Magnus Eze, Enugu
The age-long dictum that a prophet has no honour in his own town was proved false recently in Ohafia, Abia State, when the National Association of Ohafia Students (NAOS) spotted the managing director of Nigerian Film Corporation (NFC), Dr. Chidia Maduekwe, and honoured him with the Ohafia Outstanding Performance Award.
Maduekwe was recognised at Ebem, Ohafia, December 30, 2019, at the annual NAOS prestigious award for sons and daughters of Ohafia that have made outstanding impacts in their respective points of service to fatherland.
A citation read by the organisers said the NFC boss was honoured for his commitment towards youth empowerment through the nationwide entrepreneurial training in film production for youths across the country.
According to the group, the film corporation, under Maduekwe, has steered the Nigerian motion picture industry as a veritable tool for driving nationalism, values of love, peace and tolerance among Nigerians irrespective of tribal and religious divides.
Presenting the award to Maduekwe, president of the association, Comrade Idika Michael, said: “We thank Dr. Chidia Maduekwe for making us proud by his dedication towards youth empowerment, skills acquisition and eradication of poverty, in line with the vision of the President of Nigeria, General Muhammadu Buhari.
“The entrepreneurial training of the Nigerian Film Corporation under his watch has been very helpful to Nigerian youths in general and to Ohafia youths in particular.”
The event attracted captains of industry, top government functionaries, including former Attorney-General of Abia State, Chief Kalu Umeh (SAN), among others.
President Buhari appointed Maduekwe in 2017 as managing director of the NFC, an agency under the supervision of the Federal Ministry of Information and Culture, with the mandate to grow and develop a viable film industry for Nigeria.
It spearheads the acquisition and maintenance of facilities for film production and provides training and advancement of skills and talents of persons employed in the Nigerian film industry generally.
The National Film Institute, an arm of the NFC, located in Jos, Plateau State, offers short courses and degree programmes in film production and archival studies.
In fact, the ongoing rebirth of cinema culture in the country had been partly linked to the unrelenting efforts of the film corporation.
Daily Sun also gathered that, through the instrumentality of Maduekwe, several creative Ohafia youths had keyed into the nation’s film industry and are already making a living in the sector.
Their projection is that they could also reap from the gains expected from the digital explosion promised by the Digital Switch-Over of the nation’s broadcasting industry through content development and other aspects.