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Growing up, the man Dr. Chidia Maduekwe has been destined to excel in endeavours that he finds himself. Here is a man, a medical doctor by training who has traversed other spectra of human endeavours; a community mobiliser turned entrepreneur, astute philanthropist, a consummate politician with an eye to serve the public, a corporate leader and a title holder of the mandate of the good people of Ohafia, Ohafia Local government area of Abia State, as ISHI’NKAA OHAFIA, excelling in all he does. He turns 69 today (October 15th), with so much of monumental impact across his years of private and public service in his trial. Indeed, it has been an illustrious journey of inspiring young Nigerians through his deep seated believe for diligence, hardwork, and turning challenges into opportunities and promotion of good governance.

At the moment, Dr. Chidia Maduekwe heads the Nigerian Film Corporation (NFC), a strategic federal government agency for the promotion and development of Nigeria’s film industry assets. He was first appointed in 2017; re-appointed for a Second Term in 2021, and serving till date as its Managing Director/Chief Executive. Several changes and strategic innovations especially redefining NFC’s new leadership and direction within Nigeria’s Film Industry and extricating it from among lame agencies are obviously ascribed to his administrative, business, leadership skills and experience acquired during his over fifty years of diligent public service. Consequently, institutional linkages secured under his leadership across Africa, the Americas, Asia and Europe have indeed situated Nigeria and the NFC appropriately within the comity of film nations and business circles. NFC has witnessed a total rebrand and development, having identified that there was work to be done, and he did them. Excitingly, he has been able to institute a new culture of service delivery and engagements by the NFC anchored on the payoff line ‘’Powering Possibilities” – aggressively strengthening its operations and delivering on its mandate. 

The numerous achievements and successes, ranging from key sectoral interventions, film industry support mechanisms, capacity building, entrepreneurial training, to film infrastructure provisions across the country, domestic and offshore film investment activities, film co-production agreements with major audio-visual giant countries as the present report card of the NFC are remotely laced to his ability not only to dream and envision, but a display of passionate and rational approach to challenges and problem solving. His film industry experience and conduct, certainly signposts Dr. Maduekwe as one who is consistently adding value to the development of Nigeria’s youthful creative economy.  

His achievements are numerous and legendary; across racial, religious or cultural borders. He truly exemplifies the embodiment of Ohafia spirit which is woven around valor and creativity. It is therefore not for nothing that in December of 2021, in the course of consultations as well as his political aspiration to be the Chief Executive Officer and the peoples’ servant of the good people of Abia State as Governor, he was singled out from among all the sons and daughters of Ohafia land and bestowed with the title of Isi’nkaa which when translated loosely simply stands for “valour and creativity”, by the entire traditional council of Ohafia. 

At 69, Dr. Maduekwe has charted a life course that is divinely ordained and profoundly sublime. From his early childhood years to his foray into professional private and public life his three scores and nine life on earth can be read as an open book with vital lessons and contributions to be drawn. From his educational background having started off at the St. Stephens Primary School, Umuobasi-Amavo, Aba, present Abia State then to Birch Freeman High School, Lagos; and thereafter to the Kwara College of Technology where he obtained the A –Level General Certificate of Education in 1975 and then to the  University of Ibadan graduating as a medical doctor in 1980, it will only take a youth with exceptional qualities to excel in such areas even outside the comfort zone of his place of birth and growing up.

Having then studied a course that could at best be described as an elite course, the young medical doctor, Chidia Maduekwe upon graduation and service to father land had in his chest how to take Medicare to the grassroots people of Ohafia and in fact, then eastern Nigeria. He consequently founded, sponsored and funded a private primary rural health care mobile clinic project known as Kesandu Rural Mobile Medicare Scheme (KRUMM SCHEME) in 1985. In the following year, he secured approval for German Medical Experts/Equipment (GTZ subsidized) into Nigeria under the German/Nigeria Technical Aid agreement of 1981 for primary health care and mobile clinics to some local government areas of the Federation {Imo state & Borno State}. As a man who thinks outside the box, he established what would be easily referred to as one of the few rural mobile medical clinics in Nigeria.

Today, he has replicated this same feat in his current office as the Chief Executive of NFC by rolling out multiple Mobile Audio-visual Training Platforms serving as mobile film schools to reach our youths in the remote or sometimes unreachable locations in the rural areas of the country; with the noble objective of providing succor to lowly. The virtue of empathy continued to propel his medical practice until his foray into politics in 1991. 

He contested and won election into the 3rd Republic House of Representatives, and served as the Chairman, House Committee on Defence in 1992. His foray into politics created an avenue for him to contribute to the political development of the country. As a duly appointed Director of Media, Buhari Support Organizations (BSO &BSGC), he conceptualized, led and supervised the execution of an effective Media Management blueprint for His Excellency, President Mohammadu Buhari (CFR), then as a Presidential aspirant; which was focused on Running to win a Presidential Campaign deploying global Media best practice based on the theme: SECURING OUR NATION, PROSPERING OUR PEOPLE.  This was in 2014. By 2015, he became an active Member, APC Presidential   Campaign Council Media Committee; Member of the BUHARI MEDIA SUPPORT GROUP BMSG in 2016. 

His contributions in the build up to the 2015 elections across the River Niger for President Mohhammadu Buhari are impeccable. As the Head of the Buhari Media campaign Organization, Dr Chidia deployed ingenious and brave approaches to selling the ideals of a candidate that he was convinced was the right person to lead Nigeria. Such inputs once more marked him as a dynamic individual who could get out of his comfort zone to achieve set goals and objectives. No doubt, he scored a point that though a medical doctor, he could traverse the media space to bring home results-it will only take a creative head to do that.

The track record of Dr. Maduekwe remains very impressive. He was one-time National Chairman, Amalgamation of Nigerian Youths Association (1995 – 1996); Special Assistant (Youth Development) to the Honorable Minister of Youth & Sports (1995); Honorable Federal Commissioner, Federal Character Commission (1995 – 2001). Member, Board of The Federal Medical Center, Makurdi, Benue State (2009 -2010); Senior Management Staff, Petroleum Equalization Fund (Mgt.) Board (2001 – 2010); And Chairman/Chief Executive, Steadydrive Petroleum Services Limited and Steadytel Nigeria Limited – The first company to be licensed by the NCC for Digital Trunk Radio Deployment in Nigeria. 

His love and passion for youth development and empowerment is second to none. No wonder, youths across the country, especially those from his immediate constituency have sought to have him on board youth programmes and projects. 

True to his title, and as he marks his 69th birthday, Nigerians will only wish this man of valour, courage and creativity more wisdom and grace. Isi’nkaa… Kaa whaooh!!!

Brian Etuk

Director, Public Affairs

Nigerian Film Corporation