Pause:  Faith encounters at airports

__Why faith matters to me…

The other day I met some old friends at an airport, Bishop Ezekiel Guti and his wife, Prophetess Eunor Guti. We had a wonderful time together as you can see. We even had time to fellowship and pray together in the airport lounge. They are family to me, and I cannot describe in words the joy I felt at seeing them.

I left Zimbabwe 17 years ago and had not seen his wife in all those years. I had occasion to see the Bishop himself a year ago, again at an airport.

He is now 94, and still ministers and is able to walk unaided. His mind was as clear as when I first met him 22 years ago.

One morning back then, I got a message that “Bishop Ezekiel Guti wanted to see me alone.” I had never met him even though I knew who he was! I was not even a member of his assembly which was by far the largest in my country and now a global ministry spanning almost every country in the world.

The meeting was in secret and I’m revealing it for the first time here. He knew all about my plight and the persecution I was enduring because of my stance. Then he prayed for me and told me not to give up. And with that I left. Victory was still several years away, but without that moment I probably would have given up.

Fast forward:  Nigeria.

“I would like to meet the founder of your company, next time he comes to Nigeria. Tell him to come alone because I have a very important matter I wish to discuss with him.”

This was the message conveyed to Zac Wazara, the CEO of Econet Wireless Nigeria in 2001. The message came from the General Overseer of the Redeemed Christian of Nigeria, Pastor Enock Adeboye. I had never heard of him in my life. When I told friends about the request, they were stunned with awe:

“Wow!” They exclaimed. “Even the President of Nigeria would go!”

One of the friends to whom I mentioned this was Professor Yemi Osibanjo, then a Lay Pastor in his church, but also the Attorney General of Lagos State. He is now Nigeria’s Vice President.

We met alone. It will still be many, many years before I’m ready (if ever) to tell people what he said to me.

My life changed forever!

The last time I met the GO was also in an airport.

He told me he had been following my progress and was pleased, then added: “Your victory in this and other matters is assured, you know that, don’t you?”

“Yes sir, I know.”


He is a man of few words outside the pulpit. I thanked him and went my way.

When you face opposition or persecution like I’ve had to endure from time to time, and I expect many of you have, too… Having faith can be the difference, and I would say (personally), “all the difference.”

Within weeks of my meeting with Bishop Guti, the entire church in Zimbabwe began to rally around me. Every day I received messages of encouragement. In September 1998, all the church leaders held a special Thanks Giving Service. It was one of the largest such gatherings ever. These are the people who had my back, and that is why I never walked alone, and never will…

These are just two encounters at an airport. Time and space do not permit me to talk about meetings with many other great men and women of faith. I could spend all day on this… They know who they are.

Let me close by sharing this brilliant video with you. It’s 10 minutes that you and your family will definitely not want to miss, a commencement speech… “The wisest person in my life, a third-grade dropout.” things will challenge you in your life… “Just keep standing.”


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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.

14 thoughts on “Pause:  Faith encounters at airports

  1. Strive Masiyiwa Post author

    Afterthought 1.
    Talking of airports and travel, I once spent a whole week traveling (just the two of us) with Archbishop Desmond Tutu. We travelled from Cape Town to Brazil and back. It was an amazing experience. One day I will talk about it.

  2. Vengesai Kadzimu

    It is quite clear that you are moving in the perpose for which you were created. We are born to overcome.

  3. Strive Masiyiwa Post author

    In the last post I posed an interesting quiz for entrepreneurs, and I’m still to get responses that I can “like”. Let’s try again:

    To be able to undertake thousands of installations in 16 countries every day, Kwese TV uses independent contractors called Technites. The platform we use to manage them is identical to the concept behind Mobile Money Services, and also transport services like Uber.
    #This is a very ingenious innovation!

    Please comment on your observation…as an entrepreneur.
    No prizes because if you understand it, what you will be able to do in future is bigger than anything I can give you by way of a prize!

  4. Strive Masiyiwa Post author

    My favorite show on Kwese Inc is actually The Profit. I can happily watch each show 10x!
    For me it is better than Shark Tank.
    It is the one show that can change your business immediately, no matter what you are doing.

    If you have seen this show on Kwese Inc, please share your thoughts.

    Kwese Inc is not meant to be an entertainment channel. It is for entrepreneurs and those who aspire to understand entrepreneurship.

  5. Strive Masiyiwa Post author

    Gimbiya writes,

    Love this , I’m an entrepreneur, but I don’t do much tv watching , however will really love to own the kwese app so I’m able to view some programs , do I still have to buy the decoder ?

    My reply,
    Shows like The Profit cannot be accessed through the App, because the owners will not allow it.
    Our new App:
    “Kwese TV” which you can download allows you to see upto 75xchannels, but only if you have a decoder at home. This is called a “tethered service”, and it is the only way the owners of the content will allow you to use your mobile smartphone. Once you have an active decoder at home or your office you are allowed to use 5x mobile devices to watch content.
    The old Kwese App will be eventually phased out because it has very limited content compared to the new one.

  6. Strive Masiyiwa Post author

    Nyasha writes,

    The platform has a database of every Technite and where they are located. When a customer wants an installation they send a message which goes to the support system then notifies the Technite near the customer.

    My reply,
    In part I like your answer best, but it is incomplete:
    Why did I compare it to Uber, and Mobile Money?

    We could even add: AirBnB.

  7. Strive Masiyiwa Post author

    Tatenda Tawonezvi writes,

    On Kwese kindly have a package for Hotels, Lodges, Schools etc this is potential way to tap into over 64k hotel rooms in Africa and 100k+ lodge rooms. The people who will stay in these hotel/lodge rooms conservatively estimated at 30million+ per year will be your brand ambassadors and marketing tool for Kwese to be installed in homes – as they would have established a connection in the hotel/lodge rooms etc. This is talking from experience, as I couldnot get a package for Kwese for my lodge in Harare, last week. Hope this is also my meeting in the airport with you haha, if you hadn’t seriously consider such a package. Thanks – all the best.

    My reply,
    You have good business brain!
    There is a division at Kwese focused on this market segment.
    I nevertheless appreciate your observations.

  8. Rawlings Sussex

    I just finished my devotion when I read this article of yours and closed the page without comment but after a few minutes, I had this witness that ONE DAY YOU WILL RULE ZIMBABWE.

    There is a deeper purpose for you than creating companies as you have done so far….At the appointed time, the vision shall speak.

  9. Strive Masiyiwa Post author

    Robert Yavala writes (from Fiji),

    Bula Sir,
    I love reading your articles. .I noticed I one of your articles you spoke about the dish as being old technology and that cable which I understand to be Internet is faster..We have the southern cross cable here in Fiji the Southern Pacific and I was.hoping to do are currently doing with all those intelligent and teaching programs you have on Kwese.I believe it would bring our people faster growth with programming like Profit.and Shark Tank and all the sports as well..Sir I just noticed that your quiz question has an answers some of what I am asking.

    My reply,
    There is really no reason why you should not be able to do something.
    You will need to study the industry carefully and learn about how Programming Rights are sold in your region. To get the economy of scale you will probably need to look beyond your own Islands.
    The key is to do your Homework.
    I’m yet to visit Fiji but I have worked in the region before. Great people.
    God bless you.

  10. Strive Masiyiwa Post author

    Bishop Guti’s ministry has a tv channel called Ezekiel TV. When I met him we agreed that it would be broadcast on Kwese TV just like Dove TV. We are working on the details.
    Similar offers have gone out to other big ministries like Christ Embassy for their LoveworldSat TV.
    God Tv, TBN, and Daystar are slated to join in a matter of weeks.
    Smaller ministries will be allowed to broadcast blocks of content on Kwese Inspire after it launches next month.
    There are other religious channels already on the platform.
    There is a team at Kwese that just deals with religious content and you can contact them directly or go to the website.

  11. Strive Masiyiwa Post author

    Breaking News Nigeria!

    # Kwese Sports as the official broadcaster of the 2018 FIFA World Cup congratulates Nigeria on its qualification.

    Kwese Sports will broadcast all Nigeria’s [and all African countries] games for FREE and exclusively across Africa!!!

    It is the first time a single broadcaster is doing both Free To Air and Pay Tv.

    # We expect to reach an audience of 250m for the final itself. And it will be FREE!

    We will be broadcasting every single World Cup match on Kwese Sports.
    Most of them will be broadcast on other channels which require a decoder.

    We have began the process of ordering more decoders to deal with the demand particularly in Nigeria.
    I suggest you try and get your decoder as soon as possible, and not wait to the last minute.

    Once again congratulations Nigeria!


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