E76GRJ Close up portrait of little African girl pointing with finger at blank computer screen.

Pause: Your turn!

__Tell me about the things you’ve done.

A few days ago, we reached the landmark of “2m Likes” on our platform. Together we have built a community that extends throughout Africa, and around the world.

I have shared a lot of personal experiences from my own journey as an entrepreneur. My intention was always to help you extract lessons and principles which can help you as an entrepreneur (both profit and non-profit) and in life generally. Not everyone is an entrepreneur, but we’re all keen to have an impact in life.

Whilst I will still continue to share lessons with you, I now want to turn this platform over to your experiences and stories as well.

I’m keen to hear about the things you’ve done. So every week I’ll carefully study your posts to pick out stories, and even testimonies, that we can follow up. I’ll write about some of them. Others we’ll visit later through Kwesé Inc. and put them on television.

Please don’t write essays, or give away trade secrets or intellectual property. Remember, when you have an idea which you think is a new innovation, or even an invention, don’t go around telling everyone you meet (including your friends). This is like leaving your wallet on a bar counter and walking away!

And please don’t give addresses or phone numbers. My team will find you, if you have posted. Just give us your full name and country.

I’ll only read those Comments which are a maximum of two paragraphs (remember I also have a business to run, and this is not it.) Tell me what I said, and how it either inspired you to change something, or to start something.

And if I don’t write about you, don’t get disappointed. I’m not looking for the best, and it’s not a competition! We will all learn something from what others learned and did.

This is why I urge you to read the Comments of your colleagues on this platform. Believe me, I read them, and I learn a lot… You have collectively given me more than I have given!

Apart from the upcoming contest to choose two interns who will come to work at Kwesé TV this year, and spend a week with me, we’ll also invite some of the entrepreneurs who appear on Kwesé TV to visit me, and have lunch or something!

The competition to choose the two interns is still being developed by our team and independent panel. I’d hoped it would start in January, but everyone has just been too busy with the launch of Kwesé TV. I promise we will get it done soon!

Now I’m sure many of you will remember something I’ve talked a lot about before:

“Go where the need is greatest, and help the smallest. . .”

Have you tried to do this? Tell me about it. You can share other stories, too. It’s your turn!

To be continued. . .

by 31 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.

31 thoughts on “Pause: Your turn!

  1. Strive Masiyiwa Post author

    Afterthought 1. Last week we finally completed the acquisition of a telecoms operator in South Africa called Neotel. We paid more than R6,5bn ($500m). When you buy a company this large in any country, there are many regulatory processes to be followed before the deal actually closes, and you’re allowed to take over the company. Let me tell you, this was the real “Buffalo Hunter” story!

    I welcome the more than 1000 employers of Neotel to the Econet Global family. The company will be merged with Liquid Telecom South Africa. We’re already planning to invest hundreds of millions of dollars.

  2. Clifton Ngungu

    Hie Dr Masiyiwa

    I am passionate about African economic empowerment and have sacrificed heavily as well as made significant progress towards achieving that goal. Through e-commerce we are facilitating distribution of fast moving consumer goods for SME manufacturers and distributors. Our services are powered by a mobile app called WyiZe Shopper that is live on the Google Play Store. I studied Actuarial and Financial Mathematics at the University of Pretoria and have worked on a business model that will bring value to the telecoms sector, financial services and retail sectors. Through strategic partnerships with various entities (banks, insurance companies, telecoms, manufacturers/‐distributors and retailers) we plan to achieve our goal of empowering the African society. Below is a video showing the work WyiZe Shopper is doing on the ground in Zimbabwe. http://woobox.com/t7kzv8/gallery/‐e8ign8H5BWY Below are links to blogs that WyiZe Shopper is affiliated with. http://www.facebook.com/WyiZeShopper http://www.facebook.com/LightedTrading http://www.facebook.com/ballyhoosocial http://www.facebook.com/Entrepreneur-Archives http://www.facebook.com/BallyhooZimbabwe

    Regards, Clifton Ngungu

  3. Clifton Ngungu

    you said when you ventured into mobile tech you noticed and acknowledged the presence of an informal. This inspired me to solve the problems many of our informal traders face in Africa through e-commerce, hence WyiZe Shopper was born.

  4. Gabriel Kwaramba

    “Don’t wait, just start!”- these few words you once posted in one of your articles, are still written in my mind like the writings on the Moses-era tablets (very embedded).And your efforts were not in vain- I have just started a small agriculture business which will prove that any small piece of land can be transformed into a viable commercial agricultural entity. Part of the capital shall be coming from the sale of my personal car- as the master taught!

  5. Balogun Adewale

    The spirit to be an entrepreneur has being there from the beginning but there are big challenges till date, but I never quit. Despite my love to be well educated, I never have the privileged to have a sponsor, but I managed to have Bsc equivalent from Chartered Institute of Administration, Nigeria in Financial Administration with my final year research project title “E-commerce, A revolution to Economic Development”. This was 2002, when internet is still very new in Nigeria, but I have always read Harvard Business Review in my school library, and always looks forward for the new edition which was where I read a lot about computer, internet and related technology. I read and love finance, but my love for ICT grow stronger the more I read about it and I think the two tangled, so I think I have something to work on.
    After graduation, I immediately became a commission agent to a stock broking firm in 2004, it was this same time that the buzz about Online FOREX Trading commence in Nigeria and I fall for it, losing millions of naira including people’s money, so devastating. Trying to follow my passion for ICT amidst the big debt at hands up till 2011, I manage to start a Basic ICT Training and Services Centre where I commence 3 months free computer training for N1,500. Till date I have personally managed to train over 350 students in which 65% of that number is on scholarship since 80% of those interested cannot even afford the small fee we ask. This has got me thinking of going into social enterprise of free ICT training. In the main time, I decided to create an avenue to share my knowledge via blogging and I am able to put together http://www.empowermite.com using http://www.blogger.com . I am also workin on a project which I have register the domain name http://www.wiyng.com . Thank you so much sir, you are my ROLE MODEL.

  6. Sharon Rapetswa

    I have achieved in just 5 months to recruit 7 Franchisees for my tripleshine microfranchises in Limpopo Province South Africa and i was inspired by you when you spoke about the franchising ideas and you inspired me to look at life in a different way and invest in my “toolbox”… Hence i now know that i can not be an entrepreneur and not have Wifi, an office to operate from, a laptop and all things that i need to execute my mission. i now respect my tools and i know they need to be mantained on a constant basis. you are mentor… i do what i do because i am looking at you…and one day i want to drink a cup of coffee with you.


    Thank you so much Strive for being an African world changer. This gives me confidence that even me i can do something to change and influence the world. I love your persistence, and love the fact you don’t settle for less.
    I am looking forward to this interesting journey with you.


  8. Bamidele Sulaiman

    Congratulations Dr. on the acquisition. That’s another giant stride you’ve taken there, more strength to your elbows.
    I’m learning fast from all the great and practicable ideas you’ve been sharing with us on this platform. May God grant you long life and good health to illuminate the world the more.

  9. Emmanuel osimhi

    this platform has been a great learning center for me.
    It started 2011 March when I had to travel to see my aunt in Abuja Nigeria, and her daughter was processing her papers to travel to hongkong for studies and she was suppose to scan some document to send to the agent in charge of the processing, to my surprise a page of the document was been charged for 150 Naira and I got angry because I have a printer and scanner that is at home idle, that was when the idea of opening a cyber cafe came up, because as at that time I was jobless and till date I have been an employer. thank you Dr. Strive Masiyiwa for your powerful ideas you have shared on this platform.

  10. Bamidele Sulaiman

    Dear Sir, i wish to let you know that i have managed to build a franchise i bought a few years back to a profitable level. The network has gone viral now and over a thousand partners are working with me now.
    I have seen more opportunities at the top now and going by your tutelage, i am just ready to plunge into new ideas.
    Thanks a lot.

  11. Strive Masiyiwa Post author

    Nonnie Roberson,

    Go where the need is and help the smallest.

    I was shocked to find out that in Nigeria, babies, children are detained alongside their motheres. I started a project called “Detained by Birth ” children whose only crimes are being born by incarcerated mothers. When a woman is incarcerated, the children, babies get incarcerated as well. Yes, they stay in children with their mom.

    Detained by Birth project is raising the awareness of the plight of these children. We also take foods, diapers, toys etc to the prisons .

    Caleb is 14yrs old, have spent all his life in prison with his mum, the mum still has 10 more years to go…what is Caleb,s crime…

    Thus we found area of greatest need and we are helping the smallest. There’s somuch I could say, but this isn’t the forum for it. Thank you

    My reply,
    You are amazing!
    Well done.
    God bless you.

  12. Strive Masiyiwa Post author


    I remember the story of african student who is into agriculture and making it big. Im into the helping profession, its been a great challenge leaving all behind to search for purpose. Im glad i found that in help. As a social worker i currently work with vulnerable women who were victims of prostitution to rehabilitate, reform and rebuild them back to society. This is not business, its building lives and preparing a better future for many others in the nearest future. I also work with vulnerable children, and in Nigeria where i reside, we need all the help we can get to protect our women and children. Thanks and keep up the good work.

    My reply,
    Thank you for sharing this.
    You will always be blessed.
    Africa needs more people like you.
    God bless

  13. Strive Masiyiwa Post author

    Ndianabasi, writes:

    Thank you for your lessons Dr. Masiyiwa. After reading your lesson about business processes, I did further reading on the subject and gained lots of insights into how to structure my business for growth. I have put in place checklists for quality control during manufacturing of furniture items, instructions for delivery, specifications for material purchases, and manual for customer service.

    My business, Furnish.NG, uses ecommerce, engineering, and manufacturing technologies to provide customers all over Nigeria access to highly-customised furniture items.

    My reply,
    This is really great!
    You are on the right path.
    Well done.

  14. Strive Masiyiwa Post author

    This is the most amazing response, I could have imagined!
    This is just amazing. Keep them coming.

  15. Strive Masiyiwa Post author

    Dirug, writes:

    The community I was raised was more of Nazareth in Jerusalem, instead of whining I decided to see an opportunity in the midst of all, I chose to live purpose which I knew I’m gifted in writing even though no one could help and father could not afford financing me through college, so I kept on improving myself by self education, buying tapes and CDs, some of which I can recall by Zig Zigla ‘success for dummies’.

    I started to cave a niche by publishing a pamphlet and that’s how it began and mum keeps on encouraging me. With no college degree, I’ve written seven books, some published and some yet to, with that I’ve been able to sponsor myself through college and kept on touching lives wide and beyond..

    My reply,
    I want to see your books. My assistant will reach out to you.
    I still want you to keep up with the education, as well. Let’s see how I can help.

  16. Strive Masiyiwa Post author

    Sylvester, writes:

    Go where the need is greatest and help the smallest. I grow up as a busterd child in Gokwe rural areas.In 2001,my mother passed away and I started to with certain family as a herdboy(fudza mombe) so I have experienced every pain of being an opharn. Through that pain,today I heading a family of 5opharns providing them all essential needs except for basic education because I don’t have money.

    My reply,
    You should not look down on yourself, or feel sorry for yourself. You are a great man, and tell anyone who looks down at you, that “Strive Masiyiwa said, I am one of the greatest people he knows about”.
    My people will reach out to you so we can be partners in your great work, which is God’s work.

  17. Strive Masiyiwa Post author


    Well, it is said that change starts with me and you! Dr. your informative business articles have really changed my perception on how to do business! I am from Mombasa, Southern Coast of Kenya and am a proud social entrepreneur having started a school to help poor children get education, thanks to your posts. Be blessed.

    My reply,
    I’m proud of you!

  18. Strive Masiyiwa Post author

    Francis, writes:

    just as Maureen alikor puts it, based on what you’ve always talk abt, “go where the need is greatest. this is what I’ve done.. after searching intensely on the greatest need in my community. I found out that, small business owners such as retailers are often neglected by our today’s banking sector. including their high terms and conditions loans, making the average retailers unable to apply or get loans which has affected their businesses in one way or the other. I’ve created a mini micro-finance firm called, encomfinance. our micro finance basically deals with the average class in the community. making loans more affordable with simple and easy terms and conditions, and without collateral. we also educate them on how to make their business by applying the principles I’ve learn from you. which have been of a great help to them. so far so good, we’ve been able to reachout to 500 small retailers in the society at large and still counting. and due to our quick progress and growth, other micro finances have written proposals asking to partner with us. This has been an amazing experience.we’re currently seting up a campaign on poverty eradication. thAnk you so much sir!

    My reply,
    I’m excited by your initiative.

  19. Strive Masiyiwa Post author


    It was one of your posts that kept me on the lookout for opportunity to provide solutions to people’s needs. I was transferred to a new department in the firm where I work and there, I met a colleague of mine who made different flavors of yoghurt for sale to co-workers. I observed that people who come to purchase always wanted something to munch with it while some others just wanted something to keep their mouths busy. To cut the long story short, I returned from work one weekend as a banker and came back the next day as a banker cum peanut seller. Well packaged peanuts in small plates which later became bigger attractive plastic bottles upon request from my colleagues/customers.

    The business has since been growing even though with some challenges but your post on ‘Eagle in the Storm’ spurs me to keep moving. I acquired some key tools and still in the process of acquiring some more based on your advise to invest in our major tools. I also created an online form on Cognito Forms to aid ordering and collect customer information after you stressed the need to go digital. I’m working on building a website or blog for it. You once said that we should get a website as soon as we are serious about setting up a business. I still have a long way to go but with people like you, I believe my distance will be shortened. And my mistakes greatly reduced.

    Thank you for the invaluable role you play in Africa and for Africans. God bless you Sir.

    My reply,
    You are an amazing student. Please watch Kwese Inc, because it will take you to another level.

  20. Strive Masiyiwa Post author

    Jonas, writes:

    “Go where the need is greatest and help the smallest”… for sometime now, I together with some couple of childhood friends decided to go back to our Village, Ada in the greater Accra region of Ghana and replicate what is done in the cities by organizing vacation classes for free for our younger brothers and sisters in the town who couldn’t afford quality education in the area. And the result so far has been outstanding… thanks Dr for your constant encouragement, mentorship and inspiration

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

  21. Strive Masiyiwa Post author

    Joy, writes:

    I visited a friend at UTH, because I heard that she was looking after a grandson who had been admitted in the children’s ward. When I got there I found that the boy who was in hospital has got severe Cerebral Palsy and has been like that for the last twelve years. He can’t walk, doesn’t talk and his grandmother has been caring for him all these years as his parents died not too long after he was born. Inspite of knowing the grandmother for a number of years, I didn’t know that she had such a challenge as she is always smiling and upbeat about things(if you know what I mean). However on that day in hospital I saw something in her eyes that touched my heart and I vowed to help in any little way that I could.

    My reply,
    What can I say?
    That is the love of God!
    You are blessed. Stay in touch.

  22. Strive Masiyiwa Post author


    Go where the need is greatest and help the smallest- I had always thought I was vulnerable because my sisters and I are girls and that meant investing in us was a waste of time and resources but my mother made enormous sacrifices to ensure we went to school and today I am living my dreams as a linguist/communicator and a development worker.
    After graduating, I joined an NGO to reduce social, health and economic barriers to girl child education in rural communities. I discovered girls could be more vulnerable and marginalized than I was years back. Today, inspired by your so many words, I founded StandWithAGirl (SWAG) Initiative dedicated to ensuring every girl in Nigeria no matter where she lives, reaches her full potentials.
    Thank you and God bless you Mr Strive

    My reply,

    You are the best of Africa, and the world.

  23. Strive Masiyiwa Post author


    I will try to send link of my testimony that appeared on E-TV /TBN via life by design through Rivers Church ; I’m a miracle and blessed , ‘From being homeless sleeping in the Streets of Jozi To Street vendor at (Traffic) Lights from Traffic light to Washing dishes in restaurant from washing dishes to waiter from waiter to courier driver from driver to National operations Manager (own my own house) started my own business through your mentorship step by step I sold my leave days to fund the business and Tagme Branding Pty Ltd was born and is growing #Thankyousir.

    My reply,
    I’m proud of you.
    You are going to be a great entrepreneur.

  24. Strive Masiyiwa Post author

    Kwese Inc,
    If you are in Rwanda, Ghana, and Zambia, and have been watching Kwese Inc, I would like to hear from you. I want to know which is your favorite entrepreneurial show, so far.
    If you are not in those countries, be patient; it’s coming. We have found a way to accelerate our roll out into other countries—shhhh!

  25. Strive Masiyiwa Post author

    Thank you!
    For all your kind comments on the acquisition of Neotel South Africa.
    Even though I was not talking directly about it, if you review my posts of the last year; you will find that I shared with you many lessons from the process involved in such a major acquisition.
    From the moment I first wrote to the former owners to “express our interest to buy”, to the time we actually paid, and took over the business, was just over 14 months.
    It took extraordinary team effort.
    One day some of you will do deals 100x bigger than this. You just have to master the principles, and “study to show yourself approved”.

  26. Strive Masiyiwa Post author

    Use “contrary winds” to drive down your roots!
    Along the way you are going to be opposed by others often for no reason whatsoever. It is just the way it is in time and space. And when it happens, take advantage:
    Let it drive down your roots really deep!
    These contrary winds will make you sharper, quicker, agile, and wiser.

  27. Strive Masiyiwa Post author

    Miriam, from Zambia, asks:

    Am in Zambia, how do i subcribe to kwese inc,i hear it was launched?
    Thank you

    My reply,
    You can only watch Kwese Inc, if you have a satellite decoder from Kwese Tv. These are being sold by dealers in Zambia. All you need is to visit our website Kwese.Com, and it will give you a list of dealers in your city.
    For those of you not in Zambia, Ghana, or Rwanda, decoders will go on sale in most of your countries in the coming three months.
    We will also introduce a “catch up” services so you can go back to episodes you missed.
    Kwese Inc, is not the only channel, you will find more than 60 other channels that might interest you and your family.

  28. Strive Masiyiwa Post author

    Robert, from Liberia, writes:

    I am Robert W. Seton from Liberia, been following u. I started a bar business that I almost give up on but with your advice,courage and hope you give I was able to re-strategize and when u said we should strive to find solutions to problems facing mankind through our businesses I added restaurant since there was a need for one with the quality and service I envisioned. The results are awesome.

    My reply,
    Robert I think you are going to benefit greatly from watching The Profit, which will be on Kwese Inc. As soon as our license for Liberia is cleared, I’m going to send you a free Decoder and Dish, and I will pay for your first 6 months of subscription. Meanwhile download the Kwese App, and look at Kwese Inc (use a wifi network).

  29. david unyime

    Wow, i am always inspired by your write-ups. In the past, i have always dreamed to be a Lecturer in my alma mater. This dream was heighten when i learned that one will be given an automatic employment if he/she graduates with a 1st Class or atleast graduate top of the Class. i did my best to come out top of my class but sadly, the school management didn’t make good their promises.
    i was discouraged but not until i saw your post on facebook. i decided to follow you and learn all i can. Today, from all i have garnered from you, i have come up with a great idea and will be launched in 2weeks time.

    Thank you Dr Strive.


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