When you have a lived a life worthy of emulation, when you have lived a life of impact and lived all your life in the vineyard of the Lord, there is no shadow of doubt that you will be forever in the hearts of your family, friends and associates because they know full well that you will be resting in the bosom of the Lord.
Though her passing elicited grief from her loved ones especially her friend and widow, Mr. Cosmas Maduka, they were comforted by the sweet memories of her energetic and impactful life. This was the case with Vice President of Coscharis Group, Mrs. Charity Nchedo Maduka (nee Ikedife) when she was given a most befitting burial with ceremonies in Lagos and Anambra States.
Her funeral began in Lagos with a Night of Tributes at the Queen’s Park Events Centre, Victoria Island, Lagos. As expect for such a woman who had so much clout and connection and related to people of all classes, the venue was filled to the brim. Rev. Elijah Adeyemi declared the programme open with prayers after which daughter in-law of the deceased, Mrs Temitope Maduka came to take the first Bible reading from 2 Cor. 5: 3-5. During the ceremony, speaker after speaker who had the opportunity to mount the podium to say a few words described her variously as very humble, generous, amiable, honest, hardworking and a virtuous woman who was a quintessential Christian.
The service which had segments for songs, hymns and prayers was well-organised and then it was soon time for tributes. Mrs. Ayo Akintade, her friend of 35 years was first to speak. She described the late Mrs Maduka as courageous, a rare gem and true Christian who never backed out in the service of God, even when she had health challenges. “She was an example of what a true Christian should be” Dr. Charles Mgbe, a family friend said the departed was a stabilising factor. She was glue that held the Cosmas Maduka family together and the woman behind the throne.”
In his tribute, the late Mrs. Maduka’s brother, Kenneth Ikedife, recalled that her 63 year-old sister surrendered her life very early to God – accordingly to him, at a time it was almost a taboo to be born-again. Ikedife got an ovation when he informed the guests that his sister’s devotion to God met a match in another firebrand Christian, Dr. Cosmas Maduka, adding that “at a point, their pace as husband and wife was too much for me to follow”.
He disclosed that many beneficiaries of late Mrs. Madukas generosity, including those whose house rent and children’s school fees she paid religiously, have been calling him and crying profusely.” I end up being the one consoling them, rather than them consoling me”.Fred Amobi, who apart from being the Executive Director, Operations, Coscharis Group, has been close to the Madukas, said the departed was a virtuous and capable wife who was more precious than rubies.
Also, Reverend Alfred Davidson from Tema in Ghana, who gave a word of exhortation, said she became alive unto the new death. She was spiritually alive. An exemplary woman every other woman should emulate.
Her loving husband described his late wife as a loving woman, who showed boundless love, strength and care without discrimination.
“From the beginning of our journey, God faithfully led us for 43 years of love in intimate relationship until November 27, 2021 when you peacefully went to sleep in the Lord” “This date has become like 9/11 in my life, as I was obviously under heavy attack, because that is precisely what your sudden departure means to me. “The love we shared, however, gave birth to the institution that is today known as the Coscharis Group, and most importantly, the loving gift of five wonderful children, although we had to wait for six years before Cosmas junior was born. In his vote of thanks, Cosmas Maduka Jnr. Her eldest child said the death of his mother is a huge loss for the family and prayed that God comfort the family at this moment.
According to him “Mum was a remarkable woman; a God-fearing woman. She was a virtuous woman that personified integrity, hard work, and a charitable heart. Her dedication to her family is something I strive to emulate and provide for my family every single day”. Relevant biblical passages were read by the daughter and daughters-in-law of the deceased, including Romans 38, verses 35-39, by Charity Maduka, her daughter. Present at the Night of Tributes very important guests, including former governor of Anambra state, Peter Obi and Chisco Group Chairman, Dr. Chidi Anyaegbu, among many others.
The next day there was a farewell service at the Local Christian Assembly, Ebute Metta, Lagos. Here, members of the church where she gave herself and resources for years had an opportunity to pay their last respects.
Ovation Chairman, Aare Dele Momodu was one of those who joined the congregation in showering encomiums on the departed.
From Lagos, the funeral train moved to the expansive Maduka Residence in Umudim Nnewi , Anambra State where a large marquee had been mounted on a well-manicured field for a Service of Songs. The service, like the other events were well attended. The atmosphere was somber all through the evening.
The final day that her remains were seen on mother earth began with a lying in-state at the residence before the funeral service. The day was a reality check for the Maduka’s that their matriarch was really gone.
The service went on smoothly and she was later committed to earth amidst tears from her closest and dearest.