic name but also makes him a name to be reckoned with in the comity of billionaire businessmen and philanthropists.

In philanthropy, Okafor has touched and changed lives in a way many could never have imagined through his Ebuka Okafor Foundation that focuses on relieving the widows, orphans and other less privileged of their plights through medical outreach and other means. For all these, he qualifies to be crowned The Sun Industrialist of the Year.

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