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From helping his mother fry and hawk akara at the age of five to learning how to cut palm fronds for elderly women, Dr. Cosmas Madua­buchukwu Maduka, Chairman, Chief Executive Officer of Coscharis Group of Compa­nies is an uneducated man who against all odds resolved to pulled himself out of the shackles of poverty
and become a billionaire, simply by working hard, believing in himself and confessing himself to riches.
His early Childhood
He was born and bred in Jos, Plataeu State on December 24,1958. Cosmas lost his father at the age of four and so growing up for him was quite rough and challenging. His mother became a single parent and was left with the herculean task of taking care of five children. He had to assist her by hawking Akara and also learning how to cut palm fronds for elderly women to which they paid him three pence. Three years after, things got worse, his mother withdrew him from elementary three and sent him to his maternal grandparents in order to reduce her task of providing for him as a little boy and the other children. He became a breadwinner at the age of seven and didn’t have any formal education, but he went to school up to primary 3.
At the age of  seven, Cosmas joined his uncle in Lagos to be his apprentice in dealing in motorcycle spare parts. His uncle’s shop was near Oyingbo bus Stop. He recalls;
People laughed at me and questioned what I could learn at seven years old. I slept in the shop and I recall some children mocking me on their way to school. They laughed at me for sleeping in the shop but I told myself that I would be better than them in the next six years.
Though not enough, He tried to do some research and find out how he could take some parts from a Volkswagen car and fix into a Honda. He was always curious to know which automobile parts could work on another brand. For three years, he worked tirelessly with his uncle and he opened a branch in Jos. He went there to manage and also the one opened in Sokoto.
How he parted ways with his uncle
The Nnewi, Anambra-born businessman would not forget the experience that saw him breaking loose from apprenticeship to being an entrepreneur. He reminisces: “My uncle opened another branch in Nnewi, again, I moved there and I became a new personality entirely. Then, I was just 14 years old but I had been involved in certain sins—I watched pornography, smoked, and drank. So, imagine my repentance when I discovered the truth. I went for a church programme and didn’t open the shop.  When he discovered that I was leaving his shop unattended to, he disengaged me with just N200! This was a man I served for seven years without any contractual agreement and I never stole his money once. I told him as I collected the money, ‘five years from now, you would be amazed at what God would do with this N200.’
Having known a little about God, he looked at his uncle in the eyes and told him,“God hardened the heart of Pharaoh to show His might in the land of Egypt. I served you well and therefore do not de­serve this. But if this is what you have to offer me, five years from now, you will be amazed what you are going to see out of this money.”
This was the long awaited opportunity he needed.
A partnership with his brother
He teamed up with his elder brother who had finished his apprenticeship and was ready to set up a company. They set up a company called Maduka Brothers and they specialized in spare parts. Unfortunately, the partnership did not last due to ideologi­cal differences and they parted ways after six months. Cosmas was left with a capital of N300.00.
He used the N300 to start his own business enterprise called Coscharis Motors and was  coming to buy goods in Lagos.
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His first breakthrough
He recalls this moment:
I had my first breakthrough in business when I went to Boulous Enterprises to purchase motorcycle spare parts. There, I saw an innovation called motorcycle crash ban and bought many of them. Thereaf­ter, I removed the address of Boulous on the carton, so that people would not know where I bought them. Then, I sold all the next day and joined night bus back to La­gos to buy more. I did that four times in a week and my capital rose from N300.00 over N3000.00. After making some money from the Boulous business, I went into importa­tion. But, unfortunately, I received the wrong consignment and that made me lose my capital. I had a serious set back and became indebted to many even to my landlord, who I owed some months rent ar­rears. As a result, my shop was locked and the business crumbled. Notwithstanding, I was willing to start again.I searched for a weighing scale, which was presented to me during my wedding. I took it to the market and was charging 10 kobo for anyone that climbed it to check his weight. From there, I made some money, but my wife did not know about it initially. When she eventu­ally knew, she cried and decided to pick up a job to support the family. So, with the proceeds from the weighing business, I teamed up with a friend called, David and we set up a company known as Cosdave. My partnership with David also had to end due to ideological differences. Thereafter, I set Coscharis Motors.
Coscharis is coined from his name, Cosmas and his wife’s, Charity.
The turning point for Coscharis
Coscharis made a breakthrough in 1982 when the Federal Government decided to grant import licences to 10 Nigerian Com­panies and it became one of the beneficiar­ies. Since that time till date, the company has continued to expand. The Coscharis group has over 26 branches nationwide and with heavy presence in three African countries namely Ghana, Gabon and Cote D’Ivoire.Coscharis Motors is a member of the Coscharis group; the Coscharis group has seven subsidiaries. The company is di­versified into auto sales and auto services with state -of -the-art showrooms and workshops, nationwide. Coscharis previous head office Complex at 1-7 Coscharis Street, Kirikiri Industry Estate, Maza- Maza was instituted in 1989 and since then, the company has stretched its bases to Victoria Island and Lekki in Lagos State, while branches have been set up in Abuja, Kano, Port Harcourt, Uyo and Ibadan. Other areas are Aba, Akure and Maiduguri, especially for the motorcycles and auto-care Abro products.
Personal Life
He married at the age of 19 after meeting his wife, Charity in church.They have been married for about 36 years and are blessed with five children.One of his sons married a few months back.
Advice to youth
Success is not an event, it’s a process. It is not a product of chance, it is characterised by dream and visions, which when you nurture, becomes a reality. Go for your dreams.”I learn from natural things. I believe that it is not about going to university, but hav­ing common sense to make things happen. An educated man is one who can organise his thought into productivity. It is not about having dream, but the plan to actualise the dream into action. I have the passion  to make a difference in my life.
Youths should start little and they will get where they want to be. It is not where you started from, but where you will end up that matters.Another thing the young busi­ness people should to know is that success of a great meeting is not based on the eloquence of the speaker, but the understand­ing. In a journey of success, one must learn to overcome fears and imbibe courage and hard work.

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