Dr. Cosmos Maduka, the President of Coscharis Group charged Nigerian youths to learn to plan their goals and work towards achieving them, disclosing that his vision of today was conceived when he was fifteen.
Maduka spoke in Awka, Anambra state at a one-day Business Plan and Entrepreneurship Fair, organised by the Ministry of Education in partnership with United Nations Industrial Development Organization (UNIDO).
He said he developed entrepreneurial zeal from the knowledge he ganered while hawking akara (bean cake) in aving lost his father at the age of four.
His words: “All of you here are better than me. Life gave me no opportunity for success. I lost my dad at the age of four without any formal education.
“But I have a mum who inspired me for greatness, making me to believe in myself and God. I grew up with optimism that no door can close against me.
“My uncle took me to Lagos at the age of seven to learn how to sell auto spare parts. I slept in a shop without fan where mosquitoes bit me till I grew immunity against malaria.
“I worked for my uncle for six and half years without salary. He gave me N200 in 1976 and I nearly committed suicide. Many of you would have squanderd the money but I didn’t.”
Maduka regretted that most Nigerian youths major on their problems, which were meant to prepare them for greatness.
He said as important as education is, the certificate acquired at the end would only be useful when the knowledge garnered was translated into action.
He added: “I sold akara as a child, that was where my entrepreneurial ability was discovered.
“If I ask someone to buy my akara and she says no, I’ll hold her on the cloth and tell her that my mom said nobody says no.
“You major in your problems. Believe in yourself, have opinion of yourself or someone else will give you one. Learn to put your mind in what you want to do.
“Your problem is facebook, you’re facing book and not reading your book.”
The Coscharis boss further recalled how he wrote down his dreams and aspirations while still a teenager.
“Before 15, it was clear in my mind on where I was heading to. I wrote them down and placed it in front of my bed and anoint it before sleeping every night.
“I said I want to marry before I turn 20 because I didn’t want to do boy/girl friend stuff.
“I want to have a son at 22. I want to have my first car at 23. I want to be a millionaire at 25.
“I was to turn 20 when I wedded my wife on September 23, 1978. I didn’t marry her in my father’s house.
“I married living in 3-bedroom. I was determined to fight poverty. I got a car at 23,” Maduka revealed.