Samuel Maduka Onyishi (MON) Biography, Age, Career, Education, Childhood,

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The True Life Story of Samuel Maduka Onyishi
(MON) is the story of an
African Child who did not allow his background
to determine his
destiny. It is the story of the dogged spirit of the
African Child.
It is a story that proves and again that with
integrity and hard work, one can rise from the
smallest of
beginnings to the highest aspirations.
It is a story that illustrates that success is within
the grasp of each
and every one of us, and that no external
condition has the power
to stop us from achieving our dreams if we are
determined to do so.
Take a deep breath as I take you on a dive into
the untold story of
Chief Samuel Maduka Onyishi. MON: The
Founder of Peace Group
of companies, who started his transportation
business with just 2
buses in 1994, which has now grown to over
4,000 fleet of vehicles.
Samuel Maduka Onyishi was born in Nsukka,
Enugu State,
Nigeria in November 1963. He is the first son in
a family of nine.
Samuel’s father was a Bricklayer at the
University of Nigeria,
His father slumped and died on Monday,
February 28, 1977. Sam
as he is fondly called, had his primary school
education at the
Enugu Road Primary School, Nsukka, Enugu
State from 1971
He was then admitted into Bubendorf Grammar
School, Adazi, in
Awka, Anambra State, but the death of the
father left the mother
with no option than to withdraw him from the
school for financial
reasons and bring him closer home.
He then continued his studies at Community
Secondary School,
Mbu in Isi-Uzo Local Government Area, Enugu
State, barely
managing to survive in school because of
Sam had only one pair of white khaki shorts and
a white shirt as
his school uniform as against the two
recommended by the
school.” At that time, he washes his school
uniform on Saturdays,
wear it clean to school on Monday to
Wednesday and avoided
morning assembly on Thursdays and Fridays
because his uniform
was too dirty. He used to report to school early
those two days, but
he would hide somewhere until the assembly
was over.
He was always punished for coming late.
Narrating his childhood
experience, he said, “I climbed all the mango
and cashew trees
around our school to pluck their fruits for food
and for sale, to
supplement what my mother was giving me as
pocket and feeding
money. I climbed these trees so often that I
know those trees knew
me by my name.”
At the end of his Class III at Community
Secondary School, Mbu,
he could no longer cope with the financial
demands and
subsequently, had to be transferred to St.
Theresa’s College,
Nsukka where he felt a lot more relieved as it his
home town.
However as a senior student as he was in Class
IV, he was expected
to wear trousers to school, but he had no money
to buy trousers,
and so he continued wearing shorts until the
second term of his
final year. It was a public embarrassment!
While in secondary school, Sam had dreamt of
being a Lawyer, but
his poor financial background made sure that
dream was never
achieved as he could not continue after the
secondary school. “At
the time he passed out of secondary school,
government was
recruiting auxiliary teachers in his state. The
qualification was five credits in one sitting, so,
he applied because
he had that. Unfortunately, he didn’t get the job
because he
didn’t have Two Naira to bribe the messenger to
allow him enter
the Zonal Commissioner’s Office to collect his
Letter. What pained him more was that some
applicants, who did
not have up to five credits at one sitting, got the
job. He couldn’t
explain what could have happened. That was his
first encounter
with what they call the ‘Nigerian Factor’. He was
so fed up with
education that he contemplated tearing his
school certificate to
pieces so as to forget all about academics. On a
second thought
however, he remembered the sufferings and the
sacrifices his mother
went through for him to go to school. He
decided to handover the
certificate to his mother and leave to search for
what to do with his
His mother gave him Two Hundred Naira which
was the Bride
Price of one of his sisters to enable him go to
Enugu and fix himself
somewhere, but this failed. Back in Nsukka, he
tried his hands on
many things and at a time, he was a
wheelbarrow-pusher and a
bus conductor. Later, he went into learning a
trade after which he
could not still go into his business of choice
because there was no
money. He then went into music as a song writer
and singer. His
producer went into political detention before his
record was
released, and out of frustration, he left them. He
then travelled to
Kaduna State, Northern Nigeria to serve as
labourer at a place
called Ikara. He left his employers in 1984
because his salary
wasn’t paid in full. He then returned to Nsukka,
fortunately for
him that was when University of Nigeria, Nsukka
was paying his
family the compensation for acquisition of their
His mother received One Thousand Two
Hundred Naira as her own
share and she handed over the whole money to
Sam because she
trusted him. With that money, he returned to
Ikara and went into
second hand clothe business, popularly known
as Okrika Wake Up
in Nigeria, from where he later moved to Kano in
1987. By 1989 he
went to learn Motor Spare Parts Business for 24
days and then, set
up my own, by then he had saved up to Two
Hundred and Sixty
Thousand Naira in my Bank Account.”
Sam was challenged to pursue university
education by one of his
village men who ordered him to keep quiet
because, as an
“ordinary West African School Certificate”
holder, he wasn’t
supposed to talk where graduates like him were
Recounting the experience, Sam said, “This guy
was my junior in
Primary School, in fact, he was two years behind
me; even though
he was older than me, but he had become a
“He told me in public that I should not argue
with him because I
was only a WAEC holder.
Can you imagine that?
That was when I told myself that I must go back
to school, to
acquire that University education for which I was
insulted. I
personally like challenges and this was just
enough challenge to
make me abandon my business in the North to
return to Nsukka.
Like I said, I like challenges because when a
person delivers a punch
on you, the person’s armpit is open and you can
always land a
shock on the person’s open armpit, although, it
depends on how
you position yourself to be able to land a cut on
the person’s open
armpit. I was a boxer in my secondary school
days and I know how
to give a good punch. I am always guided by this
belief in
confronting challenges on my way,” he said.
He got admission to do a Diploma Program at
University of
Nigeria, Nsukka, between 1993 – 1996 and later,
a degree program
from 1996 – 1999. He graduated with a Second
Class Upper in
Social works and Community development”
When he started his lectures as a student, he
discovered that he had
plenty of idle time. To fill that space, he went
back to Kano and
withdrew his savings of Two Hundred and Sixty
Thousand Naira
and used it to purchase two buses. He gave one
out to another
driver and managed one himself. He used the
bus to convey
passengers after lectures on weekdays and full
time on Saturdays
His venturing into the transport business was
like a movie. At the
time, he was only doing it to support himself in
school, but before
he knew it, he had grown from the initial 2 buses
to 8.
He then went into a contract with Nsukka Local
Government Area
to use their name. His company then was called
Nsukka Mass
Transit. His number of buses grew to the point
that, as at the time
he was graduating in 1999, he already had up to
45 buses.
He later fell out with the Local Government
Authority because they
violated their agreement by allowing another
operator to use a
similar name as his. The other Transport Line
was called Nsukka
Urban Mass Transit. Sam then changed the
name of his Transport
Line from Nsukka Mass Transit to Peace Mass
He then applied for a Private Motor Park and it
was granted. That
was how he owned and the first Private Mini-
Bus Private Park in
Nsukka, Enugu, Onitsha, Aba, Abakaliki, Owerri,
Njuba, Abuja.
The first entrepreneur to achieve such a feat.
“Then, it was almost
impossible, but God was with me.” He said.
Peace Mass Transit from that humble beginning
has today,
blossomed into not only the foremost Road
Transport Business in
Nigeria with over 4,000 buses, but also the
fastest growing Mass
Transit Business in West Africa.
It has grown into what is known as the Peace
Group of
Companies, comprising among others:
Peace Mass Transit Limited
Peace Quick Response Insurance Brokers
Peace Petroleum Limited
Peace Micro-Finance Bank
Peace Express Service Limited
Brand of vehicles
Peace Bureau de Change;
Peace Aviation Services,
PMT Beijing Trade Limited. China
Peace Ugama Printing Press
PMT Assembly Plant Limited
Peace Oil Lubricants Limited
Peace Capital Market Limited: Stock Brokers,
Dealers and
Investment Advisers
Maduka Commercial and Futon International
Limited: Exclusive
Importer of Peace Hiace
Some of the other positions Dr. Samuel Maduka
Onyishi has held
or is holding are:
Former Chairman Enugu State Football
Chairman of Rangers International Football Club.
At 54 years of age, Dr. Samuel Maduka Onyishi.
MON is truly an
accomplished Entrepreneur that have made his
Today, the vast majority of our youths have a
pessimistic outlook
in life, we grow up believing our parents must
provide for us, and
soon we shift our focus to the government. We
are very good in
spotting problems and in criticizing.
Some people read such inspiring stories of
people who have
overcome very difficult battles to get to the top,
but you will see
some of them telling us that this whole successstory is false, and
that Dr. Samuel Maduka and other successful Nigerians are all
criminals, yes people say it. The last time shared the success story
of Dr. Patrick Ifeanyichukwu Ubah, someone who claimed to know him “very” well alleged that he steals up to 5 trucks of diesel from NNPC Storage Facility, can you imagine that? Isn’t that
funny? I hope you are not one of them? But guess what? Life doesn’t give a buck what you think. If you get too angry with life, you will end up poor, old, wrinkled and bitter.
One common trend among those that succeed is that they know the system is bad, but they don’t care. They just go ahead and work
as hard as they can, until they succeed.
Sometimes, even the bad system will work in
your favour.
A wise man said, “If life gives you lemon, make lemonade”.
No millionaire ever said: I became rich by saving.
Simple investments over time are the key to wealth.
Every penny in your hand is like a seed, you can decide to eat it, or sow it. When you sow it, it will bear much more seeds later in future.