Dr. Godwin Maduka an Illustrious Igbo Son Worthy of Emulation.                                           

Cornelius Onyeulo  

Dr. Godwin Maduka’s name does not ring a bell in the larger Igbo society currently but his towering achievements in his native land of birth Umuchukwu in Orumba South Local Government of Anambra State are worthy of emulation and he deserves to be honoured. Dr. Maduka is the CEO and Medical Director of Las Vegas Pain Institute & Medical Centre in Nevada, United States of America.

Las Vegas or City of Las Vegas, often known simply as Vegas is the 28th most populated city in the United States and the most populated in the State of Nevada. This city in which this obscure Igbo son carved a niche for himself is an internationally renowned city because of her resort sites, primarily known for casinos (gambling), shopping, fine dining, entertainment and nightlife. This city is also known as The Entertainment Capital of the World. It has mega casino-hotels associated with business convention activities and it is the global leader in hospitality industry. Las Vegas ranks as the world’s visited tourist destination and very popular in setting for literature, films, television programs and music videos. The mega casino-hotels are venues for most of IBF, WBC and WBA heavyweight boxing championships.

Dr. Maduka sits as the CEO and Medical Director of the largest pain treatment center in Nevada. The center specializes in Pain Medicine, Radiology, Wellness, and Physical Therapy. Other specialties of the center include Chronic and Acute Pain Management, Anesthesiology and Interventional Pain Management. The center works in tandem with diagnostic imaging and family medicine practitioners. He is also a Clinical Facility Supervisor of Pain Management /Anesthesiology at Touro University Nevada’s College of Osteopathic Medicine. He is an expert in anesthesia, pharmaceuticals, and critical care medicine and has put in more than sixteen years of post higher education

Dr. Maduka graduated with Bachelor’s Degree in Chemistry in 1984 from Rust College, Doctor of Pharmacy from Mercer University College of Pharmacy and Health Sciences in 1998. He earned his Doctor of Medicine in 1993 from the University of Tennessee Health Science Center and completed his internship at the same center. He had his residency and post-graduate training at Harvard Medical School and Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center and was certified by The American Board of Anesthesiology in 1998. He also fulfilled the role of Medical Doctor for the Nevada State Board of Medical Examiners. Dr. Maduka is a member of the Nevada State Society of Anesthesiologists, the American Pharmacists Association and the American Society of Anesthesiologists.

Dr. Maduka comes from a very humble background. He grew up in abject poverty and was raised by his father who was known as Dibia, the Igbo appellation for a herbalist. He confessed that he engaged in palm wine tapping as a source of livelihood to support his education. No doubt, Dr. Maduka went through rough times in his native land of birth Umuchukwu, formerly known as Nkerefi in Orumba South Local Government Area of Anambra State. It may be that because his father was a herbalist that he decided to become an orthodox medical doctor. By sheer providence Dr. Maduka was able to travel to the United States after his secondary education to further his studies. Today he remains the only great life changer in his community that was riddled with poverty and underdevelopment. He said, “Philanthropy is not a desire but a necessity for me.” He has single handedly transformed his community and his ultimate desire is to make Umuchukwu the Las Vegas of Igbo land. Umuchukwu that was known as one of the backward and remote communities in Anambra State, totally rejected, without any meaningful presence of the government and growing in abject poverty climaxed with all sorts of criminality has become a destination town. Dr. Maduka, through his Foundation set up more than fifteen years ago has brought projects upon projects that roused government attention to the community. The then governor Mr. Peter Obi had to construct two roads connecting Umuchukwu with the adjoining communities.

Dr. Maduka did not forget his home as we have seen many successful Igbo sons and daughters forget giving back to their native land of birth. He began to pump in fund into the community through projects in order to conquer poverty among his people. His cardinal aim was to stop rural urban migration. He built 55 houses for less privileged people in Umuchukwu town and the neighbouring Owerre-Ezukala town. He built a Pro-Cathedral each for the Catholic Church and Anglican Church in Umuchukwu. He also built big mansions for the clergy of both denominations and a Civic Center for the community. He built a magistrate court complex and handed it over to the State Judicial Service, built a police post made up of four storey building, and a five-storey and two-storey block for the Trinity hospital and maternity fully equipped with ambulance services. He also built an ultra-modern secondary school and named it Immaculate Conception International College with staff quarters. This great philanthropist was not done; he built a magnificent edifice for the traditional ruler of Umuchukwu and provided a gigantic water scheme which provides portable drinking water for the entire community. How would one quantify the large heart of this illustrious son than to thank God for the humble and humane spirit he gave to him.

In Umuchukwu today free medical services are provided for the indigent members of the community and more than thirty persons have benefited from his scholarship award program and these beneficiaries are studying in various institutions of higher learning in Nigeria and overseas. Listen to him; “But, with that, everything won’t be perfect unless I come to the town where I grew up and try to make a change for the future for somebody else because if I am doing well and people are passing through the same hardship I passed through, I don’t think that will make me a human being. So I can say that philanthropy came to me, I didn’t go to it and I was doing it without knowing it is called philanthropy in the first place.”

Dr. Maduka’s influence in Anambra State brought the dualization of Owerre-Ezukala and Umuchukwu-Ogbunka roads and electricity bills are defrayed. The one project that shook the foundations of giving back to one’s community was when he began a 15-storey community center, which when completed would serve many purposes, including recreation center, shopping malls, conference centers and offices for governmental and non-governmental organizations. He also plans to build a university in the town. The 15-storey complex is part of the world class international standard hospital/health research institute that will serve as the best destination in Africa for health and clinical issues because it will be the biggest and best in the African continent. Industries are not left out and with time Umuchukwu will become an industrial town. Who said Umuchukwu would not be like Las Vegas, Nevada.

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