The Holy Bible says: “It is appointed unto man to die once, and so it was with Dr Tosin Ajayi who breathed his last on April 26, 2020, signaling the expiration of his earthly tenancy.
I knew him for over four decades and was very close to him beyond being the junior brother of Mrs Oluyemisi Adenike Ajayi (nee Mamora), the wife of his youth, he married in 1974 and the union was blessed with five highly successful children-Tomi, Olumide, ‘Molade, Mayowa and ‘Bisola. He loved his children and played with them a lot. He had pet names for them but the ones I recall easily were “Kurita Kunte” (Olumide) and Penpene (Mayowa). Part of my holidays while in medical school at lie was usually spent with the family at their Aina-Eleko, Maryland residence before moving to their own house in Opebi, Ikeja.
He encouraged me in my studies and shared with me his passion and vision for the medical profession. He was quite excited to see me graduate from medical school and invariably go into private medical practice, just as he did. I practically lived with him and his family for a short period after my graduation before leaving for Abeokuta for my internship. Even when I returned to Lagos a year later for my NYSC, I was more or less a member of the household even though I had my own accommodation until I got married in my service year. When I joined active politics years later, he encouraged and supported me in my political career. He was always eager to discuss current affairs and party politics with me, especially issues of peace, progress and development of Nigeria.
When we were not discussing politics, we would be discussing medicine and the future of medicine.
He invested so much in medical diagnostics and was a strong advocate of building better medical diagnostic capacity in our tertiary hospitals. His medical company supplied the first set of medical diagnostic equipment (MRI) to many Teaching Hospitals in Nigeria. No wonder he was also one of the pioneers of the practice of telemedicine in Nigeria. On account of his love for doctors and the medical profession, his First Foundation Place in Opebi became the meeting place for some doctors in Lagos State, particularly the senior doctors. He even created “Doctors Comer” within the premises, where doctors occasionally gathered to relax and unwind in the evening. He was a highly respected member of the “Elders of NMA in Lagos”.
Brother Tosin, as I fondly called him was a workaholic. I cannot forget how he worked as a medical officer at Kemta Hospital, in Lagos. (Incidentally, I also worked there as a locum doctor years later after Dr. Ajayi had left the place).
He was a man of big dreams and big ideas. He worked for his desired goals and pursued them vigorously. His First Foundation Medical Company was a dream he shared with me many years earlier when I was in medical school, and he nurtured it to fruition. He was an achiever! He also shared with me his pet project, “Africa Future Project”. This was a few years before his demise. It was essentially a project for the emancipation of Africa and the African children from poverty, hunger, disease and ignorance. I remember attending one of the events he organized one evening to drive home the message of this project. Two musical icons, among others, present that evening were Dede Mabiaku (Fela’s protege) and Majek Fashek of blessed memory. It was an evening of speeches, dance, music and fun. It was a night to remember.
Brother Tosin was kind and generous. He was a quiet philanthropist. He was passionate about education, hence he gave the best of education to all his children.
He himself found time to pursue post-graduate training in medicine in the UK, in spite of his busy schedule and business engagements.
Today, Dr Tosin Ajayi is no more. Like an actor in life’s stage, he played his part and exited when it was time to do so. We mourn his departure from this terrestrial plane but his memories linger on.
My wife, Olanlesi, and I express deep condolences to brother Tosin’s widow, our darling sister, Oluyemisi Ajayi and all the children left behind, as well as the entire Ajayi family. We pray God will comfort and uphold them all.
May the good works of Dr Ajayi continue to inspire us while we press on the upward way. Goodnight, Brother Tosin.
Dr.(Senator) Adeleke Olorunnimbe Mamora
Hon Minister of State for Health