Pause: And then they were two…

__Competition in business is beautiful!

We are now down to two teams, out of the 32 that began the World Cup almost a month ago! It has been an amazing tournament with some tough games, and not a few real surprises along the way. What finally set apart the winners from the losers this year? Was it better team work? Discipline? Strategy? Confidence? Like I said last week, there are a lot of entrepreneurial lessons in the World Cup!

If you are in Africa, I hope that you are one of the over 250m who will watch Sunday’s Final for free in one of the 39 countries where we’re broadcasting.

Kwesé Free Sport (KFS), our “Free-To-Air” channel, is now the biggest television channel in terms of viewers, in African history. No single broadcaster has ever managed to broadcast to such a large audience at one time, through so many partners. Even NTA and 40 other local broadcasters in Nigeria are getting their feed for the final, direct from Kwesé TV (KFS). You can see it on the top right hand corner of your screen!

The other providers that have been broadcasting for decades are “Pay TV broadcasters” and they have a limited audience.

For those who don’t have a TV set or decoder, but own a mobile smartphone, and live (or will be traveling to) any of our participating countries, just download our Kwesé iflix App and get to a WIFI zone with your friends and family, or connect with special bundles from our partner mobile networks: Safaricom (Kenya), Tigo (Tanzania), Vodacom (Tanzania), MTN (Ghana), Airtel (Nigeria), MTN (Nigeria), Airtel (Uganda), MTN (Uganda) and Econet (Zimbabwe). Here is the link to download now

We even have a minute-by-minute commentary on our KweséESPN website, for those who want access to statistics as the game progresses! Visit that website today, and let me know what you think:

Which brings me to my final entrepreneurial lesson from the 2018 FIFA World Cup™:

# Competition is beautiful!

The teams this year were well matched; each one had players from some of the top leagues in the world. When a game is played by rules that are transparent, and fair to everyone, it brings out the best out in the players.

# Competition is beautiful!

As an entrepreneur, you must also relish competition to make you better. You must never see your rivals in business as “enemies” who must be stopped, hacked down, or even frustrated.

Everything we see and don’t like in terms of unfairness on the pitch of football, unfortunately also goes on in business.

In Africa we have some people (not all) who just cannot accept competing fairly in business. They want to have powerful politicians in their corner (like buying the ref!) They want things done without transparency.

__Then we have those who want to win even when they don’t actually play the game!

Good players like to test their skills against other good players, because that is the only way you will get to know how good you really are.

Just like you cannot win at all costs in sport, in business you should not want to make money at any and all cost… including by taking actions you know will harm others.

In sport when a player cheats, or cynically harms another player, I go off them completely. I always want the teams I support to play against an opposing team that has all its best players.

As a fan, I feel cheated if a top player has to go off because of injury, including players from the opposing side.

In business, competition is what drives high performance, innovation and excellence, and with them profitability and sustainability. And competition which inspires everyone to raise their game is a customer’s best friend!

Now when a business competitor emerges, what is your own reaction?

# Do you try to restrict their activities through unfair means?

# Are you occasionally able to set aside rivalry and make friendships with a competitor’s business executives and staff?

# Do you look to be protected from a competitor?

There is an old saying that comes to mind and takes me back to sport and the World Cup Finals this weekend. It goes something like this: It matters not just if you win or lose, but how you play the game…


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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.

5 thoughts on “Pause: And then they were two…

  1. Strive Masiyiwa Post author

    Afterthought 1.

    Don’t forget on Saturday there’s another game sure to be a tough one, between England and Belgium fighting for third and fourth… Perhaps a harder one to play with heart, but that is what a champion spirit is all about.

    As someone once said: “Adversity causes some men to break, others to break records…” If you haven’t already read the story told a few weeks ago by Belgian player Romelu Lukaku (who’s family originally came from DRC) some may find it of interest.

  2. Strive Masiyiwa Post author

    Afterthought 2.

    We virtually all face challenges in life of one kind or another, and it is how we deal with them, with what #Mindset, that come to define us as a winner or loser, survivor or victim. Someone last week sent me this beautiful video of a deaf-blind soccer fan in Brazil, enjoying “watching” his team play in the World Cup, through the kindness and creativity of someone who took the time to care…

  3. Strive Masiyiwa Post author

    Afterthought 3.

    “Daring ideas are like chessmen moved forward,” said the German thinker Goethe, centuries ago. “They may be beaten; but they may start a winning game…”

  4. Strive Masiyiwa Post author

    Afterthought 4. Kwesé iflix and #You!

    If you haven’t already done so, you can still watch the finals for free this weekend by downloading Kwesé iflix if you are in one of our participating countries (Ghana, Kenya, Nigeria, Tanzania, Uganda, Zambia and Zimbabwe).

    Now Kwesé iflix is not just for football fans, of course! You’ll find 2000+ hours of great entertainment, as millions of you have already discovered this month! Our team is really appreciating your great feedback. Thank you!

    We’d love to see #You enjoying your Kwesé iflix shows on-the-go, wherever you are this weekend… You can upload some photos here and share if you want. You can also tag and send them on other social media… #YouChoose!


    Nigeria Kweseiflixng

    Kenya Kweseiflix_KE

    Ghana Kweseiflixgh

    Tanzania Kweseiflix_TZ

    Uganda KweseiflixUg

    Zimbabwe @iflixZW


    Nigeria iflixNG

    Kenya iflixKE

    Ghana kweseiflixGH

    Tanzania iflixTZ

    Uganda KweseiflixUG


    Nigeria iflixng

    Kenya iflixke

    Ghana iflixgh

    Tanzania iflixTZ


  5. Strive Masiyiwa Post author

    Idongesit Nkereuwem

    Thank you Strive for the wonderful one one moments and discussions I had with you in Transcorp Hilton during the Afrexim AGM 2018..It has really really affected my thought pattern and leaped my vision.You are indeed priceless! GOD bless You Sir.I will surely update you on the progress of my projects.

    My reply,
    I enjoyed meeting you and all the others who were at the African Export Import Bank (AfriEximbank) conference in Abuja.
    I will share my thoughts on why this institution is so important, later this week.


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