Why I donated a kidney to my son – Ponnle
By Tunde Odesola, Osogbo
Thursday, 23 Dec 2010
Chairman, MicCom Group of Companies, Chief Michael Ponnle, said he donated one of his kidneys to his ailing son, Kola, because he was moved by the desire to see him live.
Speaking in his Ada hometown, on Wednesday, when a biography, ‘The magic of pulling together,” was launched in honour of his wife, Olufunke, and himself, Ponnle said all members of his family were willing to donate their kidneys to save Kola.
Ponnle’s son, who spoke in a video footage shown to the audience, said he would remain grateful to his parents, who gave him sound education, care and love.
Ponnle said the kidney transplant was performed at the University Teaching Hospital, Cardiff, UK, adding that there was no big deal in his gesture to save his son’s life.
He said, “The gesture is being appreciated everywhere. When I did it, we never gave it a big thought; but even while abroad for the operation, people were so appreciative of the gesture; that a father could give his kidney to his son.
“My wife was ready to give her kidney too and so were my other children – in order to save their brother.”
Chairman of the occasion, Otunba Adekunle Ojora, said the events in the lives of the couple cannot be written in a single book, stressing that their lives were inspirational.
Speaking at the ceremony, retired Bishop Ayo Ladigbolu said the lives of the couple were a study in diligence, honesty, integrity and dedication to the Christian faith.
A former governor of Osun State, Prince Olagunsoye Oyinlola, commended the couple for investing in their hometown, adding that both husband and wife were philanthropists par excellence.
Oyinlola said, “East or West, home is best. Chief Tunde Ponnle and his wife are a good lesson in humility, unity and true love.”
Chairman, Elizade Nigeria Limited, Chief Michael Ade-Ojo, said the stories of the Ponnles’ rise to greatness was akin to his, saying that he began business from the scratch.
Book reviewer, Dr. Reuben Abati, who is the chairman, Guardian Newspapers Editorial Board, said Ponnle and his wife were selfless, courageous, kind and loyal to their marriage.
The biographer is Mr. Yemi Ajayi.
Dignitaries at the occasion included the representative of Osun State Governor Rauf Aregbesola, Mr. Dele Akinola, who is the permanent secretary, Osun State Ministry of Special Duties; a former Managing Director, Mr. Joe Makoju; Chairman, Tuns Farms, Asiwaju Tunde Badmus, Vice-Chancellor, Bowen University, Iwo, Prof. Timothy Adegbenro; Vice-Chancellor, Obafemi Awolowo University, Prof. Michael Faborode; renowned banker, Mr. Segun Aina, Chief Tunde Omikunle and Chief Ademola Adetona.
Among traditional rulers at the event were the Ooni of Ife, Oba Okunade Sijuwade, the Olona of Ada, Oba Olelekan Abioye; the Akirun, Oba Olawale Adedeji; Oba Ifetitun, Oba Taofeek Osunmakinde.