#LionessMom (Part 2)

__Teach the habit of being informed, and it will remain with your child for life…

It is also entrepreneurship training of the highest order! 

When I was a young boy growing up as an exile in Zambia, we only had one government-owned TV channel on our black and white TV. Probably the most important program was the news which was broadcast once a day at 7 pm. There were no recording machines, because they had not yet been invented.

All adults would literally stop everything they were doing and wait for the news, which was also broadcast on radio. There were no car radios, unless you were very rich, which we were not!

Sometimes my mother would get home late from her shop, so she would give me a simple task — to watch the news on her behalf and to brief her. So I would sit with my little notebook and make notes, then wait to brief her, either when she came home or in the morning. I was barely 10 years old!


Woe to me if I did not brief that African woman about “what is going on in the country and the world”!! Those of you who have heard an #AfricanLionessMom scold a child know what I am talking about… (hehehe).

Little did I know that this had nothing to do with her, but it was for me. She wanted me to develop a strong habit to desire to be informed.

The wisest man that ever lived once said: “Train up a child in the way he should go (and in keeping with his individual gift or bent), and when he is old he will not depart from it.” (King Solomon)

I was “trained” by my #LionessMom to develop a keen interest in national and global current affairs. Even today, I consider it a total disgrace to spend an entire day in which I do not find out what is going on in the world!

I also find it very difficult to work with people who are happy to be blissfully uninformed about what’s going on, locally, nationally and globally. Such people are actually dangerous to a business.

If someone is working around me, I just occasionally throw in a question like, “What is the big business story today?” Or “What is the latest on North Korea?” Or “Are you following Nigeria?” If I see them not showing any real interest, I will remember, and it might just be very, very costly for that person one day. I don’t promote ignorance, no sir!

If you have aspirations to one day run a pan-African or even global business, you cannot afford to be uninformed or generally uninterested in serious business and current affairs news. Serious entrepreneurs and executives know that you cannot operate effectively if you’re not informed about what’s going on.

A lot of my best ideas came whilst I was either reading or listening to the news!

__Train your children to develop a habit to be informed.

The world of TV news has changed dramatically since I was a child. We now have news channels that broadcast news 24 hours a day.

If I were growing up today, I’m sure my #LionessMom would still have found a way to instill the habit of watching news to be informed.

When we were developing Kwesé TV, I told the team that the largest number of channels should be those covering news! Today Kwesé TV has the most global, continental, national and local news channels in Africa… currently more than 20!

Some of the most successful business leaders have told me that the only reason they moved to Kwesé was because of its coverage of news. Sport and entertainment are quite secondary to them. How about you?

As a parent, one of the biggest mistakes you can make is to tell children that TV is there simply for entertainment, or that they should not watch things like news “because it’s for adults”!

Remember my #LionessMom?

She would have said to you: “You cannot lead if you are not informed, and the desire to be informed is a habit taught to children by responsible parents.” (And of course, grandparents, aunties, uncles and siblings all must play their part, too!)

To be continued. . .


by 18 Replies

About Strive Masiyiwa

Strive Masiyiwa is the Founder and Executive Chairman of Econet, a diversified global telecommunications group with operations and investments in over 15 countries. His business interests also include renewable energy, financial services, media and hospitality. Masiyiwa serves on a number of international boards, including Unilever, Rockefeller Foundation, the Council on Foreign Relations’ Global Advisory Board, the Africa Progress Panel, the UN Secretary General's Advisory Board for Sustainable Energy, Morehouse College, Hilton Foundation's Humanitarian Prize Jury and the Kenjin-Tatsujin International Advisory Council. He is one of the founders, with Sir Richard Branson, of the global think tank, the Carbon War Room, and a founding member of the Global Business Coalition on Education. Masiyiwa took over the Chairmanship of the Alliance for a Green Revolution in Africa (AGRA) from Kofi Annan. He is also Chair of the Micronutrient Initiative, a global organization focused on ending child hunger and improving nutrition. In 2012, Masiyiwa was invited by President Obama to address leaders at the Camp David G-8 Summit on how to increase food production and end hunger in parts of Africa. In 2014, Masiyiwa was selected to Fortune Magazine’s list of the “World’s 50 Greatest Leaders”. As a philanthropist, he is a member of the Giving Pledge, and his contributions to education, health and development have been widely recognized. Masiyiwa and his wife finance the Higher Life Foundation, which provides scholarships to over 42,000 African orphans. In 2015, he was the recipient of the International Rescue Committee’s Freedom Award and was presented with a UN Foundation Global Leadership Award for the work of the Africa Against Ebola Solidarity Trust, which he chairs and helped establish to fund the deployment of African healthcare workers to combat the outbreak in West Africa.

18 thoughts on “#LionessMom (Part 2)

  1. Strive Masiyiwa Post author

    Afterthought 1.

    The Kwesé TV news channels are organized in three categories: Local, continental, and global (Europe, USA, Middle East, Japan, India, China). I will give 10 decoders to the first 10 people, in each country who can give me the following information:

    #1. The total number of news channels available in your country.

    #2. Name and channel number of each channel, as well as the country of the channel.

    (Hint: Even if you’re not an existing Kwesé TV customer, you can get all information to answer these questions by going to Kwese.Com).

    Don’t forget to tell me your country and only put your answers under this Afterthought.

  2. Strive Masiyiwa Post author

    Afterthought 2.

    We have more news channels in the pipeline, including local channels, continental channels, and global channels. Some of these channels have never been seen in Africa before. #Kwesé TV customers are the most informed, because they are entrepreneurs.’

  3. Strive Masiyiwa Post author

    Afterthought 3.

    In today’s news coverage, opinion is sometimes seen to be presented as facts. This is why it is important to develop a habit of watching different news channels so you get a better and more balanced perspective. The news channels on Kwesé TV are organized the way I personally follow news. If I’m following an important story, I always watch it from different sources.

  4. Strive Masiyiwa Post author

    Abdullah writes,

    Mr strive my greatest mentor I will follow you until you start investing in my beloved country #SierraLeone west Africa
    The land blessed with tactical, passionate, trustworthy, hardworking young talented entrepreneurs. Hope to hear from you Sir.

    My reply,
    Kwese Tv is now available in Sierra Leone. It is an investment.
    I will however use it as a platform to start doing more in your country…I promise!

  5. Strive Masiyiwa Post author

    Innocent writes,

    I also can’t spend a day without watching local regional & International news, but may I kindly request thag you consider a news channel that covers SADC esp SA & Zimbabwe. I have been having difficulties getting news in our region from the news channels available. Thank sir.

    My reply,
    We had ran out of capacity on our satellites for more channels. We have now secured more capacity, and you can expect a lot more channels to be added over the next few weeks.
    I’m really excited about what is in the pipeline:
    You can expect more news channels, sports channels, and local content channels from every region of Africa.

  6. Strive Masiyiwa Post author

    Tomorrow Kwese Sports will broadcast live (and exclusive) across Africa, the American Football finals known as The Super Bowl. It is the biggest sports event in America.
    On my first visit ever to the United States on a business trip, which was critically important to me, I was told my host (an American billionaire) was a fanatic of this sport, and would probably invite me to a game. So I bought a book about it, and spent weeks studying how it is played. Sure enough he began our conversation by discussing a game that weekend, and whilst he knew I had never actually seen a game, he was super impressed by my efforts to get to know the game. We became real friends after that, and we continue to do business even today.

    Most of my interest in different sports emerged out of a need to deal with potential business partners.

    Think about the future, and equip yourself for it.

  7. Strive Masiyiwa Post author

    #Ethan Yona Rocks!

    The Post on “Ethan Man”, six year old Ethan Yona from Tanzania, reached almost 15m people! That is just amazing.
    Support him by downloading his game!

    It just shows that Africa loves its children.
    Please send me more stories about our kids. I want to hear also about our little girls that are doing amazing things like Ethan.
    Next week I will be revisiting the boys from Nigeria who developed a web browser. Do you remember them?

  8. Strive Masiyiwa Post author

    Portia writes,

    Amen Mr Strive Masiyiwa, thank you for this recognition to mothers and mother figures. The Word of God has been a pillar of strength and an anchor that I hold onto. I am a single mom to a creative genius who is now 12. He is a self taught Sketch Artist, has always believed in making his pocket money multiply by buying and selling ever since he was about 5 and can design his own letterhead, logos and the like. He also lends some of his money to family members and charges interest! His first business was a ‘bank’ complete with forms he created for borrowers to sign upon borrowing. He would also talk about the net worth of renowned business people e.g. his role models like yourself and Bill Gates etc! He loves to write stories and wants to start a blog, he has been saving money to buy Econet Shares…and some ‘business tools’ for an idea he has. Because he has learnt the art of business and I cheer him on, I tell him the importance of 1. never straying from God 2. Believing in himself 3. Working hard amongst other attributes and being humble and compassionate. He accompanies me to Charity work missions I volunteer to do, and through a heads-up from a cherished sister of mine, I managed to send him to ‘Little Entrepreneurs Business Camps’ in Zimbabwe and wow! I stand amazed at the Lord’s Grace. Just yesterday he told me mom please be available for a Board Meeting! Which we had, and the business ideas he pitched…an eager beaver, a bundle of energy. The games he plays on his tablet are those that teach him important stuff like running a business, architecture etc. I have some homework I need to do as his ‘assistant also called mom the other shareholder in his business’

    My reply,
    Congratulations #LionessMom!

  9. Strive Masiyiwa Post author

    Tolulope writes,

    Hello Strive, I will love 1 min of your time when in Nigeria to personally hand you a copy of the children’s book I authored. It is a fictional book that needs to be translated to video content for kwese tv.

    *11 year old Sindara is a likeable and intelligent Nigerian girl growing up in Lagos. But she wasn’t always this way! Sindara struggles with the need to go school especially with the hustle of wading through Lagos traffic and the overwhelming homework. She is also constantly distracted by her troublesome twin brothers and feels pressured to play the big sister role all the time. Still, she is surrounded by friends and family that illustrate the communal African culture and the corresponding spectacle.

    Growing up in a big family comes with the pros and cons. The biggest pro is the daily wisdom nuggets delivered with so much love. Who else could have taught her how to decide between saving and investing, if not grandma? How could she resist money tips whilst shopping with Aunty Tomori in the crowdy open market? How can she forget the drama that ensued during aunt’s traditional wedding in the village? Till date, she wonders why the village wives poured cold water on the new bride’s feet on her wedding night! And the bride wasn’t upset! The tales from Uncle Dayo educates Sindara on culture even as her parents are her biggest role models.

    Growing up in a big African setting can be confusing. So many teachers to learn from because everyone is a tutor in one way or the other! Add this to the peer pressure from formal school. Indeed, it takes a village to raise a child in Africa and Sindara is right in the centre of it all.

    Finally, Sindara finds her voice in the midst of all the disorder, falls in love with learning at school then becomes the student of the year. Sindara is that Smart and Confident child everyone eventually admires*

    About the author: I am Tolu Adedeji, born and raised in Nigeria. In the last 14 years, I have worked with a Multinational FMCG across several African countries and currently the marketing director in Nigeria. This book was born out of my passion to inspire children to be their best, to learn, to be proud of their families and culture. This is my debut novel and plan to have future series. I am also married with 4 children, inclusive of a set of triplets.

    My reply,
    You are an amazing #LionessMom!
    Our people will be in touch, because we now have our own production company:
    Kwese Productions, and you will soon see their work!

  10. Stephen Kamugasa

    This is a great and wise contribution. I too was brought up to take news seriously. Like you, I had no idea that my father (father was the dominant character in young life) was inculcating in me the love of good information when he would ask me to follow the news. And, like you, my father and I would have briefing session everyday for news updates and for analysis as to their implications. He taught me that knowledge is power. The greatest memory of my father was the pleasure we both took in reading newspapers together every morning at breakfast. This habit of being on top of things has held me in good stead over many difficult years of exile, and it is one I warmly recommend. It is the basis of my new venture, which is, to inspire my own and the next generation to turn challenges into coherent and meaningful solutions.

  11. Strive Masiyiwa Post author

    It is important to be smart and diligent when seeking to be informed.
    Social Media has many benefits, but it should not be used as a primary source of news by someone who wishes to be taken seriously in life.
    If you pick up a news story on Social Media, that is great. Now be smart:
    Diligently check it out in established media before rushing around to tell others what you just heard!

    Be careful not to forward to others News you pick up on social media, that has not been verified properly.

  12. Strive Masiyiwa Post author

    Serious investors will always want to know what is going on in your country. They will always get someone to check out what you said from verifiable sources. If it turns out you were relying on What’s App, or some other rumour churning source…
    The investor will see you as unreliable and careless about important things, like their money!

  13. Strive Masiyiwa Post author

    Every week my lawyers would scan the Internet looking for fake stories, and imposter sites. They would then aggressively pursue the author, but we just couldn’t get it to stop!

    Then one day I asked Richard Branson how he handles it. His answer was simple but profound:
    “There must be a real you on social media. That way people get to know when something fake about you appears.”

    It was amazing advice, because once we got our own FB site verified (with the blue mark) and I could speak for myself, the imposters were exposed. Now people just laugh when something appears outside my own site.

  14. Strive Masiyiwa Post author

    Tammy writes,

    some of us are quite grounded as relates to our states and country… we have knowledge of ongoings that isnt public yet its verifiable… However, we know that investors want alot more… we hope what we know and have fits into their requirement?

    My reply,
    Tammy the best way to know what investors want is to listen to them. If you make it a habit to listen to programs on channels like CNBC Africa, Bloomberg News, CNN Money and others, within a matter of months you will learn both the language and needs of serious investors.
    I have a TV in my office. It is always defaulted to a business channel:

    “Where your money is , that is where your attention is.” (My paraphrase).

  15. Strive Masiyiwa Post author

    How to be a man or woman of “noble character”.

    This morning I was reflecting on something Luke (Paul’s traveling companion) said about some people they met on their travels with the Apostle Paul in a small Greek town called Berea:

    “These were more noble than those in Thessalonica, in that they received the word with all readiness of mind, and searched the scriptures daily, whether those things were so.”

    It would appear from my study of this statement that a person of “noble “ character (a fair minded, or open minded person) is defined as someone who takes their time to check something out for themselves.

    Even if I or anyone else tells you something check it out carefully.

    The Bereans had been listening to the great Apostle Paul himself but still when they got home they sat down and carefully checked each statement with their bible.

    All too often some of us choose whom we want to listen to, and thereafter we completely close our minds to checking out the truth of what they are saying.

    After a church service, I like to sit down (like the Bereans) and carefully review everything with my Bible. It can take me a whole week.

    It’s a principle I use for so many other things that I hear people say on any issue:

    “ a truth is established by two or more witnesses.” Which means we must always check the facts from more than one credible source, if we don’t want to be misled.

    I guess I’m a Berean!

  16. Strive Masiyiwa Post author

    #What is your “club”?

    What are you reading on a regular basis?

    Every single business is part of an industry, in your country, and globally.
    As an entrepreneur you should be subscribed to journals and magazines that are part of your industry, and also entrepreneurship in general.
    This is what makes you part of a “club”. I’m a telecoms and media entrepreneur, so I have a list of journals that I follow on different media platforms, particularly journals.

    This is how you build your knowledge and scout for opportunities.

    Here is something I was just reading:


  17. Eliana Anthony

    Mr strive you inspire me and I have been following you since, thank you for sharing your knowledge with me through various platforms


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