Pause: Lights, camera, action!

__Where are you in the process?

Whenever I see a young person on a street corner, chasing cars to sell something, I wonder to myself, what would happen if we helped that young entrepreneur (because that’s what they are) to learn trade skills like carpentry, mechanics, or plumbing, as well as digital skills? I then started asking myself, how could technology help them learn entrepreneurial skills from the best of the best in the world? What would happen to our growth rates in Africa!?

With these questions was born the idea of Kwesé Inc., our new 24-hour TV channel for entrepreneurs… the exciting surprise I’ve been waiting to share with you for a long time!

Now I’ve told some of you before that whenever I travel to the US, and have the opportunity to relax and watch TV, there are a few shows for entrepreneurs that I never miss:

__One of my favorites is called “The Profit.”

It’s simply amazing! So last year I directed the Kwesé team to acquire exclusive rights to broadcast this show in our market. I also told them to go around the world (including Africa) and buy similar programming aimed at helping and supporting entrepreneurs.

Kwesé Inc. channel for entrepreneurs will carry interviews and visit business (in Africa and around the world) to inspire and share ideas. We also hope to start showing similar content developed specifically by us in Africa.

As I told you last week, at Kwesé, we’re seeing beyond TV.

__With Kwesé Inc., my vision is beyond even that… It’s about building the capacity and prosperity of young African entrepreneurs, African families, African nations, and the continent as a whole:

# Every great business in the world, no matter how large it is today, was started by entrepreneurs.

# Entrepreneurs don’t just create wealth for themselves, but also for their countries.

# It’s not just large companies like Apple and Dangote Cement that create wealth. Even a street vendor is creating wealth, when he or she is successful.

Imagine if university graduates, and people in all different types of work, had the entrepreneurial zeal of traders… Remember, it’s a mindset!

In my businesses, I rely mostly on entrepreneurs to drive innovation, product and service development at all levels. They’re not always in managerial positions, but these are the men and women who passionately drive us forward every day, constantly bombarding us with ideas for new services and businesses that we could do.

Even if they’re turned down, they don’t give up. They either look for other opportunities, or present their ideas again. The more of this type of talent we can hire, the better our chances of success. We have more than 500 people working at Kwesé now and I’m so proud of our team.

I often talk about Uber, the multibillion dollar ride-sharing company founded in 2009 by an entrepreneur who needed a ride in Paris, but couldn’t find a taxi! Uber co-founder, Travis Kalanick said something I’ll leave you with today:

__“Have a champion’s mindset. Put everything you have into it; any less and you will fail. Bounce back from knocks.”

I know some of you will be stars someday on Kwesé Inc.! I can’t wait.

Stay tuned, for much more is coming soon . . .

by 17 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.

17 thoughts on “Pause: Lights, camera, action!

  1. Strive Masiyiwa Post author

    Afterthought 1. One of the world’s greatest salesman, the late Zig Ziglar, wrote: “You don’t have to be great to start, but you have to start to be great…” How is your year going so far? I’m sure you’ve heard the expression commanded by film directors on the set: “Lights, camera, action!” Are you, like Kwesé, at the “action” stage yet?

  2. Strive Masiyiwa Post author

    Afterthought 2. Now for the 10 winners of last week’s contest, to answer the question: Which four services has Kwesé launched to date? The simple answer I was looking for: Kwesé TV, Kwesé’Fied, Kwesé App, (or Kwesé Sports website).

    Congratulations to the winners:

    Boago BG Tshobo, Botswana
    Bennie David Taichi, Ghana
    Solo K Komen, Kenya
    Mazorodzew Munyaradzi, Mozambique
    Mukhtar Afodun, Nigeria
    John Ofuomadega, Nigeria
    Ige Komolafe Atiba, Nigeria
    Muzhazhi Mustafa Zimba, Zambia
    Anthony Mushinge, Zambia
    Michael Chapeyama, Zimbabwe

    One of my team will be in touch with you soon.

  3. Strive Masiyiwa Post author

    One of the most profound observations I learnt from the Bible is this:
    The capacity to “see” good, is actually a gift from God.
    Don’t ever assume that everyone can “see” good.
    Someone asked me once, “how come I did not know that you help so many orphans go to school?”
    “There are many good things happening, all the time, if only you would allow yourself to see them.”

    • Wayne Rodney Mususa

      Thats true Mr Masiyiwa
      Only God does the openings.
      Even in being a entreprenuer, not every sees the oppurtunities one can take so at to become successful but i know and i believe that its only the God chosen 1s are given spiritual eyes to see great opportunities.thank you.

  4. Strive Masiyiwa Post author

    Clement, writes:

    Hope you visit us some day. Varsity Digital WORLD was a dream you inspired and I went bold enough to start this photography company in Uganda. I love u Dr. Strive Masiyiwa

    My reply,
    This is fantastic!
    Well done, Clement.

  5. Strive Masiyiwa Post author

    Tendai, writes:

    Kwese is surely going everywhere and is changing the game…..You’re living true to your values my brother. In 2000 when I stumbled my father’s manuscript of an interview with you when you were fighting for the Zim licence you mentioned something that I have written in the tablet of my heart “To create opportunities for Africa’s youth so that they can contribute to their nations well being” I have kept that statement in my heart for nearly 18 years now! May God bless you Dr ST Masiyiwa…you’re a great man! Last week as I drove past Kwese TV in Bryanston I was impressed with the Worldclass appearance of your location. You’re truly up with the Stars!!!

    My reply,
    Tendai this is wonderful.
    I have a special gift for you. We will find you!

  6. Strive Masiyiwa Post author

    Sean Combs (aka P. Diddy) recently announced via his Instagram page that his multi platform TV network REVOLT TV will be available on Kwesé TV. REVOLT is known for providing fresh and engaging music, lifestyle and entertainment programming, a natural fit for Kwesé which is focussed on providing content that is relevant and premium. REVOLT is available to the continent through Kwesé’s multi-platform offering including linear TV, mobile app, web and streaming services, delivering premium entertainment to viewers anywhere, anytime, on any screen. Learn more #Kwese #RevoltTV

  7. Strive Masiyiwa Post author

    Ra Icon,

    Dear sir Strive Masiyiwa i have a friend who was pleading with everyone to buy products from hawkers especially recharge cards for mobile phones so as to keep the street entrepreneurs in business as digital recharging is rapidly growing and yet i am of the opinion that technology is not taking away jobs but rather improving it through brainware expertise. Do we really need to loose these hawkers due to growing Intel-tech revolution or keep them by reducing our usage of digital transactions.

    My reply,
    A Pastor from Zimbabwe once told me a story about a young man who came to see him, who was a street vendor selling Airtime Recharge cards:
    He used the money to send his siblings to school, and to look after his parents. He had even saved enough money to buy a car, and was now into other businesses!
    I felt totally humbled by the testimony, and it has always inspired me. You will never fully appreciate what it is to be an entrepreneur until you appreciate what it takes to be a vendor on the streets.
    And yet even the Airtime Recharge vendor is not exempt from the relentless march of technological change, just like the mobile operator themselves.

  8. Strive Masiyiwa Post author

    Achieng, writes:

    My question Mr Masiyiwa, what should an entrepreneur do in times if economic crisis? How can she ensure that her business withstand the tough times and doesn’t collapse or better still grows during such times?

    My reply,
    The best way to appreciate my posts, is to go back to the beginning of when I started writing. Even if you have been on the platform for a while, still make it a habit to go back now and again.
    In answer to your particular question, you will find that I spent quite a lot of time last year on dealing with business in a tough environment.
    Just on the data I have seen, continue to keep your belts very tight this year. We are quite a long way (in most African countries), from seeing a real recovery.

  9. Strive Masiyiwa Post author

    We finally launched the Satellite Tv service of Kwese Tv, this week. It was rather special to see customers in Ghana, Zambia, and Rwanda going to the dealers and buying decoders and dishes. We have trained more than 2500 installers, and we are training even more in 18 x countries.
    We are now busy shipping stocks to dealers in other countries, including Kenya, Uganda, Tanzania, and Botswana which are next target in March.
    I hope our launch gave you some insights, which you can use next time.

    • tatenda chihuri

      is kwese TV coming to zimvabwe. if yes how can have access to e decorders and e installation manual. I install satelite dish and decorders

  10. Strive Masiyiwa Post author

    “Seeing good”:
    Look at the picture of the two young guys selling flowers. How you “see” this, will decide whether you are an entrepreneur capable of creating jobs and wealth, or just a cynic who will never see good:

    Someone “sees” two possible criminals who might even break into his car. And that is certainly possible!
    But another person sees two enthusiastic entrepreneurs!
    What do you see?

    To be honest, every day, we are all confronted with situations, which we can either “see” through a lens of suspicion and derision, or we can “see” hope, good, and opportunity.
    The CHOICE of how you “see” is not in your eyes but in your heart.
    Even when I do good, I’m always conscious of the fact that there are those determined to “see” it with suspicion and derision, but I don’t mind them; you shouldn’t either.

  11. Strive Masiyiwa Post author

    Joram, writes:

    Very insightful, God bless you. One year is over now after I left formal employment to entrepreneurship. This was after reading your insightful articles .No retreating back, God bless you.

    My reply,
    In a few days, we will cross “2m likes”, and I think it is a good time to take a pause, and here more of your stories. I’m keen to learn about what you and others have done with some of my lessons.
    I will write about this in a few days.

  12. Strive Masiyiwa Post author

    My brother from Nigeria, asks:

    When are you coming to the commercial hub of Africa “Nigeria”, sir , I wouldn’t mind if you can bring me on board, though I’m nobody because only somebody get to somewhere in Nigeria, but I’d be glad to cook something delicious with kwese tv.

    My reply,
    We have learnt from experience that to be successful in Nigeria, you have to treat it like 10 countries in one, because of its huge size of 170m people. You must have a clear strategy of how you enter, and expand in such a complex market. When we come into Nigeria, all our resources will be just focused on it for several months; but believe me we are very busy on Nigeria.
    Meanwhile we are already broadcasting our free sports channel, called Kwese Free Sport. Please check it out if you are in Lagos or Abuja.

  13. Strive Masiyiwa Post author

    Kingsley, writes:

    Entrepreneurs are not deterred by any opposition of any sort. It is a mindset as you put it sir. I pray that many of our graduate will embrace entrepreneurship that is the only way we can transform Our Continent, Africa. God bless you sir, God bless Africa.

    My reply,
    I like that:
    “Entrepreneurs are not deterred by any opposition”.
    More often than not those who oppose you most are those who stand to benefit the most from your efforts. In some countries there are institutions which were set up, and exist only for the sole purpose of fighting me. I take it always in my stride, neither railing or riling. I alone know what God has put in me.

  14. Gabriel Kwaramba

    Dr Strive, your post about putting your ideas into action was really an inspiration. And you continue to lead by example (Kwese is another great idea in action)- in Zimbabwe, we cant wait to get this service, We know it can take a bit longer, but its definite that Kwese is coming. In fact, it’s already there because you are already sponsoring sport. Finally, as a result of your inspiration, this weekend I will be setting up the first stages for my dream agriculture business on a 3 hectare plot. One of your lessons always ring in my mind- “if I were a young entrepreneur starting out in Africa today, I would seriously consider agriculture”. Keep it up!


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