The above dictum by the erstwhile African nationalist and President of South Africa, Nelson Mandela, best describes the pristine virtue of human existence, which is founded on kindness, gregariousness, amiability, generosity and love.
For the people of Umuchukwu Community in Orumba South Local Government Area of Anambra State, Dr. Godwin Maduka is an embodiment of impactful living. Like a meteor, he was destined by providence to burn so that their world may be lighted. He was described in the programme of event for Umuchukwu Day of Thanksgiving to God in 2007 as “one whose magnanimity has touched every sphere of human endeavour within and outside his immediate environment” all in succinct recognition of his numerous strides in improving the lots of his people.
Born to the family of Maduka in the then Nkerehi (now Umuchukwu) community in Orumba South Local Government Area of Anambra State, the young Maduka had his early childhood education in the country before proceeding to the United States of America where he studied Chemistry, Pharmacy and Medicine excelling in all these academic disciplines in flying colours.
Dr. Godwin Maduka bagged a Bachelor of Science Degree in Chemistry from Rut College Holy Spring Mississippi in 1984 and a Doctor of Pharmacy Degree from Mercer University of Pharmacy Atlanta Georgia in 1988. He equally completed his Internal Medicine Internship at the University of Tennessee School of Medicine with a Doctor of Medicine Degree before proceeding to the prestigious Harvard University School of Medicine where he completed his Graduate Medical Training, specializing in Anesthesia, Critical Care and Pain Management in 1997. He is the founder of Las Vegas Pain Institute which focuses on the unique needs of each individual pain patient and development of new levels of relief for all types of pain. He is a recipient of the prestigious “Heart Beat of Africa Award”.
Particularly striking about the personality of this great Nigerian is the fact that unlike his compeers in diaspora, Dr. Maduka never allowed the allure of western life and the concomitant prevailing culture of individualism becloud his sense of communitarian living that is the hallmark of traditional African societies. Hence, he has consistently kept in touch with his local communities through his numerous laudable developmental projects, which span education, economy, transportation, religion, water resources, leisure and recreation, peace-building, hospitality, employment and human capital development, youth empowerment, charities, security, health and philanthropy to mention a few.
Prior to Dr. Maduka’s interventions, Umuchukwu Community which shares common boundary with Abia State virtually had no government presence. The community could only boast of a dilapidated Community Primary School with no secondary school nor hospital, police station and motorable road. He commenced and single-handedly completed the construction of St. Jude Catholic Pro-Cathedral Umuchukwu including a huge mansion for resident priests and in addition sponsored the church to become an independent parish. He also built Umuchukwu Civic Centre, Umuchukwu magistrate Court complex, Umuchukwu Nigeria Police Station made up of four one-storey buildings, and one five-storey and a two-storey block for Trinity Hospital and Maternity with fully equipped ambulance services. Others include the construction of the ultra-modern Immaculate Concept International College together with teachers’ quarters, a magnificent edifice for the traditional ruler of the community reminiscence of the kind of abode inhabited by traditional rulers in other parts of the country and donated exotic cars to ordained priests from the community as well as to other well-meaning indigenes of the community.
Dualization of Owerre-Ezukala-Umuchukwu as well as Umuchukwu-Ogbunka roads were all possible thanks to the kind generosity of Dr. Godwin Maduka who also has, at different occasions, defrayed the cost of accumulated electricity bills of his people amounting to millions of naira all in an effort to ensure that his people never stayed in darkness.
Other areas of interventions by this illustrious African include renovations of St. Paul’s Anglican Church Umuchukwu the residence of the Parish Priest of the said church as well as the comatose Community Primary School; provision of free medical services to indigent indigenes of the community, and award of scholarship to more than thirty persons studying in various institutions of higher learning.
Dr. Maduka has equally built houses for the less privileged both in Umuchukwu and Owerre-Ezukala, a neighbouring community. His youth empowerment programmes span also the provision of soft loans, cars motorbikes and buses to youths and youth groups in the community. He has, through his contacts, secured employment to many graduates even as he has provided succor to the aged, bereaved and infirm.
As a way of boosting the moral and spiritual rejuvenation of his people, Dr. Maduka spearheaded the siting of monastry at Umuchukwu and actually doled out millions of naira in materials and logistics to make that dream a reality. He embarked on gigantic rural water scheme and by so doing successfully delivered clean potable water to his people and the inhabitants of neighbouring communities. This singular initiative has enhanced the health conditions of his people as it has effectively curtailed outbreak of water borne diseases and other communicable diseases that hitherto ravaged the community. He also constructed two bridges linking Umuchukwu and Ogbunka and by so doing strengthened inter-communal relationship between the two communities.
Even in the face of needless provocations and bile by a few disgruntled individuals in the community who at a point elected to disparage, impugn this great icon of generosity for standing for the general good of his people, Dr. Maduka has remained undeterred, firm, unfazed and fearless according to his own conscience in the service of his people. Little wonder he has resolved to set up a state-of-the art pharmaceutical plant at Umunze. Work is also ongoing at the fourteen storey Community Building Complex which upon completion would serve many purposes including recreation, shopping malls, conference venues and so on for various government and non-governmental organizations.