He is likely to have cruised past you on his power bike on one of those warm evenings. Of course you wouldn’t recognise him because he is well kitted with safety gear, protective helmet etc. As President of Nigerian Table Tennis Association for almost 16 years, he used to play table tennis more regularly. But not anymore. Lately, he prefers to jog or ride his power BMW model K1600 GTL six cylinder bike, a new addition to his fleet of three. Mr Cosmas Maduka, the brain behind Coscharis, lives an austere but modest lifestyle unimpressed by the grandeur of his wealth. Though his massive compound, tucked away in highbrow old Ikoyi, speaks of a man with taste, means and class, his simple carriage and attitude to wealth belies his worth. He still flies economy and mixes free with people. According to him, wealth has not detached him from his humble beginning. In this interview with Shaka Momodu, Maduka talks about the story of his life, the joy and frustrations of growing up without his father, his business, his plans on retirement and more. It is compelling, gripping and riveting……..
What was growing up like for you?
Growing up for me was quite rough and challenging but it laid the foundation of who I am today. My story is somewhere out of the ordinary. I was born in Jos and my parents lived there for many years.
How old were you when your father died?
My father died when I was four years old. I remember that it was like a big festival going on in the house and people gathered in the premises and were shooting guns. There were different masquerades around and I saw my father lying on a bed lifeless in a black suit. My mother was barricaded in a corner where she cried helplessly and people tried to hold and comfort her. One thing that made that day very special to me was that, everybody was very kind to me. Rice that was not usually an everyday food was readily available. I ate all the rice that I could. And I was wishing a day like this would never end. Little did I know at that time that it was the death of my father they marking.
But from then on, life became rough. My mother became a single parent and frankly, I don’t know how she did it. My parents had four children in quick succession within 5 years. I have an elder brother, two younger brothers and a sister. So, for my mother to make ends meet and take care of all of us was a tough call. I was born in 1958 and it wasn’t long after my father died that the Nigerian Civil War broke out. It was very challenging. But in life your difficulty can be your dividend and your problems can turn to your opportunity.
How do you mean?
The death of my father brought a lot of discipline in my life that many young men at my level could not develop. We all slept in one bedroom with my mother. We ate from one plate and fought over portions of fish and meat. If there was still food in the plate, don’t just touch the meat (laughs). If you do, one of us will stop your move.
So, I know what poverty is all about. That is why I keep encouraging people that your background is not an absolute deciding factor of what you are going to become in life. In spite of your background you can work your way to that which you want to be in life. In those days we happened to live at the back of a big forest and Lions will jump inside our compound to pick a goat. That’s how dangerous it was for us. So, going out in the night was very frightening.
At the age of five my mother was already making sure we worked or contributed to making ends meet for the family. I would go out early in the morning just as the day is breaking to go and grind beans for my mother to fry akara which she will share for myself and my brother to go and sell. I will hawk till about quarter to seven or eight before rushing to school. At a time it got so difficult for my mother to cope with raising us because my senior brother was also in school. So, she took me to live with my grandparents to ease the burden. In fact, my grandmother just passed on a week ago at the age of 97 years. I always say to people that this is the woman that raised me. She taught me not to always take the easy way. And made me understand what responsibility is all about. She made me do a whole lot of things before I could even get to school. That is what actually affected my education. And why I could not go further than elementary three which is where I stopped. At the age of six or seven, I joined my uncle in Lagos to be his apprentice in dealing in motorcycle spare parts. Our office used to be at Oyingbo bus stop. I worked for him for six years and during those six years, he fed me and clothed me. I was too small to negotiate for anything. But the good thing about that situation is that you get the kind of discipline even school could not provide me. There was nobody to turn to. So, you cannot fool around, or else you would end up paying dearly for it. My uncle was a struggling young man himself, he slept on the corridor of his uncle’s house who worked at Boson. He couldn’t take me to sleep on the corridor with him. So, I slept in the shop. He would leave me a bottle to urinate in and some roasted ‘boli’ in case I was hungry and lock me inside the shop till the next morning. If there was a fire in that place, I would not have had any escape route.
That my uncle is still alive today. In short, that is the person whose mother just died. When I was getting older, at about the age of nine, my uncle then felt I could look after the store properly, so he started leaving the key with me to lock and open it myself. However things began looking up for my uncle and he started having some successes in his business. Then he opened a branch in Jos and sent me to manage the branch. I did so well he opened another one in Sokoto and sent me also to manage that one. I lived in a town called Gumi in Sokoto. I later came back to Lagos. By the time, I turned 15 years, my uncle gave me N200 to start my own business.
What did you do with the N200?
I decided to continue in the same automotive line of business but the excitement was not the N200 because people will wonder what I could do with N200 in 1976. The excitement was that, I could do with my life what I wanted to do. I was not under anybody’s tutelage anymore and I could put all the things I had learnt into practice. As a young boy, I remember my fellow age mates in their white shirts and knickers laughing at me and calling me a shop rat because they knew I slept in the shop. At the time it used to get me really aggravated and I almost fought the guy. They felt like I was wasting my life. But of course I did not have any option. Life is about your mindset and what you do with what you have. When I worked for my uncle I did some research even though it wasn’t the kind they did in universities. I tried to find what parts in a Volkswagen Beetle could fit into a motor bike? What part in a motor bike can fit in a Peugeot 504? The knowledge I had from all of this was the greatest asset. And not the money my uncle gave me. When I started my business, N200 was not even enough to pay for my store. Frankly, I thought he gave me the N200 to punish me because in between serving him at the age of 14 years, I embraced the gospel and became a Christian. I am from Anambra and if you want to punish an Ibo man, close his shop (laughing) and somebody had told my uncle that I locked up the shop for three days and we were in Church fasting and praying and he came back and said ‘Ahh! You locked up my shop?’ Okay come see me in the evening.”
There and then he gave me the money and he said, “So you can go and face this your religion to your utmost satisfaction.” With the little I knew then I had confidence and looked at my uncle and said that “I served you well. I know what other boys were doing and you should be proud of me for who I am, and what I have done.” He told me that was all he could do for me. My elder brother told me to give him back the money. I then asked my brother, if he had money to give me when we get home? He said no (laughing). Then I said let me go with this one first. So we went back and we teamed up to form a company called Maduka Brothers. The major place to buy parts was AG Leventis at Oyingbo bus stop. I had known Bullocks representing Suzuki at Oregun. So, I knew all the places to buy things that were scarce to take to Nnewi. One day, I found out that Bullocks had motorcycle crash bars to protect people on a motorcycle. It was something that was scarce in Nnewi and many people didn’t even know about it. I then bought some crash bars and took night bus to the east, sold them and went back to Lagos again. I did this about three times in one week and I made about N3,700. At that time, that was a lot of money. Then Honda 175 was like a 7 series BMW in Nnewi, if you had that, you were a big man. So, after that trip, I bought a 175 for N700. The only person driving it around that time was Cletus Ibeto the man that owns Ibeto Cement.
That opportunity really turned my life around. But I continued struggling from there and went on to incorporate my company. It was my earlier years that gave me the foundation of discipline that made me successful. I always tell a lot of young people today, that you make yourself when you are young. Many people succeed when they are older but it is on rare occasions. If you don’t get it right by the time you are 21, you are going to have a rough time. At most 26 to 28 is the border line. If you miss it then you are going to have a rough time. Almost 70% of people that are going to make it, by 21, should know where they are. At age 15, I already knew what I wanted to do and I had set my goals and ambitions. One of my ambitions was to get married before I was 20 and I married when I was 19 years old. I met a beautiful young lady who was also under 20.
Was it love at first sight?
We met in Church and frankly, when I set my eyes on her, I said, Lord, this is the girl I will marry. It was really difficult because the girl was from a middle class family and looking at me from where I was coming from, it was a mismatch in many ways. Then I couldn’t even put my tenses right not to talk of the fact that there was no capital. The day I went to her house, her uncle almost shot me (laughs). It wasn’t a joke. He actually took a gun and said “what do you think you are looking for here?” I borrowed a friend’s pick up to drive there. I left the pickup and I ran away. I was running and somersaulting. Those were the difficulties and challenges of my childhood. I tell you, it could make a movie out of it. That’s why my humble beginnings can never leave me and I have a lot of confidence in what my experiences have taught me that I never feel inferior to anybody because of my background
How did you get into the auto business?
Success is like wildfire once it is ignited, it just keeps on going unless something major puts it off. From the beginning my prayers to God was to help me never to lose concentration or get distracted. I felt that the only way I can be stopped is if I am distracted. I am a man who likes to be focused on everything I am doing. After I got married I ventured into importation and the first consignment I received was the wrong items so, I lost my first capital.
What do you mean by wrong items?
It was motorcycle parts and the first thing I imported was Winka signal lights for CD 175. There was one that has a hook at the back which is called Winka switch and the second thing was gear pedals. You can get these things wrong with one single digit on the part number. So I made a mistake on the part number and the goods where unsellable. I then had to sell them way below the cost price and this put me into debt for over six months, I could not pay my rent and I did not know what to do. So, when people go through rough times and they think the world is going to come to an end, I just say to them; take it easy. and this would be a building block for you. This is a true story. The landlord came looking for me after I had told all the stories and I couldn’t tell anymore and my boy was at the store. He asked the boy for me and the boy told him that I had gone out. But I was actually hiding behind the counter. So he told the boy to come out that he wanted to lock his shop. And that when I come, he should tell me to come and see him, since I couldn’t pay. So, the boy came out. And when I heard the keys, I shouted, I was there and jumped out of my hiding place. The man still locked the place up until I could pay. I had to go and look for money to borrow to pay him. It was so bad at a time my wife had to take up a job where she was earning N85 a month to support both of us. Somebody gave us a weight scale for our wedding as a gift and I took it to the market and charged like 10 kobo for people to stand and weigh themselves. My wife cried when she knew what I went to do because she felt very humiliated.
One of my friends, Edwin Uzochukwu had given me a bag of rice for Christmas at the time. I took the bag of rice to the Pastor’s house and I said “Lord I act by faith today and I am ready to die just like David.” After three days a friend of mine was travelling to Onitsha and since I was jobless, I drove him in his 504 and we were chatting on the way. He asked me what was going on with me and my business. I told him that I had met with some misfortune but it had not taken away from who I am. But that what I really needed was a loan opportunity of N5000 and in one year, I would be able to make N10, 000. He didn’t believe I could make 100% return on investment. In the evening he asked me to come and see him and to my surprise he gave me N5000. That money gave me another start. I did business for the year ending 1979 and I went back to give account of the money he had given me. I told him I made N13, 000 minus the initial capital. He was so impressed. He decided that I should give him back his initial N5000 capital plus another N5, 000 and I should take the remaining N8, 000. That year ended and I turned that N8, 000 to N35, 000.
The following year, I teamed up with a friend of mine named David Nwosu and we formed a company called COSDAVE MOTORS. I came down to Lagos and we started importation. We ended that year with N700, 000. At this time dollar was less than one naira, it was like 65 kobo. So we had about $1.5 million. I went to the U.S for the first time in 1980 and I went to the U.S Embassy with a traveller’s cheque of $10, 000 and dropped it on the table gbam! They gave me five years visa (laughs). From US, I flew to Japan. So, suddenly, I had turned to an international businessman. In 1981 David Nwosu and I parted ways and in 1982, I incorporated Coscharis Motors. Coscharis was an incorporation of my name and my wife’s name-Charity but I didn’t want it to sound local by calling it Coscharity. And because it was Coscharis, some people thought it was a Greek name. The magic in the name showed when everything in Nigeria was now under import licence and they decided to give 10 motor companies import licence. They first selected on the big and familiar names like CFAO Motors, LEVENTIS Motors and Coscharis Motors was 7th on the list. I was nothing compared to these other companies but because the name Coscharis sounded Greek, they included it.
Was that the turning point for you?
Yes. This was actually the turning point where I made a quantum leap. I made money that drug pushers could not make because it was a seller’s market. From there I bought the building in Maza-maza which is where you interviewed me before. I bought the place in 1984 and by 86, I had built it up to what it is now and started manufacturing some motorcycle parts. The success was like wildfire and I had enough money. So, I built on it and started doing so many things. Then I invested in Ultimate Motors that was the first time I really got into automobiles. My friend Willie Anumudu who manages Globe Motors, Dr. Imeh Umanah his friend, got the right to import BMW into Nigeria. He consulted Willie and Willie told him the only person who could do it was me. The two of them came to talk to me and I eventually invested N1million in Ultimate Motors which was a lot of money at the time. Ultimate Motors was owned by Willie Anumudu, Dr. Imeh Umanah, myself and Bashir Tofa the one that ran for President. But the company was mismanaged and I lost all my investment in that company. BMW left this country in anger. Four years after, I applied for the BMW dealership. They said no, no, no that they can only do this business with a group of people forming a company or something like that. I said to them give me the dealership and assess my performance in five years. And that I wasn’t going to form company with anybody. They still said no. And I said ok, and left it. Five years later they were still not doing anything here.
I applied again, it was then that BMW now asked me to send a business plan. I wrote a business plan and sent to them. They invited me to Germany and in 1998 they awarded me the dealership. I asked for five years assessment because we were coming from a negative position in Nigeria. Then I invested a lot of money in setting new standards in the Nigerian automobile industry and building a service centre that is second to none in Nigeria. We set benchmarks and I had a clear understanding of what I wanted to do. They were very impressed. The first year with BMW, we did under a 100 units. The second year, about 150 units and the third year we did about 300. By the time we did the 5th year there was opportunity to host the All Africa Games in 2003. I and my Group Managing Director were coming back from Abuja when I saw an advertisement on the count down that showed the number of days to the All Africa Games and I said these people are going to use vehicles, why not talk to them?
So, I went to Amos Adamu and he said they don’t have money and they are looking for money. I told them they don’t need so much money. All they need is to give us free duty and we will give you the cars you need to host the game at discount from BMW. He said they needed 700 cars and I asked them to make it 1000 to get a good discount. People were asking me whether I was out of my mind. But what was important to me at the time wasn’t profit but to advertise the brand. So everybody fought for the deal including Peugeot and Honda but we had the best offer which was difficult to refuse. All the bankers were asking if I was out my mind to spend 4.5 million Euros for the Nigerian government that all the cars will disappear. But I felt it was a calculated risk and there were other benefits that will come with it. Nobody could beat my offer and that was how they signed up to take BMW.
So how much did government then pay you?
The federal government did not pay a farthing. It was my money I used to fund and bring in those cars. But we agreed they would issue me a bank guarantee. When the cars were already at the port there was no bank guarantee available. President Obasanjo said I should go and meet Ngozi Okonjo Iweala. I went to Ngozi. And she said “which bank guarantee? Every guarantee this government has issued has been called upon, that she is not issuing any guarantee and they are not car dealers. Let me tell you, since I was a baby, I haven’t soiled myself until that day. I said “Sister Ngozi, the President said I should come and you should issue me bank guarantee.” She simply called the President in my presence to let him know that she is not going to issue any guarantee that they would find another way to manage this issue and I should go and sell my cars. I was shocked. That is the risk in dealing with government. She was being very professional. And I greatly admired her for that. And the President listened to her point and accepted it. I think if we have 20 people like her in government, things will work well.
The original idea was that they would issue the bank guarantee and COJA will sell these cars after the game. They reneged on issuing the guarantee. The President now formed a committee with El-Rufai, Chike Chikelu, The Governor of Bauchi Isa Yuguda, and one other person. They said they will get insurance that I should bring the cars out of the Port because I insisted that the cars will not leave the Port and it was like seven days to the Games and no cars. It was after we reached a compromise that they would issue comprehensive insurance for the vehicles and they registered me as first payee that, they now sent task force to bring all the vehicles out. I started advertising the cars on the day the game started and people had started paying. Before the game ended. I had sold all of the cars.
Even when I told people that there were no more cars, they were still paying and struggling to get one. I ended up getting money for over 2,000 units of cars on only 1,000 units that were available. I went back to the President to ask for more duty waivers and he said sorry the Games have ended. For people to come and collect their money was a problem. Some left it with me for over a year may be hoping they will still get the car they wanted. I said ok and I was trading with it. This was unsolicited capital. That was how I advertised BMW overnight. But the negative side of it was that I was not prepared to maintain this number of cars in terms of dealership which provided a challenge to grow in terms of after sales to maintain all this cars. We did so well that BMW which had acquired Land Rover, appointed us as agents of Land Rover. In fact, in that year we over took Mercedes Benz as the highest selling luxurious car brand in Nigeria. BMW sold Land Rover to Ford and Ford still appointed us as agents. Today we own dealerships to about eight brands because of our track record. We just took on Rolls Royce because it is also in the BMW family. We are going to be launching Rolls Royce in May officially.
What has been your biggest challenge in the auto business?
The biggest challenge has been after sales. That is what I had in mind when I said we are going to set a standard that other automobile companies are going to be judged by. Before we came in, people just set up by the road side selling cars. Just like before Malls started springing up in Nigeria, people thought all the people selling in traffic was the best we could offer in the country. They forget that people went to places like Leventis and Kingsway to buy things in those days. So we started introducing after sales. We had a Service Centre that Mercedes people came to visit in Maza-maza. It was one of the best in Africa. It was Atiku who came to launch it. We are catching up too with our new Auto Centre in Awoyaya in Lekki area. You need to see it. There is nothing like it in this country. We have built in Abuja, Uyo, Calabar, Port Harcourt, and Kano. We are starting in Awka, and in Bayelsa. So we are just catching up in terms of after sales.
How does the new auto policy affect your business?
The new auto policy frankly, has affected us a lot. It is easy for someone to say that anything I am going to say about the auto policy is from a trader’s point of view. Sometimes people look at things from the theoretical point of view not really looking at the practical side of it. I quarrel with this point of view because people like us, like Elizade who are authorities in this industry were never consulted. It is not like you must consult us to make a policy but we have had auto policies in Nigeria that have failed and have we explained what made those policies fail? You can do things from experience and you can do things from a text book understanding.
We do not have any steel industry in Nigeria which is the bedrock of the automobile industry. Our petrochemical industry is not functioning from the component of which you can get many raw materials. There are over 3, 700 components you need to build automobiles. Even Dunlop and Michelin have left this country. So when we are talking about Nigerian made cars with 100% of the components imported, it will be the most expensive vehicle anywhere in the world because there is no value you are adding. The value added is in that local component supply.
This policy was based on 45% of locally produced components. I will challenge it anywhere. You need to show me where those components are produced. I used to produce components, which I have shut down and you need to ask me why it shut down. We started steel plant production and we thought we will be able to do it within 7 years. Later, we found out that we cannot be successful importing all the materials and compete with the people selling the finished product. Where our strength lies today which is our competitive advantage is in agriculture. We have the climatic conditions and everything.
We are doing our own industrial revolution by force and not allowing things to evolve the way they should. China started their industrial revolution with agriculture. They had so much cotton that they didn’t know what to do with it. Why can’t we start our industrial revolution by growing food? Today we are trying to compete with American air space technology when we cannot even feed ourselves. Go to Abuja, you will still see banana that was imported from Cameroun. We are importing palm oil. We are the number one rice importer in the world. The only thing we will encourage with this new auto policy is smuggling. It is a policy I believe in but Nigeria is not yet ripe for it.
How has your background and experiences shape the way you have raised your children?
I use my experiences and background to raise my kids. All my children from primary school up to their first degree were obtained in this country including those that are Americans. They all went through Unilag. Four of them are graduates today and then I allowed them to get their post graduate degrees abroad. My first son did his post graduate in London and now he is back. He works in Guarantee Trust. My second son is doing his MBA in Maryland now. My daughter is a medical doctor and just graduated from LUTH. Her younger brother just graduated from ABTI University, Yola and he is doing his youth corps in Lagos. My last child is in senior high school. University of Lagos just awarded him an athlete’s scholarship for any course he wants to read because he made the best athlete in Lagos. I made them to understand that they are Nigerians because I am a true Nigerian and if you want to identify with being a true Nigeria you must share in its shame and glory. I could have sent them anywhere in the world but I wanted them to learn to be street smart, to enter bus and know what it takes. My first son went to University of Lagos and I never gave him a car to drive in school until he finished his MBA. I provided them means of transportation never bought them cars so that girls will not take over their heads. They are well disciplined and brought up children by the grace of God and I used my background to influence that.
What do you value most in workers?
I value integrity. I trust people and that is why I am able to run this organisation. The weakness of the average Nigerian and I would say particularly an Ibo man is trust. When you lack trust in people you cannot build an institution because you must learn to work through people. I give people, my trust and I hold them responsible to reciprocate it. If you betray that trust then I lose all confidence in you. That is why I like to retain people I can trust. You can teach people skill but you cannot teach them integrity.
What is your greatest fear as a businessman?
My greatest fear as a businessman is distraction. I almost had one about 3 years ago where I was using positive energy to pursue negative energy. The only person I consider as my competitor is a man who thinks like me. If you get me distracted you destroy me. That was why I felt bad because I was partially distracted. I like to focus my energy and concentration on anything that I am doing. Once I am focused I believe there is no mountain that is insurmountable.
Does this distraction have anything to do with Ifeanyi Uba’s case?
Of course it is one of the greatest distractions I have had in life. I can tell you as a human being I have what I call the seven cycles of my life. I was at four years when my father died. That was within the first 7 years. I started working for my uncle at the age of eight, that started another cycle and by the time I was 15 years, was when my uncle gave me N200 which started another cycle. I had ambitions and successes within the next 7 years and by the time I turned 22 I had another major setback where I imported the wrong goods and entered debt and started carrying weighing scale and all those things.
Then I overcame it and made so much money. Then by the time I was turning 31 years, a guy from Isialangwa came and did 419 to my boys and I lost N417, 000 which is the kind of thing that happened to me recently. So I have been through things like this. But what I now realised, is that each of those things is a test. Once I pass it, then I get promoted and after that time I become like 10 times bigger than I was. Please remember 2011 and before 2020 you will hear about Coscharis again. So, it is the cycle of my life. I am now 55 and there is not going to be another one, because this is like the 7th one and this was a big test for me. In this issue that I went through my integrity was put to a great test. So, it is not surprising to me that after the Capital Oil issue different things have been happening such as the armoured car issue.
But there clearly were unethical issues concerning Coscharis on the Stella Oduah case ?
There were no ethical issues. The time will come and I will talk to the public about that issue. We were caught in the crossfire of political interests, period. That is the way I would like to end it because in all of those things that happened, I did the best I could to keep my dignity without saying anything, because I am a businessman and I don’t want anybody to rough handle me. The day will come when I will grant you a full interview on all of the things that transpired.
What are your projections for coscharis 5 years from now?
Already we have been speaking with a Chinese group. We are also talking to Ford. For us the automobile Knockdown factory is becoming inevitable today. Let’s hope for all the other components that will make it a success. It is something whether by coercion or willingly, we are already going into it. Coscharis is already growing and we bought up a Swiss company that has been here for 64 years called SYNGENTA. Their parent company is quoted on the New York Stock Exchange; Coscharis took over the company about 4 years ago. I have acquired 2, 700 hectares of land in Anambra State. I am going to use this company for Agricultural development and I will create about 3, 000 jobs in Anambra state and it is something, I truly believe in. It will be a modern farm of reference point and people will be coming to see it. We are planning it to have backward integration where what we produce will be part of the raw materials which is practical living. So that when I speak of my convictions, I will show a model of what Nigeria should do and what we should be looking towards. We have a land mass and everything we need to develop our agricultural base, instead of this space craft where the technology, the skill and components will all be imported. Meanwhile we don’t have anything to eat and we are not creating jobs. Give us another two years and you will see what is happening in Anaku Anambra State.
What motivates you?
Every day when I wake up and I pray, I feel charged inside me. That this is a glorious day that God has given me to show what he can do through me. I am motivated by believing in God and myself. It is my driving force that there is an eternal energy in me that makes me face any situation in life, believing that I can surmount it. Some people are actually amazed at my comportment through all my travails. It is because there is something within, not external which keeps me moving.
How do you relax?
I used to play table tennis. It’s a while now I stopped. I was the President of Nigerian Table Tennis for almost 16 years and I have been to four Olympic Games because of table tennis. Lately, I jog or I ride my bike. I even just bought a new GK 1600 cc bike and I have three others. Of course when I am on the road nobody knows it’s me because I am well kitted. So when I have a headache or stress, I just go out and cruise on my bike and it disappears. So I am a biker and I jog. These are the ways I relax. I watch football but I am not a fanatic. There was a time they were playing world cup and I was playing table tennis (laughs).
What advice do you have for young entrepreneurs?
I would advise them to be focused and to believe in themselves. Don’t think money comes easy or drops down from heaven like there is one lucky break or magic that will make you successful. To know that enduring success is not a product of chance. It is characterised by strategic effort of people willing to pay the price. It is not about cutting corners or circumventing processes. Those things will eventually catch up with you down the line. Many people get it wrong because they think Coscharis was an overnight success. If you hear the full story, you will know that, I once reached a point such that I was tempted to throw in the towel. But something in me told me to keep going and I fought all the way. I am still fighting. Even when my retirement comes. I have big plans I am working towards. The plan is to retire to my farm and also use the farm to develop an Agricultural University. If you can call that retirement.
How do you feel about all the success and acclaim you have achieved?
Well, it makes me feel fulfilled in one sense but the truth, is the greatest thing that has happened to me which I value so much in my life is that, I met Jesus Christ at the early age of 14 years old. He kissed my hand and I came in contact with his resurrection power. In spite of all my successes and wealth, I have not been distracted from what really matters most to me. Because without God I am nothing and I can do nothing. Thisday