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Renown Kenyan Philanthropist and multi-level marketing guru Dr. Amos Abuga Dead

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By Samuel Muwanguzi

Dr. Amos Abuga, Pharmacist, Entrepreneur, Philanthropist, and Guru on Wellness Products, (All photos by Joseph Kamugisha)

 

 

On Sunday January 09, 2022,  Dr. Amos Abuga breathed his last. He died at a Nakuru hospital in his native Kenya after a short battle with COVID-19, according to Ms. Robena Kagoro, a resident of Dallas, Texas and a mother of one of his daughters. Born in 1961 in Kisii, Kenya to a tribal chief Mr. Joseph Abuga,  the youthful Amos Abuga travelled to the United States in 1982 to pursue a degree in pharmacy at the Texas Southern University (TSU) in Houston.   He moved to Dallas in 1993 two years after he had earned his doctorate in pharmacy (Pharm D) in 1991. A devoted Seventh Day Adventist, a consummate professional, and a social entrepreneur, Dr. Amos Abuga quit his UT-Southwestern job as a night pharmacy manager he had held for 6 years  and plunged head-deep into private business and charitable work. By all accounts, Dr. Amos Abuga was arguably one of the most influential figures within the African Diaspora communities hailing from the East African Community (EAC) member states living in Texas, USA. He had lived in the Dallas-Fort Worth (DFW) area since 1993. He had established and operated two pharmacy outlets in the metroplex and was a household name among Kenyan compatriots, Ugandan and Burundian in-laws, Tanzanian brothers, Rwandan comrades, South Sudanese buddies, African immigrant communities, and the mainstream American professional and business associates. A renowned pharmacist, a selfless philanthropist, an astute businessman, an multi-level marketing guru, and an ingenious mentor  and trainer all rolled into one, Dr. Abuga was a hero and an inspiration to the African Diaspora communities in Texas and greatly influenced professional and business careers of hundreds within those communities. Dr. Amos Abuga, 61,  leaves behind 6 children and a widow. In May 2017, he returned to his native Kenya where he opened a pharmacy and operated other businesses. He briefly returned to the USA in 2018  for what is now surely the last time some of his children, relatives,  and hundreds of his friends, mentees,  and admirers shall ever see him alive again. Now, exactly 6 years since my interview with the departed Dr. Amos Abuga, in a special tribute, below is a full reproduction of a profile of the fallen hero I published on the EADM Web site on November 21, 2016 after a lengthy and thrilling interview held at one of his pharmacy outlet in Irving, Texas. Rest in Peace, Ndugu Amos Abuga!

 

 

Irving, Texas, USA: Dr. Amos Abuga is a household name especially among African and business communities in the Dallas Fort Worth (DFW) area. He is a professional pharmacist with an enterprising knack for sensing and pursuing a money-spinning opportunity. He has ingeniously engineered a convergence of his pharmacy training and astute entrepreneurial aptitudes to optimize Multilevel Marketing (MLM) opportunities to build lucrative business networks and morph into a Guru for Health and Wellness Products. A devotedSeventh Day Adventist, giving back to the community has become for him not only a form of corporate social responsibility but a divinely ordered act of faith as his observance of the Sabbath and love for his God and neighbor. But, “beyond all this, I love my life. When I play, I play really hard and enjoy my life to the fullest,” Dr. Abuga says with a broad smile that reveals his good-natured side.

Childhood and Education

Born in 1961 in Kisii, Kenya to a tribal chief Joseph Abuga, Amos Abuga was raised in Kisii and attended Meru Primary School before joining Kisii High School for his O and A levels. He was admitted to Nairobi University for veterinary medicine but turned down the offer and instead traveled to the United States in 1982 to pursue a degree in pharmacy. Amos Abuga attended the Texas Southern University (TSU) in Houston where he earned a bachelor’s degree in medical Technology in 1984 before graduating with a doctorate in Pharmacy (Pharm D) from the School of Pharmacy at the same university in 1991.

Multilevel Marketing (MLM) Guru

A quarter of a century later, in 2016, Dr. Amos Abuga has, over the years, ingeniously engineered a convergence of his pharmacy training and astute entrepreneurial aptitudes to optimize Multilevel Marketing (MLM) opportunities to build lucrative business networks and morph into a Guru for Health and Wellness Products.

For Ever Living: The Company and Health Wellness Products

 

Dr. Amos Abuga explaining his involvement in the For Ever Living Company and how it's health products are consistent with his profession as a pharmacist. This was during an interview with the EADM editor, Samuel Muwanguzi recently.

But of all the Multilevel Marketing (MLK) business ventures he has engaged in and succeeded,   

For Ever Living, a 38-year-old company involved in marketing health and wellness products, is closest to his heart, soul, and body. “This company has had the highest resonance with me because it has offered me more opportunities as a pharmacist to help improve the health and wellness of individuals including my own without breaching any ethical code of conduct,” he states with discernable contentment in both his voice and body language. He says that his involvement in marketing products by this company has been a completely trans-formative experience to him as both a professional pharmacist and user of the products to experience the health benefits the products are having on his clients and himself.

For Ever Living health products are extracted from the Aloe Vera plant which has over 200 phital nutrients that human bodies need to function optimally. “For example, most pure Omega 3 is vital for blood circulation and effective brain function, while other products help in weight loss when used according to instructions,” Dr. Abuga says with a tone of professionalism in his voice. “Personally, I have used these products and I have greatly benefited because I have reduced my weight and I feel healthier and lighter compared to what I was before I started using the products,” he says of his own physical  transformation.

Discipline and Caution

However, he warns that the use of the products requires a lot of discipline as one has to follow some strict instructions to fully benefit from their efficacy. 

Dr. Abuga also strongly cautions that: “These healthy and wellness products are not prescription drugs marketed to cure or treat diseases or ailments. Rather, they are food nutrients that our bodies need to strengthen our natural immune systems by cleansing our bodies of unwanted matter in our systems, defending our bodies from infections, and restoring the strengths of our natural mechanisms undermined by the food we eat, drinks we take, and other matter we absorb.” He adds that the health and wellness products produced by the For Ever Living Company are supplements and not drugs approved by the Food and Drug Authority (FDA), a federal agency charged with testing and approving prescription drugs.

But he quickly adds that as a professional pharmacist, he knows the ingredients that go into drugs and what these products contain and can therefore, with a degree of knowledge and authority, advise people as to how the products would benefit them. In this company, Dr. Abuga discloses that: “I have reached the level of manager. I have always reached the top of these MLM companies. For that, I am blessed and I am always rich because God blesses me all the time,” He says with a tone comparable to a humble supplicant.

Testimony About Products’ Efficacy

One of his clients, who preferred to be only identified as William, told EADM News that the reason why Dr. Amos Abuga is a household name especially among African and business communities in the Dallas Fort Worth (DFW) area in Texas lies in his humility, professionalism, generosity, and readiness to offer advice that help his clients make informed decisions to enhance their health and wellness. “I am a living example of his advice and the benefits of the foreverliving products with respect to the loss of my excessive weight for all to see. That is not to speak of the improvements to my health and enhanced energy levels I am experiencing,” William testifies with a sense of satisfaction.

Forecast on Future Prospects

Speaking about the future prospects for the forever living company and products, Dr. Abuga says that in the next few months, “Forever living is going to become a movement because of the health benefits the products give to users.” Dr. Abuga observed that while the company has been around for 38 years, marketing the products was primarily in Europe and Africa but there are still expensive in Africa.  Ironically, here in the USA, where the products are made, there have been no efforts to aggressively market or consume the health products in the past. He was optimistic, however, that the trend is changing and to skeptics, “they will eventually be won over as the products speak for themselves. Once they try them, the benefits will get them talking. 

Other MLM Ventures

But forever living is not the first, and perhaps not the last of the Multilevel Marketing (MLK)

business ventures he has fully engaged in and succeeded over the years.  “I was the first African to join the Organogold Company in 2010 and attain the highest level position in the hierarchy. Our business involved marketing healthy coffee and other products extracted from Chinese mushrooms. But I quit the company when several of us disagreed with some of the directors on the course the company was taking,” Dr. Abuga says with no regrets. He was also a founder member of the Serenergy Company, which, like Organogold, is involved in marketing of healthy coffee and other products.  “I have reached the highest level and the company has now re-branded and is operating with a new name, Rain International,” Dr. Abuga says contentedly. In addition to these, he has also been associated with 5 Linx, another company involved in marketing health and wellness products.

Professional Work as a Pharmacist  

But all this success neither came overnight nor on the cheap. After graduating from Texas Southern University in Houston in 1991, Dr. Abuga commuted for two years between Houston and Dallas while working with Albertsons Pharmacy from 1991 to 1993.”I later moved to Dallas to work with UT Southwestern as a night pharmacy manager for the next six years between 1993 to 1999.

Entrepreneurship and Private Business Challenges

This night position gave me ample time to start my first private business, Simba Motors in 1993,dealing in spare parts,” he recalls. In 1999, he quit working for UT Southwestern and formed Simba International Investments to buy, repair, and remodel homes for sale. With this business, he plunged into real estate ventures, businesses he still does to-date. He's also founder and CEO of Simba International USA. In 2002, he founded PX Express Pharmacy and AA Pharmacy in 2014, both in Irving, Texas. “My aim is to franchise the AA pharmacy brand,” he reveals.

Picture showing the front desk of the A&A Pharmacy in Irving, Texas. Dr. Abuga plans to create a franchise for this brand.

In 2006, he founded the A&A trucking company with 59 trucks but, he says, “I found the tracking business the most challenging of all the businesses I have done. It requires a lot of capital, takes a lot of time, and is very stressful because drivers are extremely tricky and some of their behaviors often cause unnecessary losses to the company,” he states. He reveled that he closed the business and sold all the 59 trucks because it was no longer sustainable; maintenance costs were very high and finding reliable drivers was a challenge.

Eco-Farming and Country Life in USA

“As a farmer, I am more of an eco-investor than a conventional one; I have planted a large forest of trees in Kenya to both protect the environment and harvest and sell the timber when it matures in future, he says.  But in the USA, Dr. Abuga says that although he owns a 26 acre piece of land in Ovilla, Texas, on which he built a country home with horses, he has not done much farming on it. “When my kids were growing up, they loved riding horses, which was fun both to them and me. The kids wanted to go horse-riding every weekend but it was expensive. So, I bought 3 horses which they rode whenever they felt like,” he says.

He reveals that he used to rear goats but they were a menace as they used to go out of the fence and wreak havoc in the neighborhood. “So, I sold them and that was the closest I came to being a farmer in the USA,” he says with laughter.

A Father and Devoted Seventh Day Adventist

A proud father of 4 girls and 1 boy and still counting, Dr. Abuga, delightfully says:  “1 of my daughters, 22, is at Princeton University as a pre-med major and aims to pursue a degree in medicine. The second daughter, 19, is at THE University of Texas at Arlington (UTA) studying pharmacy, the other, 18, is at the Tarrant County College (TCC) doing her pre-requisites, and the fourth is in high school while my son, 9, is in elementary school.” A devoted Seventh Day Adventist, he was raised to love God and his neighbors as he loves himself and appreciates community service, “virtues I endeavor to instill in my children,” he reveals. Indeed, one of the beneficiaries of his love for neighbor, a tenant on one of his properties told EADM News that as a believer, Dr. Abuga helps several churches and pastors acquire places of worship.

Abuga the Philanthropist

His upbringing as a Seventh Day Adventist laid the foundation of his work as a philanthropist, which, in part, was manifested in his construction of an orphanage in Kisii, Kenya, in 2001. The orphanage is an endeavor to extend love and care to underprivileged members of society as “giving back to the community  is for me not only a form of corporate social responsibility but a divinely ordered act of faith and love as my observance of the Sabbath and love for God and my neighbor,” he says. The orphanage operates under WHAFLES, a charitable organization, he formed in 2001. “The mission of this organization is to assist orphans in the community by providing them with education and food, among other needs, because those are critical in the development of any human being,” he says. We opened the orphanage with 20 orphan children attending our school in 2001. But the number of orphans now under our care has risen to over 375 children.

SereniGy Kids Tribute! – YouTube

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Xc0vdKbtUcw

 

WHAFLES stands for Water, Health, Accommodation, Food, Love, Education, and Salvation.

“When the colonialists came to Africa, they brought salvation and education but never brought with them food, water, love, and health. So, that is why we are still struggling in Africa and are still far from attaining holistic development. That is what inspired me to start this orphanage to provide those essential ingredients that form the foundation for development. The needy orphanswho live with their relatives in the community come to the orphanage to get a good education, food, clean water, love, and health. Our aim is to increase the number of orphans we assist to 2000 kids. The way we fund the programs at the orphans is by attracting funding from children from wealthy families who attend our school and also fundraise for us in their communities.Various companies, such as Serenirgy, are providing a lot of support to us to sponsor the programs at the orphanage.

The SereniGy Kids Mission Video! – YouTube 

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NGvirgTW1yU

Time for Hobbies and Recreation 

But, “beyond all this, I love my life. When I play, I play really hard and enjoy my life to the fullest,” Dr. Abuga says with a broad smile that reveals his good-natured side. He says that he hangs out a lot with friends and loves to help people. “I also like to travel a lot. I have traveled to nearly all the states in the USA, Africa, Asia, and Europe making friends and connecting investors, especially to Africa. My goal is to travel to Australia and South America in the near future,” he reveals.

Professional Affiliations and Source of Inspiration  

Professionally, he says he is a member of the Texas Pharmacy Association, Irving Chamber of Commerce, the East Africa Chamber of Commerce of Dallas and other organizations. Asked to share the secrets that enabled him to succeed as a professional and an entrepreneur and why other people fail to make it, he says: “I succeed because I work hard. More importantly, as a Seventh Day Adventist, I am a strong believer in God and I have tried my best to use my gifts and fortune to help others. But I also play hard and I really enjoy my life,” he reveals. Dr. Abuga also says that as a son of a chief, his childhood was somewhat more privileged than most children in his area. “Secondly, I was raised by my sister and brother in law, both of whom were medical doctors.  I lived with them from the time I was 9 years and watching them work and help to treat people, I was highly inspired. From their work ethic, I got infected with the quality of hard work and they instilled in me a longing desire to help people in need as a foundation for success,” he discloses.

While he says he is blessed, has always been rich, and is a successful businessman and professional, he was cagy when asked to disclose how much he was worth. “I own a number of properties both in the USA and Kenya,” that is the closest he could come to disclosing his wealth.

Mentor, Trainer, and Future Plans

As to why some people fail to succeed as he did, he attributes it to a number of factors, some of them beyond their control. But, he suggests that partly: “Because some people have dreams in life but are scared of pursuing them.” His advice to immigrants to the USA, especially those from Africa is that: “Since America is the only country in with a dream and no other country in the world is. If you can dream and pursue your dream, you can achieve it. One needs to follow one’s dream and not to listen to detractors because they are quite many; they are not in short supply.” To that end, he says that while he has not been a classroom teacher, he has mentored many people and conducted several seminars to train people to realize their business goals.

His plans for the future? “To grow the orphanage, take care of my children and myself and to enjoy life to the fullest,” he says as he raises to attend to other people waiting for him.