Pause: Kwesé update

__Our journey to bring you the stars!

My youngest daughter is only 14 years old. She watches a lot of television, but never on a TV set. She watches everything on her computer. Africa has about 60m TVs, but already there are more than 200m smartphones and tablets on the continent. I hope you now understand why I was inspired to call our new venture, Kwesé… which means “everywhere!”

It’s now been almost a year since we launched Kwesé TV, so as promised, here’s my latest update on our progress. We’re entering an exciting phase where we’ll now begin to launch our services.

One of the first things I shared with you about this venture was the importance of doing proper research to make sure you fully understand the business you’re going into. We researched this venture for more than three years before deciding to go into it.

One of the first lessons we learnt is that “content” is THE most important thing in the television business. A TV network operator must first buy high quality content that people are prepared to pay for.

When a broadcaster acquires content for you to watch on TV, it’s called buying “rights.” Before Kwesé can air live sport events or a movie, for instance, we must own the “rights” to do so. Those rights can be very expensive, particularly when they’re “exclusive” and can’t be shown by another network. Can you guess what are some of the most expensive broadcasting rights to acquire?

We’ve spent the last 12 months fighting for such rights. My team and I have travelled all over the world, and met suppliers of content, including major international studios and sports organizations.

This has really been a journey to bring you the stars, and we can’t wait to share with you…

# Kwesé (via Econet Media) has now acquired rights to broadcast some of the most important content in the world of sports and entertainment!

# Some of our rights have never been aired in Africa before.

# We have also commissioned African film producers to develop our own programming.

We aren’t simply copying what others have done. That wouldn’t be very smart. We have our own strategy. You, too, must always have your own strategy.

By now you will have noticed that we’re not building a “normal” TV business. Our work is still underway so I won’t share too much just yet, but I’m happy to tell you (a little):

1. Kwesé Free Sports

We started with just one sports channel, Kwesé Free Sports, which we first launched in Kenya. It’s now growing throughout the continent. So far the response has been remarkable! That channel and its content, is now available in 16 countries, and growing. It will be a fully 24 hour free sports channel in most African countries within three years.

To learn more about Kwese Free Sports (including the countries where you can find it now) go to or our Facebook page.


As I’ve told you before, any modern business must have a website. In our case, we did more than that. Our website is “a business within a business,” and we’re working together with the world’s largest TV sports broadcaster, ESPN, to make the HOME OF GLOBAL SPORT IN AFRICA!

Africans and people of African descent are some of the world’s greatest sportsmen and women. is the place to follow them!

3. Kwesé App

If you have a smartphone, tablet or computer, by simply downloading the Kwesé App you can already watch some of the rights and TV channels we’ve acquired.

I suggest you download the App, and follow its progression over the next few weeks. You will see that it is not all about sport, eventually. Access to the content is free, until we have populated the site with all the content. Kwesé Free Sports is always free!

For all of you young entrepreneurs, Kwesé will soon have a wonderful surprise for you, too…”Shhh!” (Wait for it).

To be continued. . .

by 20 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.

20 thoughts on “Pause: Kwesé update

  1. Strive Masiyiwa Post author

    Afterthought 1.

    The accent in the African word Kwesé (é) is very important because we didn’t want people to pronounce the name “qweese.” We prefer you to pronounce it like “game-day!”

  2. Strive Masiyiwa Post author

    Afterthought 2.

    When trying out the Kwesé App (which you can download from Android or the iStore), be careful not to blow your data bundles, as watching video content can be expensive in some countries. I suggest take advantage of your off-peak mobile bundles, and use on WIFI networks where available. Remember that due to rights restrictions, it’s not possible to watch content from outside of Africa.

  3. Strive Masiyiwa Post author

    Afterthought 3.

    When my wife and I first met, she was the only woman in the country who played for the national team in two different sports. Do you know what they were?

  4. Strive Masiyiwa Post author

    Thomas, writes:

    Hope eventually Kwese TV becomes Continental and more

    My reply:
    Kwese Tv, is already fully continental, and even global.
    You can download the Kwese App, from any country in the world, right now, using your smartphone. You can watch our programming from any African country.
    Our website KweseSports.Com, can be viewed from anywhere in the world. This website is actually a business, and we are already making money from it. Actually I love this little business!
    Remember when I talked about using the Internet to launch global businesses? This is one such example. Both Kwese App Tv, and KweseSports.Com, are Internet based businesses.

  5. Strive Masiyiwa Post author

    An interesting partnership:
    You will recall my post about our partnership with the National Basketball Association of the USA (NBA).
    I hope you can now see how we have began to put this Strategic Partnership into practice:
    If you download the Kwese App, you will notice that we play NBA games live, on our sports channel, KweseFree Sport.
    If you open our website,, you will see that there is an icon “NBA” at the top. If you click that icon, it leads you to a separate website called “KweseSports|NBA Africa”. This is a unique deal. It has resulted in basketball fans across Africa, to flock to our website.
    Understanding the value of strategic partnerships, is one of the most important tools of any successful entrepreneur.
    Who are your strategic partners?

  6. Strive Masiyiwa Post author

    Festus, asks:

    This is awesome but does kwese has a decoder yet just like dstv or it is just a channel?

    My reply:
    That smartphone in your hand is a “decoder”. If you open the Kwesé App, on your Android phone, or Apple Store, you can start watching our channels. Now if you want to watch using a normal TV, then you would need a decoder.
    Meanwhile why don’t you try the App. We will be adding more channels in the next few weeks, so download, and keep checking to see the exciting new channels that we will add, including my “surprise” channel.

  7. Strive Masiyiwa Post author

    Chichi writes:

    This is simply awesome Dr.Strive.

    I currently run a talkshow called ‘Let’s Talk Entrepreneurship’, its a media talkshow platform set up to share real life entrepreneurship stories and celebrate Nigerian/African Entrepreneurs.

    Doctor Sir, is it possible we get an opportunity to air our content via Kwese? We are currently only airing on Facebook via Facebook LIVE video on

    And we have all it takes to take over Africa because there’s no such a platform for African Entrepreneurs Sir.

    My reply:
    I like what you are doing, and we will certainly follow up with you. Allow us to settle down what we are busy with, and then come back in about 3 months, and I will see to it, that you can make a pitch to the right people.

  8. Strive Masiyiwa Post author

    Ahmed, writes:

    I am in Somalia and I tried to download the app and when I came to the selection of countries Somalia was never added into the list. I however, managed to download the app but when I tried to play the contents it totally failed to play. Please fix that issue. Thanks

    My reply:
    Your observation is correct. Most of the owners of International Rights for sport, are unwilling to include Somalia at this time because of concerns for protection from Piracy of Intellectual Property (IP). This is because Somalia is currently not part of the enforceable agreements on this issue.
    Somalia is not the only African country to have such a problem. We are working very hard to convince them…it takes time. We must all work together to improve confidence in certain countries. Africa is our home.

  9. Strive Masiyiwa Post author


    Strive not being able to watch outside Africa is a pity, considering Africans in diaspora is a huge market

    My reply:
    I would love to open the platform to Africans in the diaspora. Now here is the challenge I have:
    If you are in the US, and I allow you to watch English Premier League games on the platform, it will cost us $600m pa. Rights for Africa cost about $200m pa.
    If you are in the U.K., I would have to pay more than $1bn per annum! And this is just English Premier League!
    Now you know that there are not enough Africans in the America, or U.K., for me to justify such a business plan.
    In this platform I’m talking to entrepreneurs, who appreciate that we must have a viable business plan, or we fail.
    We will find ways to address our brothers in the Diaspora, without breaking the law. One solution, so far is, where we at least show you results from home.
    There are so many things we would love to do, but when we do the numbers (as all good entrepreneurs) the challenge remains.

  10. Strive Masiyiwa Post author


    Dr. Strive Masiyiwa rumor has it that we are soon to see you in Uganda’s media industry.. I would like to say thank you for that opportunity to extend your inspirations/ knowledge, and choosing Uganda as part of your investment destinations.

    My reply:
    Happy to confirm. Uganda joins 16 countries already on Kwese in a few weeks. I love visiting Kampala, hope to visit in the New Year.

  11. Strive Masiyiwa Post author

    Doreen, from Kenya, writes:

    Thank you very much sir I’m from Kenya and I have developed interest i n sport just because of Kwese free sports I hope u can start sharing some entrepreneurial ideas in the channel too.u have been a blessing to me sir and thanks to you I have began to discover that I have the potential d can really bring a change in the world of business

    My reply:
    Thanks for watching KweséFreeSports Channel in Kenya. The government of Kenya was so supportive when we first suggested the idea, that is why it became our first market for the channel. Latest viewing figures, show it is now the largest channel in Kenya, in terms of viewership!
    I have asked them to increase the amount of women’s sport on the channel. We will also be showing more local sport, from Kenya and Africa.
    We have lots of other channels coming, but they will not be free like the KFS Channel. Some of these channels are just amazing.

  12. Strive Masiyiwa Post author

    Anselm, writes:

    Dear Mr. Strive. I write as the President of Anchor Book Club Foundation Africa, a voluntary nongovernmental organisation for the promotion of African Literature. The ideal is to positively shape the mindset of the young ones through the culture of healthy reading and to create more awareness about African peoples potentials. Our members engage in voluntary school visitations as hobbies and commitment to interact, read, learn and review some selected literatures as recommended by our team of experts. At the moment, we have a good number of active volunteers in countries like, Nigeria, South Sudan, and South Africa, and we hope to spread to other African countries. Our Mission is:
    1. To promote and encourage the culture of reading in African literatures and creative writings.
    2. To forge intellectual links among members of the organization and network with scholars, policy makers, and activists within and outside Africa.
    3. To participate actively and collaboratively in continental and global debates with interested organizations within Africa and other countries.
    4. To promote knowledge of Africa’s economic, social, cultural, political and technological advancement.
    5. To contribute to the development of African society by encouraging exchange of ideas and views.
    6. To create an enlightened and self-empowering society through reading and sharing of ideas.
    At the moment the Foundation is preparing for its first international Conference of Pan African interdisciplinary studies sometime in August 2017 and we would like you to be one of the keynote speakers at the event.
    The conference will be enriched by a group of diverse panelists and speakers across Africa who will engage with a variety of topics including:
    African Literature
    African Traditional and Modern Communication System
    African Education System
    African Arts and Archives
    African Political System
    African Religion and Culture
    African Economic Outlook
    Folklore/Moonlight Stories and African Movie Industries.
    If will forward you more details about the conference if you welcome this idea. Thanks.

    My reply:
    I commend your work, that is why I have copied your post in full.
    I might not be able to come myself, personally, but I will ask my staff to follow up with you.
    Steve Biko, spoke of #Black Consciousness. I would humbly add that we also talk of #African Consciousness. There is no single panacea to accomplish this, it will take many efforts like yours, and that of others, in governments, civil society, and entrepreneurs of Africa.

  13. Oladeji Jonathan D.

    Dear Sir,
    I noticed that the facebook page is just too crowded for me to reach you, I have an app Idea I would love to pitch to you via email or any other faster means. I just received a Bursary for the Masters in Estate Management at a South African University, I am Nigerian and this requires that I raise the funds for my trip and stay. The app I want to develop could generate twice the funds I need in the next 6 months but I would achieve this within a shorter period with seed fund and endorsement from you, I would give details in your email, my email address is The app would be the kind of social network that brings African content developers together and this would have significant ties to your brand, it is definitely a different Idea from Kwese Tv. I will be expecting your response sir. Thank you.

  14. Eze Uchechukwu Patrick

    Thanks Dr. Strive, it has been awesome been your online protege. I look forward to hosting you in Owerri Nigeria on our Annual Graduate and Business Summit. Your teaching are my constant meditation and practise… Glad to located you.

  15. Nnamdi Obiabunmo


    Your writings have inspired me greatly. I’m a young entrepreneur who has faced lots of challenges in the course of setting up my business, but your writings have been a constant source of hope ; they have been a constant reminder that success is not achieved without the will to face challenges and surmount obstacles. Thank you sir for educating me and countless others.

  16. Walter Musakanye

    Great work, Dr Masiyiwa, I am personally inspired by your work. iam very much interested in the entrepreneurship program on Kwese TV, The Profit,. i haven’t watched it but i have watched dragons den, BBC. I cant wait to have it on Kwese TV, thank you


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