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A teacher impacts eternity; Akunwata Clement Jackson Chukwunwike Maduewesi

It was Henry Adams who said that a teacher affects eternity, he can never tell where his influence stops. Nothing captures this more than the life of Akunwata Clement Jackson Chukwunwike Maduewesi, known to many as a teacher’s teacher. Clement was the second son of late Joseph & Alice Maduewesi of Uyanwa Eze-Oguine Ezenwa Royal Family of Obi-Uno, Otolo, Nnewi in Nnewi North Local Govt. Area. He was born at Ekwulumili on the 11th September 1925 where his parents did their missionary work. They did their missionary work in churches like St. Andrew’s Church, Amichi, Emmanuel’s Church Ekwulumili, CMS Azia, St. Mark’s Nnewichi, St. Stephen’s CMS Umudim, St. Mary’s Ukpo, St. Stephen’s Osumenyi, St. Stephen’s Nnokwa, St. Paul’s Ebenesi Nnobi, St. Simon’s Nnobi, and St. Mark’s CMS Nnewichi, Nnewi.

Akunwata CJC Maduewesi was a self-made-man. He had his primary education in many schools as his parents moved from town to town; Infant I to III, 1933-1935 Nnewi CMS Central School; Standard 1 & 2, 1936-1938 Nnewi CMS Central School; Standard 3 & 4, 1939-1940 Nnobi CMS Central School; Standard 5, 1941 Amichi CMS Central School; Standard 6, 1942 Nnewi CMS Central School; and Standard 6, 1943 Nnobi CMS Central School.

Though he gained admission into the prestigious DMGS Onitsha, circumstances beyond his father’s control prevented him from entering DMGS. He then decided to work as a teacher and was employed by the Church Missionary Society, CMS, in 1944. He vowed to pursue his education with vigour and to sit for the Higher Elementary Certificate Examination with counterparts who went into DMGS and who would go to Awka College for their Higher Elementary Certificate Examination. In 1950, he took the H. E. C. Examination and passed all the subjects. In 1962-63, he sat for his London GCE Advanced Papers and Religious Knowledge and History. He returned in flying colours.

His career as a teacher was very interesting as he moved from one region or town to another. He was at CMS Central School Oba, from 1944 – 1948, CMS Central School Ogwashi-Uku, 1949-1951, CMS Central School Ubulu-Okiti, 1952, CMS St. Gabriel’s Umuleri, 1953 – 1954, St. Mary’s Uruagu 1955 – 1956 (Headmaster), CMS Central School Nkwo Nnewi, 1957 – 1961 (Headmaster), St. Michael’s CMS Inyaba Umudim Nnewi, 1962-1971 (Headmaster), Umu Ezena Central School, Umudim Nnewi 1972 – 1974 (Headmaster) Osumenyi Community School 1975 (Headmaster / Class 1) Uruagu Central (St. Mary’s) School 1975, Amichi Central (St. Andrews) School 1976 – 1982, (Special Headmaster)

In 1983 the Jim Nwobodo Administration created Ochi L. G. A. Akunwata CJC was made the Special Headmaster/Senior Supervisor for the Ochi L. G. A. Education Department. In 1984, the General Buhari administration dissolved all the local governments created by civilians and Akunwata was transferred to Nnewi L. G. A. Education Department as Special Headmaster/Senior Supervisor of Schools. He was compulsorily retired on 21st July 1984 by the Buhari Administration after serving the nation for 41years, 1944-1984.

As a family man, Akunwata CJC married Josephine Akubueze Nwanyibuife Maduewesi (nee Ndabai) from the family of Mr. Nathaniel and Agnes Ndabai of Azungwu village in Ogwashi-Uku in Asaba Division in 1952. The marriage was blessed with 4 sons and 3 daughters.

Akunwata was a servant of God, a lover of people, and a social and political activist to the core. He had an infectious positive personality that endeared him to people he met, irrespective of their age or status in life.

In 1955, he became a licensed Lay Reader in the CMS Anglican Church. From 1958 to 1964, he served as the Chief Secretary, Convention of Protestant Communion (C. P. C.) Nnewi Anglican District. He was the Secretary of the Nigerian Union of Teachers (N. U. T) Nnewi Zone, from 1956 to 1966. He served as Chairman, Nnewi Local Council from 1965 – 1970 and was instrumental to the establishment of now famous Nkwo Nnewi market after the Biafran Civil War. From 1965-1 968 he was Secretary, Nnewi Community Meeting. He joined Anaedo Social Club of Nigeria in 1974 and served as Secretary, Umu Uyanwa General Meeting from 1976-1991. He was a member of Inyaba Age Grade, a cooperative transport group he founded with his close friends from Inyaba Umudim Nnewi. From 2000-2011 he was Treasurer, Umu Uyanwa Family Meeting, Obiuno Branch.

Something very remarkable and worthy of record happened in Akunwata CJC’s life in December 1941. His late uncle, Aaron Maduewesi, invited him and all other uncles including, his father and all other elders in the family. Before all gathered, Uncle Aaron made a pronouncement adopting CJC to become his son and heir. By that act, Akunwata CJC, who though, was the second son of his own father Joseph inherited Obi Umu Maduewesi.

Blessed with seven children among whom are Prof. Sir Byron Azubugwu Uzodimma,Mrs. Peace Obianuju Ofodile ,Mrs. Charity Uzoamaka Maduako, Chike Nelson,Barrister Emeka Eugene,
Late Barrister Mrs. Joy Onyinye Okeke and Mr. Victor Tochukwu. As Akunwata shall be laid to rest at his compound, No. 1 Amazu Close, Obiuno Otolo Nnewi, Anambra State, near Igwe Orizu's Palace, on Thursday 24th of April. He lived a life worthy of emulation. CJC as he is fondly called, is a man with an extraordinary character, a beacon of light, an educationist extraordinaire, a man whose gestures are worthy of emulation. His 89 years on earth were dedicated to the service to God and humanity.

Prof. Maduewesi, is of the Anambra State College of Education, Nsugbe.

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