Image caption: Nigeria's first-ever Winter Olympic Team: Seun Adigun, Simi Adeagbo (Skeleton), Akuoma Omeoga and Ngozi Onwumere at our Kwesé TV offices in Lagos. (Nike just made a new short film called "Forever First" about Simi Adeagbo, the first ever female African athlete to compete in Skeleton).

Pause: #LionessRoar from Nigeria!

__Who said our women cannot do the “impossible”!?

On Friday (9th February) at 12 noon (Nigeria time) up to 1bn people around the world are expected to watch the Opening Ceremony of the 2018 Winter Olympics in PyeongChang, South Korea. A record number of African athletes will compete, and for the first time ever, a pan African broadcaster will beam the ceremony and the events that follow for the next 16 days, for FREE on one TV network!

Our Opening Ceremony coverage starts tomorrow at 11:50 am Nigeria time… Yes, Kwesé Sports will broadcast one of the biggest sporting spectacles in the world which until now was only available to the few richest people on the Continent.

The good news does not stop there: Eight African countries will send 13 athletes to compete! While that may not sound like very many, it’s more than ever before! Look out for our Olympic athletes from Eritrea, Ghana, Kenya, Madagascar, Morocco, Nigeria, South Africa, and Togo.

So far probably the story that has caught everyone’s imagination the most is the participation of a team of three women from Nigeria (former track and field stars) who have already made history by qualifying to compete for their country in a sport called Bobsleigh (aka Bobsled). They and another female athlete in a sport called Skeleton comprise Nigeria’s first-ever Winter Olympic team, where it’s (almost) never snowed!

About three years ago, Nigeria’s Bobsleigh team were great athletes but had actually never been in a Bobsleigh before, nor had they spent almost any time in snow… Nor did they own a Bobsleigh or any other equipment!

Friends and family helped at first, then they crowdsourced funds online, and finally found a few global brands to support them! Wow! Remember what I’ve written before about the importance of identifying good partners? Well done!

If you don’t know, Bobsleigh is like motor racing on ice, at speeds that can get up to 200 km per hour… but in a small sleek metal sled, all powered by gravity (and the strength and agility of the driver and her team)!

#AfricanLionessRoar!

These are about the fastest Africans ever, and they are women! Being a father of five daughters, I just swell with pride, guys! Now I know our daughters can do anything they want to do!

Nigeria and the rest of Africa are going to be following the progress of these and other world beating #LionessRoar women in the next few weeks!

__I urge every African father to sit with his daughters and watch these young women race against the world.

Tell your daughters: “Yes, you can do anything you want!”

And as for the #LionessMoms to each of these Africans from Nigeria… thank you!

Let’s all tune in and support them and all our African athletes (I’ll share some other amazing stories in the days ahead).

It’s free on Kwesé Free Sports (KFS) but if you want to see all the 300 Olympic events, then get a Kwesé decoder and go to Kwesé Channel 285 (you can watch even if you don’t have an active subscription!) There’s also pop up Channel 306 which provides our 24-hour Olympic coverage. Check for more details on Kwese.espn.com.

__Nothing excites me more than seeing Africans breaking barriers!

Watching people try out new things, particularly things we were not previously exposed to, is just so amazing for me. I find that being an entrepreneur begins with having an entrepreneurial mindset.

This means you are not afraid to try something new, or afraid of being embarrassed or ridiculed. Our Nigerian bobsleigh team appeared on some talk shows recently, including the Ellen DeGeneres Show, and have admitted to the world that it can be “terrifying” to race in that bobsleigh…

But they didn’t let fear get in their way! And look where they are today. You, too, can make history if you set your mind to it.

Let the games begin!

End.

 

 
by 8 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.

8 thoughts on “Pause: #LionessRoar from Nigeria!

  1. Strive Masiyiwa Post author

    Afterthought 1.

    As I thought about the African athletes going to the Winter Olympics this year, it reminded me of the first time a black soccer player joined a club in the then-English First Division (now called English Premier League). There were so many people who just laughed and mocked him. Let me tell you, 20 years from now, there will be nothing strange about African countries sending teams to the Winter Olympics!

    Reply
  2. Strive Masiyiwa Post author

    Afterthought 2.

    “The biggest thing is time management,” said Nigeria’s bobsleigh team leader and driver, Seun Adigan, one of few athletes who have ever qualified to compete in both summer and winter Olympic games. (She was a 100m hurdler for the Nigeria team in the London 2012 Summer Olympics).

    “You just plan it and you execute it in a manner that makes sense and is organized. And you’ll see the results, you’ll see the successes at the end. But time management is the number one key to being able to execute any and everything you need to do in life, especially when you have really big goals.”

    Reply
  3. Strive Masiyiwa Post author

    Afterthought 3.

    When Kwesé Sports decided to broadcast the Winter Olympics, some people thought we were crazy: “Who is going to watch them outside South Africa?!” someone exclaimed.

    “It’s our duty to expose our people to every sport. How can we have a tournament that’s going to be watched by hundreds of millions around the world, and no one in Africa sees it?” I replied.

    Reply
  4. Strive Masiyiwa Post author

    Quiz of the week:

    I will give a decoder or two months free subscription to the first person from any African country who can answer these questions:

    1. Give me the names (and countries) of all the other African athletes competing in the games.

    2. What Olympic sport(s) are they competing in?

    3. When is each athlete’s FIRST scheduled time to compete (date and time & be sure to put the time zone).

    Remember to put your country and the source of your research. (And check on Kwese.com/News in the next few days to find out if you’re a winner in our other recent quizzes!)

    Reply
  5. Strive Masiyiwa Post author

    Afterthought:
    Kwese Sports will be broadcasting the 2018 Fifa World Cup (June/July) throughout Africa, in the same way it is broadcasting the 2018 Winter Olympics. Some of the matches will be shown for free on Kwese Free Sports Channel (KFS), and the remainder will be on the Pay Channels.

    Reply

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