Image caption: Nigeria's first-ever Winter Olympic Team: Seun Adigun, Simi Adeagbo (Skeleton), Akuoma Omeoga and Ngozi Onwumere at our Kwesé TV offices in Lagos. (Nike just made a new short film called "Forever First" about Simi Adeagbo, the first ever female African athlete to compete in Skeleton).

Pause: #LionessRoar from Nigeria!

__Who said our women cannot do the “impossible”!?

On Friday (9th February) at 12 noon (Nigeria time) up to 1bn people around the world are expected to watch the Opening Ceremony of the 2018 Winter Olympics in PyeongChang, South Korea. A record number of African athletes will compete, and for the first time ever, a pan African broadcaster will beam the ceremony and the events that follow for the next 16 days, for FREE on one TV network!

Our Opening Ceremony coverage starts tomorrow at 11:50 am Nigeria time… Yes, Kwesé Sports will broadcast one of the biggest sporting spectacles in the world which until now was only available to the few richest people on the Continent.

The good news does not stop there: Eight African countries will send 13 athletes to compete! While that may not sound like very many, it’s more than ever before! Look out for our Olympic athletes from Eritrea, Ghana, Kenya, Madagascar, Morocco, Nigeria, South Africa, and Togo.

So far probably the story that has caught everyone’s imagination the most is the participation of a team of three women from Nigeria (former track and field stars) who have already made history by qualifying to compete for their country in a sport called Bobsleigh (aka Bobsled). They and another female athlete in a sport called Skeleton comprise Nigeria’s first-ever Winter Olympic team, where it’s (almost) never snowed!

About three years ago, Nigeria’s Bobsleigh team were great athletes but had actually never been in a Bobsleigh before, nor had they spent almost any time in snow… Nor did they own a Bobsleigh or any other equipment!

Friends and family helped at first, then they crowdsourced funds online, and finally found a few global brands to support them! Wow! Remember what I’ve written before about the importance of identifying good partners? Well done!

If you don’t know, Bobsleigh is like motor racing on ice, at speeds that can get up to 200 km per hour… but in a small sleek metal sled, all powered by gravity (and the strength and agility of the driver and her team)!

#AfricanLionessRoar!

These are about the fastest Africans ever, and they are women! Being a father of five daughters, I just swell with pride, guys! Now I know our daughters can do anything they want to do!

Nigeria and the rest of Africa are going to be following the progress of these and other world beating #LionessRoar women in the next few weeks!

__I urge every African father to sit with his daughters and watch these young women race against the world.

Tell your daughters: “Yes, you can do anything you want!”

And as for the #LionessMoms to each of these Africans from Nigeria… thank you!

Let’s all tune in and support them and all our African athletes (I’ll share some other amazing stories in the days ahead).

It’s free on Kwesé Free Sports (KFS) but if you want to see all the 300 Olympic events, then get a Kwesé decoder and go to Kwesé Channel 285 (you can watch even if you don’t have an active subscription!) There’s also pop up Channel 306 which provides our 24-hour Olympic coverage. Check for more details on Kwese.espn.com.

__Nothing excites me more than seeing Africans breaking barriers!

Watching people try out new things, particularly things we were not previously exposed to, is just so amazing for me. I find that being an entrepreneur begins with having an entrepreneurial mindset.

This means you are not afraid to try something new, or afraid of being embarrassed or ridiculed. Our Nigerian bobsleigh team appeared on some talk shows recently, including the Ellen DeGeneres Show, and have admitted to the world that it can be “terrifying” to race in that bobsleigh…

But they didn’t let fear get in their way! And look where they are today. You, too, can make history if you set your mind to it.

Let the games begin!

End.

 

 
by 23 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.

23 thoughts on “Pause: #LionessRoar from Nigeria!

  1. Strive Masiyiwa Post author

    Afterthought 1.

    As I thought about the African athletes going to the Winter Olympics this year, it reminded me of the first time a black soccer player joined a club in the then-English First Division (now called English Premier League). There were so many people who just laughed and mocked him. Let me tell you, 20 years from now, there will be nothing strange about African countries sending teams to the Winter Olympics!

    Reply
  2. Strive Masiyiwa Post author

    Afterthought 2.

    “The biggest thing is time management,” said Nigeria’s bobsleigh team leader and driver, Seun Adigan, one of few athletes who have ever qualified to compete in both summer and winter Olympic games. (She was a 100m hurdler for the Nigeria team in the London 2012 Summer Olympics).

    “You just plan it and you execute it in a manner that makes sense and is organized. And you’ll see the results, you’ll see the successes at the end. But time management is the number one key to being able to execute any and everything you need to do in life, especially when you have really big goals.”

    Reply
  3. Strive Masiyiwa Post author

    Afterthought 3.

    When Kwesé Sports decided to broadcast the Winter Olympics, some people thought we were crazy: “Who is going to watch them outside South Africa?!” someone exclaimed.

    “It’s our duty to expose our people to every sport. How can we have a tournament that’s going to be watched by hundreds of millions around the world, and no one in Africa sees it?” I replied.

    Reply
  4. Strive Masiyiwa Post author

    Quiz of the week:

    I will give a decoder or two months free subscription to the first person from any African country who can answer these questions:

    1. Give me the names (and countries) of all the other African athletes competing in the games.

    2. What Olympic sport(s) are they competing in?

    3. When is each athlete’s FIRST scheduled time to compete (date and time & be sure to put the time zone).

    Remember to put your country and the source of your research. (And check on Kwese.com/News in the next few days to find out if you’re a winner in our other recent quizzes!)

    Reply
  5. Strive Masiyiwa Post author

    Afterthought:
    Kwese Sports will be broadcasting the 2018 Fifa World Cup (June/July) throughout Africa, in the same way it is broadcasting the 2018 Winter Olympics. Some of the matches will be shown for free on Kwese Free Sports Channel (KFS), and the remainder will be on the Pay Channels.

    Reply
  6. Prince Kudzai

    Woow..!..#LionessRoar..This makes me proud to be born of an African mother..!!.. There is indeed much potential within African grandmother,mother and daughter..Bring it out African women,you are more than imagination..!!

    Reply
  7. Strive Masiyiwa Post author

    Glen writes,

    Sadly, too many of our people are closed and single track minded. For them, as far as they’re concerned, sports begins and ends with football, there’s only one genre of music, and the list goes on and on. We all need to open our minds to the variety of things, places, people and activities. One narrative doesn’t always tell it all!

    My reply,
    It will change as we increase their exposure to other sports. For example there has been an explosive growth in basketball since Kwese started to broadcast the NBA and other basketball leagues.
    As a broadcaster our mission is to give exposure to as much sport as possible, and not just soccer. We also want to expose young women and girls to other types of sports played by women around the world.

    Reply
  8. Strive Masiyiwa Post author

    # I love sport!
    I have seen every single World Cup soccer final since 1970! Most of them I saw on tv, but I have been to a few.
    I don’t see myself as a “soccer fan” but rather as a “sports fan”. I love sport in general and I know the rules of some of the most obscure sports and games you can imagine.
    I have been to some of the biggest finals of sports like cricket, tennis, yachting, motor racing, cycling, basketball, soccer, American football, Olympics, marathons, squash, golf, swimming, baseball… you name it!
    I love to see anything that celebrates life, high performance, endurance, and above all else #FairPlay, and integrity. I do not follow any sport in which there has been cheating. For years I refused to follow one of my favorite sports after evidence emerged that there had been cheating and rigging.
    # It is more important to win fairly and within the rules, than to win at any cost.

    I never dismiss what others enjoy doing, but I try to respectfully learn from them, as a way of increasing my exposure.

    And yet I do all things with moderation. I cannot allow myself to watch one team week in, week out putting all else aside.

    I can walk out of any tournament, anytime if something more important like my family, church, or other responsibility requires my attention. I once turned back at the airport in Sydney where I had gone for the Olympics because there was an urgent business matter. I would never choose a sports event over church or family events.
    #Enjoy Life!

    Reply
  9. Strive Masiyiwa Post author

    Afterthought:
    When one of my daughters was small she wanted to be a gymnast. Then a teacher told her that black kids were too heavy to be gymnasts! I was not amused, and neither was God by the looks of it, because soon after He gave the world Simone Biles [the young African-American gymnast who is now the greatest gymnast in history]!

    God has always disgraced racists, and other bigots who wish to stereotype others, ever since He punished Miriam (Moses sister) for racism!

    #Dont let anyone define what you can and cannot do!

    As for me and my family, we “can do all things through Christ who enables us for success”…

    Reply
  10. Strive Masiyiwa Post author

    ALERT!

    Watch out for “fake news”, and fraudsters using my name to generate publicity for themselves!

    Last week I warned some of you about the dangers of not checking for authentic sources of news and information. There are a lot of people making all sorts of claims, about where I’m or where I’m going.

    High profile personalities are always battling with people who create fake websites, and create false news stories.

    The people who do it are trying to find ways to generate publicity for themselves or even to steal money through false pretenses.

    One of the most common frauds these days is for someone to advertise that someone like me has agreed to attend a meeting. It gets people to come to the meeting, and then they announce I could not come during the meeting, having got people to come under false pretenses. Usually such people do not even bother to try and contact the high profile personality they claim to have invited.

    Last year we had at least 5 instances where this happened. In some instances people paid money to attend!

    It is a form of fraud, so don’t fall for it.

    If I plan to attend a meeting in which I would like some of my dear friends on this platform to attend, I will announce it on this platform.
    If it is not on this platform, then it’s not true, that I’m attending.
    We manage my travel schedules, and programs very carefully, and many months in advance.
    There is an extraordinary amount of planning that has gone on before I arrive at a meeting.

    My next big public event is in New York for the UN Sec General, next month. If someone tells you I’m going to be somewhere else, tell them you know me better than them.

    Reply
  11. Strive Masiyiwa Post author

    Tatenda writes,

    Thank you Doc for making the record straight. just yesterday saw one of our local news papers in Zimbabwe saying Strive Masiyiwa to address a business meeting next month in Zimbabwe.

    My reply,
    #Not true!

    We also read it in the newspapers, just like you. I’m actually slated to be in New York for a major UN global event on the proposed dates of this Zimbabwe event. So clearly I cannot be in two places at the same time.

    We get this kind of fraudulent story all the time. In some countries people have even taken money for conference attendance fees from unsuspecting entrepreneurs. I have even seen pamphlets and newspaper adverts claiming I’m a key note speaker!
    #Be careful when you see or hear something like that.

    What is also sad is how credible news outlets will also fall for this kind of false story and give it credibility. The story from Zimbabwe is an example of this type of nonsense. We have had similar stories in Nigeria, Kenya, Uganda…it goes on all the time.

    Nothing surprises me, because I know the mischief people get up to in order to either generate publicity or make money fraudulently.

    Anyway, keep an eye on THIS platform, because this is where we announce things like that. Also watch out for fake FaceBook, and Twitter accounts, and false “interviews” which did not occur.

    Reply
  12. Strive Masiyiwa Post author

    Reflection:
    Everything I have written on this platform I could have written in a book or perhaps several books. Who knows I may even have made money from it.
    As with any major undertaking I do, I prayed about it first. I then decided to offer it on this platform for FREE!

    Now if you know someone who has decided to turn it into a book, and sell it, remind them of the story of Gehazi when he decided to make money from the work of Elisha. There is a time and a place for us to write books, and make money. This is not that time.
    Share this material with your friends. Use it and apply what you can, but don’t try and make money from it by selling it through books I did not ask to be written.

    Reply
  13. Strive Masiyiwa Post author

    Kako writes,

    Mr. Masiyiwa. I will be glad if you pay me your attention to reply my burning questions.
    My name is KUOL from South Sudan, I have been following you for almost five years now and the hopes that you build in me keep me strong up to date
    Sir, my country engaged itself in war back in late 2013 which scare away most of investors and the situations seem not to improved. Our superior economy has been blown up. US dollar which used to be 1$ per 3 SSP is today 1USD -270 SSP. as an entrepreneur who been to hell and back, do you think there is any hope and chances for South Sudan economy to improve again..

    My reply,
    The situation in South Sudan is very sad.
    Our investment team made several visits to your country just before the war erupted.
    This is a pointless war which must end. It is one of the major challenges for us as Africans.
    I pray often for your country and it’s people, and I will not stop until peace returns.

    Reply
  14. Strive Masiyiwa Post author

    Banzornwa writes,

    Mentor, pls I want to ask you 2 personal questions. On this Platform you exposes us to business(investments) and sports. My questions are:
    #1. Can one assess a nation’s economic strength by her performance in sports?
    #2. Pls what is the first thing you do immediately you wake up in the morning?
    I will be glad for your generous replies.
    Thanks and God bless you more!

    My reply,
    Question #1:
    A nation’s performance in sport is directly related to the investment made in the country toward sport in general or specific sports. That investment includes money, training, talent identification, incentives for the athletes, and facilities for both athletes and fans.
    All nations are endowed (by God) with young men and women who can excel in sport and perform at the highest level for their country, but ultimately someone has to invest in the identification, training, and development of those athletes.
    There are well established models for financing and developing elite athletes including those who participate in things like the Olympics. It is remarkably simple. Just takes a bit of leadership and HONEST commitment, and it does not all involve governments.

    Remember the golden rule:
    “You cannot reap where you did not sow” (invest).

    Question #2:
    I sit down with my Bible, for at least one hour. On a day like today (Saturday and Sunday) I spend much more time. Then I go and pray (always include Praise and Worship). When I’m done, I go to the gym.
    That is my routine. What is yours?

    Reply
  15. Strive Masiyiwa Post author

    Joseph writes,

    im also told every morning you drink water melon juice. why is melon juice that important to you every morning?

    My reply,
    Hahaha!
    That is not true.

    I drink a lot of water because that is what doctors recommend that we all should do.

    Since I go to the gym, it is good to take some juice to help my energy levels.

    Exercise is important for everyone irrespective of gender or age. My wife who is 53 is very fit because she is in the gym every single day, and is also a strong swimmer.

    Health and wellness is critical for each one of us. It’s important to eat the right foods with a lot of fruit and vegetables. Avoid over consumption of meat and carbohydrates (pap, sadza, potatoes, breads, and Cassava). I eat very little meat, preferring fish.

    Don’t listen to “old wives tales” but rather the experts when it comes to diet and exercise.
    Take care of your health.

    Reply
  16. Strive Masiyiwa Post author

    Afterthought:
    If a ten year old sits down and drafts something they call “news”, and everything about it shows it was written by a ten year old, but you an adult still decide to believe it, what would it say about you?
    The Apostle Paul said “when I was a child I thought like a child, but when I became a man I put childish things away”.
    There are somethings that people hear and decide to share with others that are so outlandishly childish that you wonder if they themselves are not kids!
    If someone comes to you with “fake news” written by 10 year olds tell them to “put childish things away”!

    Reply
  17. Strive Masiyiwa Post author

    Afterthought:
    When radio was the hottest new technology in the 1930’s a young man did a fictitious radio play based on a Martian invasion of America.
    There were people who believed this “fake news”, and there was total panic across America:

    Here is an extract from The History Channel:

    “Perhaps as many as a million radio listeners believed that a real Martian invasion was underway. Panic broke out across the country. In New Jersey, terrified civilians jammed highways seeking to escape the alien marauders. People begged police for gas masks to save them from the toxic gas and asked electric companies to turn off the power so that the Martians wouldn’t see their lights. One woman ran into an Indianapolis church where evening services were being held and yelled, “New York has been destroyed! It’s the end of the world! Go home and prepare to die!”

    When news of the real-life panic leaked into the CBS studio, Welles went on the air as himself to remind listeners that it was just fiction. There were rumors that the show caused suicides, but none were ever confirmed.”

    #Please don’t tell people there has been a Martian invasion in an African country, because some gullible people might just believe you!

    Reply
  18. Strive Masiyiwa Post author

    Henry writes,

    Edited:

    NEW ZIMBABWE| Don’t fight or command capital if you want to grow the economy – warns business executive-

    Zimbabwe should desist from a culture of fighting capital if the country is to attract foreign direct investment in post-Mugabe era,…

    Tanganda Holdings finance director, Henry Nemaire, told a business dialogue held in this eastern border city last week that Zimbabweans should properly interrogate what attracts foreign capital.
    “It’s time for us to interrogate what makes capital happy or unhappy to be in Zimbabwe,” said past-president of the Confederation of Zimbabwe Industries (CZI). “We have to shake off the culture of the Mugabe-era where people would fight capital for personal gains. It’s a retrogressive and a communist culture which portrays business as enemy of the community.”

    Nemaire cited a recent newspaper article which sought to compel Econet subsidiary, Kwese TV, to partner and bail out the local football league. “He (the writer) simply got it wrong because Kwese TV is not mandated to partner local football league. Capital should not be forced; it is not amenable to command partnering. “Has DStv been forced to partner local football? It’s up to Kwese to partner the Mozambican PSL or Nigeria football clubs.
    “In the new dispensation if we want to see (Econet founder) Strive Masiyiwa flying into the country with business partners, we have to change our culture of doing business.” Zimbabwe, Nemaire continued, should emulate the enabling attitude towards capital evident in better run economies.
    “There is a culture adopted by developed countries such as UK, Japan, Turkey and others where they support capital. “They support Toyota, Unilever and it is the same businesses that support exports. It is Tanganda, Uniliver and Meikles that will grow the exports not government. ..

    My reply,
    We need more people across Africa to engage in this type of economic discourse. This discussion is applicable to many other African countries, and not just Zimbabwe.

    Reply

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