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He Showered in the Street & Worked for 7 Years with No Pay! Cosmas Maduka turned $1 to a $500m Empire | Forbes Africa Nov. ’15

Adesola Ade-Unuigbe



Cosmas Maduka ForbesCosmas Maduka started Coscharis from scratch and built it into a conglomerate.

His success story is quite an inspiring one and as he graces the cover of the November 2015 issue of Forbes Africa, we get to take a look into his world.

For the magazine he is dubbed ‘The $500-Million Survivor’.

His feature outlines his success story – Seven years without pay, showering in the street, scrapping with his brother, fired by his uncle, fired at by his wife’s uncle and more. Cosmas Maduka shares how he survived war, tragedy and family fights to turn $1 into $500 million.

It has been rocky road for Cosmas Maduka, who started out fixing cars and now makes millions selling them.

Pick up a copy of the November 2015 of Forbes Africa and read his story.

Adesola is a BellaNaija editor and Voltron. Yes, things are that serious for her when it comes to's a lover of gist, novels, music and food. She's constantly trying not to take life for granted. She spends most of her time either keeping up with the world on the Internet or sharing some acquired knowledge about digital media.To communicate with her directly, you can hit her up on: Instagram - Twitter - @ThisConnectd


  1. Professor X

    November 9, 2015 at 2:18 pm

    Officially the man of the year. I hope I can find an online version for those of us in the diaspora.

  2. Dee..

    November 9, 2015 at 2:43 pm

    so inspiring. God bless his more.
    God please help me to turn my failures and shame into something beautiful too

    • Melanie

      November 9, 2015 at 3:02 pm

      Amen! I pray that for me too.

  3. abbie

    November 9, 2015 at 4:10 pm

    His wife, His back bone

  4. abbie

    November 9, 2015 at 4:14 pm

    His wife, His back bone ,good women still exist

  5. The real D

    November 9, 2015 at 4:39 pm

    While I am not trying to take away from the purpose of this write-up, I have a problem and since this is about a successful Nigerian entrepreneur, I feel it is kinda related.

    So here goes my “situation”: I was sort of given a challenge. Challenge is to contact 3 well known celebrities/successful entrepreneurs and get them to answer one question. This is not about asking favors or even advice, more like a “get to know a little bit better you” kinda question. For my own purpose I am not interested in celebrities and really want at least 1 well known entrepreneur in Nigeria. And holly molly finding contacts for Nigerian entrepreneurs has been beyond difficult. The goal is to avoid all assistants, PRs and speak with the person one-on-one. It’s been easier getting information and contacts of CEOs and Entrepreneurs outside Nigeria but not of Nigerians. Secondly, getting to read up on these entrepreneurs not speculations but factual stories about these people, their challenges, success stories, what motivates them, keeps them going, anything other than their worth and family background, no dey. I would love to read up on them so as to know what a good question would be. Even Dangote’s Wikipedia page leaves a ton of unknowns. So this has caused me to wonder, are we just secretive as a society or is there something I am missing.

    On the other hand, if anyone knows how I can reach Mr. Dangote himself, not his communications department, not his PR or one of his assistants. I would really appreciate it. Like I said I don’t need any favors and please no fake information. An Email address will suffice .

    Note: I chose Mr. Dangote not only because of his success as in popularity, (although the task states it has to be a major player) also because his business interests are closest to my future interests.

  6. concerned9ja

    November 9, 2015 at 4:48 pm

    Isn’t this the same dude that sold Stella Oduah those bullet proof BMWs at 1M $$ each??..
    and had a massive fall out with one of those dudes in the oil industry which was posted on this same site some years ago!!…
    We just celebrate everyone with $$$ signs behind their names.

    • SugaMama

      November 9, 2015 at 6:50 pm

      That he had a fallout with someone doesn’t take away from the fact that he worked hard to get to where he is. Who in business hasn’t had a fallout?
      What’s wrong with celebrating someone who started out with nothing and now has a lot? Gotta focus on the positives dude. Everyone has had bad days.

  7. deedobz

    November 9, 2015 at 5:58 pm

    He is a business man, he sells cars. Why won’t he sell to the ministry of aviation. If the then minister diverts them to herself, it should not be on his conscience. But on hers

    • Say the truth

      December 10, 2015 at 12:50 pm

      The problem with the Oduah case is the cars don’t even exist. The cars he sold to Stella Oduah were never seen by Stella Oduah, EFCC, govt officials etc. His company and aviation ministry were asked to produce the cars they paid N255 million for and till date, no one has laid eyes on them. Instead they brought cars with different VIN numbers from the ones on the payment documents. E be like say this one na invisible BMW. I wonder how many other ministers, governors, etc have also bought this invisible BMW and Range Rover for millions of $$$.

  8. Natu

    November 9, 2015 at 6:56 pm

    I will one day make the forbes list. Can I get an amen?

    • Bruness

      November 10, 2015 at 5:55 am

      Amen! Sis Amen!

    • colluns

      December 10, 2015 at 9:03 am

      Not with that hair you are carrying.

  9. Adeola

    November 10, 2015 at 3:00 am

    Amen….. and me too

  10. me

    November 10, 2015 at 8:49 am

    Congrats to him…. it’s been long coming. I haven’t read the magazine, but from what I have seen here I’m not happy about one thing… He didn’t work for 7 years without pay. Whoever he was doing apprentice with Fed him and provided shelter.

    Most of these people, are lucky Nigerians don’t talk much to the media. If not, one person will be getting popular from countering this story.

    That been said, cosmos has really worked very hard to be a major player. He has done it the Nigerian way… by not paying full custom duties and Tax, but that’s the only way to stay on top in Nigeria…. so i can’t blame him

  11. my take

    November 10, 2015 at 4:55 pm

    “he showered in the streets” this explains the other pix of the guy brushing his teeth on the train. he may just be another cosmas maduka *winks*

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