#LionessMom (Part 3)

__”When you know what you want . . . you will find a way to get it.” (Jim Rohn)

Some of you will remember my story a few years ago about two really young entrepreneurs from Africa who are emulating Bill Gates. The two Nigerian brothers, Anesi (now 18) and Osine (now 16), created their own Internet browser about four years ago, when the younger of the two brothers had just turned 13 years old!

The business they established is not only still going strong, but innovating! Today I thought to revisit their story and highlight once again the role a #LionessMom can play in inspiring and nurturing both the next generation of entrepreneurs and the future executives they (and the African continent) will rely upon to build global businesses!

Let’s recap:

The story of the Nigerian brothers is a classic story of how great entrepreneurs are launched — if something frustrates you: Don’t complain, make it better!

Anesi and Osine started learning computers and CODING at a very young age. (I’ve said this time and again: Africa’s next billionaires will include those who learn coding, which in some countries is now being taught to five year olds!)

As they got better, they recognized a “need” to develop a “browser” more suitable for the smart phones most people in Africa had at the time. They called it “Crocodile Browser Lite” which they introduced to the market because among a few reasons, it “doesn’t eat up your phones resources and battery life.” Wow!

Remember a most important quote for entrepreneurs: “The perfect is the enemy of the good.” Don’t wait till everything is “perfect” to get yourself started. By the time “perfection” comes your way (if it ever does), you’ll likely be too late! They’re now at Version 4.1 and going strong! Here’s a link to the post from 2015:

Since then they have also focused on their education! Osine has just graduated from secondary school and is taking a gap year (he’s running their company, called Bludoors, from Nigeria). Anesi did his A levels at the African Leadership Academy in South Africa and is still involved while studying Computer Science at University of Rochester in New York

My research team also managed to track down Osine and Anesi’s #LionessMom, Mrs Ngozi Ikhianosime, in Lagos, Nigeria. In their discussion, they asked why she thought her two sons had had the courage to become tech entrepreneurs, following their dreams so early in life.

__”Good books, good schools and good support system from home — to be themselves,” she said.

She also shared that it was her #LionDad who actually inspired her to become a math teacher! (I have read all your comments on #LionDadswho are, of course, critically important. We’ll get to this soon.)

#LionessMom Ngozi said both sons loved computers before they could even read, and eventually became really inspired by the UK computer programmer Nick D’Aloisio, then a 16-year old who developed a summarization app to help make studying for exams easier, for himself. From Nick they learnt that they could learn to code themselves! (You can Google Nick who sold his startup to Yahoo at age 17 for millions of USD).

As a maths teacher for 23 years, interacting with maybe thousands of parents and children in her career, Ngozi shared this observation:

“Every child is unique. Try to discover the uniqueness of each child and give the child an enabling environment to blossom. Do not force your dream on your child. You will only make them unfulfilled and unhappy.”

When asked what advice she gives to young people when she thinks they might “give up” on something difficult, Ngozi quoted the late entrepreneurial author, Jim Rohn:

__”Don’t wish it was easier, wish you were better. Don’t wish for less problems, wish for more skills. Don’t wish for less challenge, wish for more wisdom.” (She also shared the quote in the title of this post).

One of Anesi and Osine’s most important business lessons learned so far?

__Think of monetization early, they said. (That is an important lesson for all entrepreneurs!)

And a book that really inspired them? For both brothers, it was “Deep Work – Rules for Focused Success in a Distracted World,” by Cal Newport.

Anesi and Osine also shared their own advice to #LionParents: “Be liberal with the child because many parents force their kids to do something. Our parents let us explore what we wanted to do, like acting and music. We were allowed to explore. We were given a choice.”

And as for business advice so far, at 16 and 18 years old? “It’s best to keep going forward. You’re going to have setbacks and you just have to keep going. There is no option!”

The last word comes from Anesi and Osine’s #LionessMom: “Miss a meal. Don’t miss a book!”


To be continued. . .

Note: In addition to Crocodile Browser (Version 4.1) Bludoors has recently released a beta of a very exciting innovation you can check out at http://www.bludoors.com/ and maybe even help them test it. (In tech, a beta version is a “work in progress,” released sometimes to the public and/or people who sign up to test it for bugs and glitches).

To download their browser, go to GooglePlay or here’s the link

by 11 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.

11 thoughts on “#LionessMom (Part 3)

  1. Strive Masiyiwa Post author

    Afterthought 1.

    “Whatever the human mind can conceive it can achieve,” said Napoleon Hill, a favorite quote of #LionessMom, Ngozi Ikhianosime. What do YOU see? (First time I’ve asked this year, and not the last). Let me also tell you a great secret: These young boys will not need to go looking for money, money will come looking for them! …”ProVISION always follows a great VISION.”

  2. Strive Masiyiwa Post author

    Afterthought 2.

    #LionessMom Ngozi mentioned several books which inspired her over the years:

    # “The Art of Exceptional Living” by Jim Rohn

    # “Seven Habits of Highly Effective People” by Stephen Covey

    # “The Greatest Miracle in the World” by Og Mandino

    # “Rich Dad Poor Dad” by Robert Kiyosaki

    # “Think Big” by Ben Carson.

    Should we start a #LionessMom reading list? What do you think?

  3. Strive Masiyiwa Post author

    Afterthought 3.

    When my team helped do research for this post, they found this #LionessMom on Twitter, where they read so many heartfelt, inspiring quotes she had reTweeted. Remember, whatever you put on social media, follows you forever. #YourWordsMatter!

  4. Strive Masiyiwa Post author

    Afterthought 4.

    When one of her boys was three years old, #LionessMom Ngozi asked him how he knew how to do something techy that really surprised her. His answer: “My brain told me!” Our kids can now do amazing things we never imagined.

  5. Strive Masiyiwa Post author

    Afterthought 5.

    Osine mentioned that probably his greatest inspiration is Nigerian tech entrepreneur, Iyinoluwa Aboyeji, while Anesi’s is Danish programmer, David Heinemeier Hansson (aka DHH). Wow! If you asked your own kids who inspired them most, what would they say?

  6. Strive Masiyiwa Post author

    It is with deep sadness that I learnt [today] of the passing of Zimbabwe’s former PM, and leader of the political party known as The Movement For Democratic Change (MDC), Mr Morgan Tsvangirai.

    As with all peace loving Zimbabweans, I salute him for his deep convictions for freedom, justice and democracy, as well as his indomitable courage.

    I had known him [personally] for nearly 30 years, and although I’m not involved in politics, we always held each other in the highest esteem and respect.

    My wife Tsitsi and I, as well as our family, extend our deepest, heartfelt condolences to his family, beloved followers, and friends:

    May the Lord comfort them, strengthen them, and grant them wisdom during this time, and in the days to come.
    #Peace and love.
    Strive and Tsitsi Masiyiwa

    P.s: respectfully avoid making political or other comments here, as there are other more appropriate platforms. “Let’s mourn with those who mourn”, even as the Lord said we should.

  7. Strive Masiyiwa Post author

    #Change in South Africa:

    I would like to congratulate the people of SA for another peaceful transition of power!
    #What an example!

    Having known Incoming President Cyril Ramaphosa [personally] for some 20 years,SA just got itself an amazing new leader!
    Congratulations again South Africa…and Africa too [because this is one leader who will be good for the whole continent’s economy].

  8. Strive Masiyiwa Post author

    Please do me a favour:
    Download their browser, and encourage your children to do the same.
    I would love to give them the biggest push ever!

    Let’s support each other, whenever possible.

  9. Strive Masiyiwa Post author

    In my top 10 things to be done in Africa is to revolutionize the teaching of Mathematics!
    At High School I was so bad at maths, I did not even sit the “Mock Exam”. I was brilliant in the languages, and social subjects.
    Two years later I taught myself maths and went to engineering school.
    Never allow your child to accept that they are are not good at something.
    More often than not it is the way a subject is taught. Rather try to help them with other teaching methods, and encouragement.
    Let’s help our African schools build up their capacity to teach maths.

  10. Strive Masiyiwa Post author

    One of the fastest growing businesses in our group is called Econet EduTech.
    One day it will be the biggest business in the company, and you have never heard about it!
    [we have a lot of fast growing businesses that a lot of people have never heard about, or they simply don’t know we own them].
    Under EduTech is the Ruzivo platform, which already has almost 1m users in Zimbabwe alone. That is 1/3rd of all children in school. We have plans to scale it right across Africa.
    I want to completely revolutionize education…join me!

  11. Evelyn Bako Ferguson

    When we know better we do better. All industries have potential, even the arts. What we need is education for the Africa parent to say allow your children to explore diverse interests, hobbies, and subjects. This story is one that should be used to inspire more parents back home.


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