Pause: Our partnership with Bishop T.D. Jakes.

More than 20 years ago, I came across the teachings of an American pastor called T.D. Jakes and I would listen to him whenever I had the opportunity. Although I listened to his teachings on television and the Internet, I hadn’t actually met him until a few months ago.

There I was in Hollywood, discussing programming for KweséTV with major film studios… I told them I wanted to introduce our viewers to “values-based” shows, series, and films. By this, I mean I believe there needs to be more “vision” in television and film — programs that really inspire and encourage greatness of mind, heart and Spirit.

Immediately, one of them said to me: “Have you seen the movies produced by Bishop T.D. Jakes?”

“No, not really. I know he acted in one or two Christian movies, but does he also produce?”

“Where have you been?” they all said, in disbelief. “T.D. Jakes is one of the most accomplished producers in America today.”

“You mean, Bishop T.D. Jakes?!”


“He is also an amazing entrepreneur.”

“Really?!  I thought he was just a Pastor!”

“Who says he cannot be a movie producer, a singer and entrepreneur, as well?  This guy is one of the best entrepreneurs in America.”


After leaving the meeting, I said to my team: “Find me everything you can about T.D. Jakes. I need to know what the good Bishop has been doing.”

My people are very good at this kind of research and within a few hours I had my report.

All I could say was, “Wow, wow, wow!”

Bishop T.D. Jakes, has made nine films including the box office hit, “Heaven is for Real” in 2014 which grossed over $100m worldwide! He’s a bestselling author and has made 20 music albums, even winning a Grammy.

Through our Hollywood contacts, we reached out to see if I could meet him to discuss how we could collaborate on KweséTV. To my surprise, it turned out that he was actually in South Africa at the time, even as I was in the US.

We agreed to meet in South Africa when we were both there.

“I have 12m followers on social media and many are in Africa,” he began to tell me over a lunch in Johannesburg.

I was totally amazed by what he has been doing in the film industry, and even as an entrepreneur.

“Bishop, I want you on KweséTV,” I said to him.

“Let’s talk,” he smiled.

It was a great meeting! Afterwards, we prayed together.

As President Barack Obama said: “What makes Bishop Jakes special is that no matter your station in life, he’s there to speak with you, to pray with you, and to see you as an equal in the eyes of God.

Fast forward, many months later:

Bishop Jakes and I met on stage last weekend at the most prestigious event for the black film industry, known as the American Black Film Festival (ABFF). It is attended by mostly black industry players from the US, Africa, the Caribbean, and Europe. It’s a place for buyers of programming like Kwesé to do deals with producers and studios.

Bishop Jakes and I announced that we would be working together to produce original programming, specifically for KweséTV.

Now how cool is that?

Well, watch this space. It’s our time.


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: Our partnership with Bishop T.D. Jakes.

  1. Strive Masiyiwa Post author

    Afterthought 1.
    One reason I set up KweséTV is that I believe the time has come for Africans to tell their own stories. We recently held meetings in South Africa with leading producers, directors, and creative writers to discuss how Kwesé can work with them to tell “our story.” This is only the beginning.

    • Lombe Ng'andu

      Amazing sir, this will give Africa an identity, n a sense of pride… Wen we wr growing up all we watched wr Disney cartoons with Western stories… Ts time our time… Africa will remember u…

  2. Strive Masiyiwa Post author

    Afterthought 2.
    Do you know the name of Bishop T.D. Jakes’ latest movie to hit the box office in March this year? This is something he said about this film: “This movie reminds all of us of our responsibility to take care of each other. To go beyond the requirements of our day-to-day job…to do kind acts for people in crisis. It is rewarding not only for the person who is the recipient of your kindness, but it is also rewarding to you.”

  3. Strive Masiyiwa Post author

    Afterthought 3.
    Did you know that the movie industry in Nigeria is believed to employ more people than the oil industry?

  4. Strive Masiyiwa Post author

    Afterthought 4.
    Can you name 10 leading Hollywood actors from Africa, or of African heritage?

    • Chipashu Wilfred

      Tongayi Anorld Chirisa
      Benjamin Ochieng
      Peter Mensah
      Chiwetulu Ejofor
      Boris Kodjoe
      Edi Gathegi
      David Bailie
      Edi Gathegi
      Prince David Osei
      Adewalle Akinnouye-Agbaje

    • Chiedza Mutandwa

      Danai Gurira,Lupita Nyong’o,Charlize Theron, Tia Mowry,Tamera Mowry, Jennifer Hudson, Kevin Hart, Zoe Saldana, Zendaya and Trevor Jackson.

    • Lombe Ng'andu

      ¹. LUPITA NYONG’O – Twelve years a slave.
      3. DJIMON HOUNSOU – blood diamond & Fast 7 he was perfect for the roles.
      4. BENJAMIN OCHIENG- always reminds me of ‘Tears Of The Sun .
      5. PETER MENSAH ofcos.
      6. DAVID BAILLIE – Pirates of the Caribbean.
      7. IDRIS ELBA- his role as Nelson Mandela in’ Long Walk to Freedom’ earned him a Golden Globe nomination.
      9. Gugu Mbatha-Raw
      10. JOHN KANI- Did great in Captain America: Civil War

  5. Teneil Fedy

    Thank you Sir for the post. It’s very inspiring. 10 leading Hollywood actors from Africa, or of African heritage are: Edi Gathegi, Chiwetelu Ejiofor, Djimon Hounsou, adewale akinnuoye-agbaje, benjamin ochieng, Boris Kodjoe, Peter Mensah, prince david osei, adhir kalyan, david bailie.

  6. yohann Heritier

    Sir, you have been inspiring many in the francophone part of Africa. I remember last year when i came into with your content it was just amazing…. it came to me at a time when i was looking how i could add value to fellow youths like me.
    Sir, you ask what do i have in my hands?
    I have a PC, a smartphone and i have your content. I translated many of your writings into french and i am ready to launch a page with the vision of making a platform like the one of where many wanna-be-entrepreneurs and entrepreneurs will find great content that will inspire them more. I will be posting your content there is french and stating the source under
    Right now i have a facebook page @yohannheritier where i have more than 5K likes where i do share on entrepreneurship and it’s been amazing so far.
    Sir, i will be giving updated to you via your blog and ur yookos profile.
    Merci beaucoup Monsieur.

  7. Lombe Ng'andu

    I am excited about Kwese, I hop it will hit Zambia… I could pay billion to download your mind… Much respect… I have set a goal to meet you in person one day…

  8. Lombe Ng'andu

    I always wondered why Nollywood with over 1500 movies released per year only made about $600m/annum … Avatar alone was grossing at over $2b a few weeks in… This tells me Nollywood has a huge potential n Kwese could be key. As Strive Masiyiwa said, content is key…
    Ts our time…

  9. Denzel

    Thanks very much Mr Strive Masiyiwa . You have motivated me on how to manage a buseness.God bless you for your work you have done to people.

  10. Patience

    This is great! How does an African producer get an opportunity to pitch a concept to Kwese TV? Undoubtedly the creative industry can play a big part in African economies if we can develop, produce and distribute high quality African stories. We are falling into the African consumerism trap in film and TV as well whereby we are exporting stories to be told by Studios abroad with non- African talent and then we buy back finished goods by way of purchasing tickets at cinema multiplexes across Africa and none of the money remains in Africa’s creative industries. We can change this by partnering with established players as you have done which helps with quality, expertise, distribution etc but we also need to graft in qualified African talent. I would love to get the opportunity to pitch a concept for a faith based TV series to Kwese. Thank you.


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