Reflection: What do you see ahead?

__Plan to seize the entrepreneurial moment!

As an entrepreneur, you must always look very carefully for opportunities to make maximum public impact with a product or service, whether new or existing. Global events like the World Cup and Olympics, for example, must be approached not just as a consumer or sports fan, but with the “eagle eye” of an entrepreneur…

# Make impact and build momentum for a product or service.

# Make money because they are huge business opportunities!

After winning our long five-year legal battle for a license in Zimbabwe, someone on my team asked me when we should launch our mobile service:

“There is a perfect moment,” I said.

“The World Cup final in July 1998!”

Does it surprise you that I chose that day to announce on national TV the launch of Econet Wireless Zimbabwe?

Why that day? Entrepreneurial answer: To achieve maximum public impact!

Fast forward to this World Cup:

# Buffalo Hunter principle #1: Timing and patience towards a goal!

This World Cup is actually the real launch of Kwesé TV! (So what have we been doing all this time some of you might ask? Testing and developing!)

I came into this game to launch “mobile” TV.

Key to this service is Kwesé iflix, our new mobile app which launched this week, with an amazing line-up of sports and entertainment, live and on-demand…

__Including all 64 FIFA World Cup 2018 matches (32 will be free including all the Africa team matches on your mobile phone, if you’re in participating countries!)

Look out in Afterthought #1 below and more soon, for opportunities to win 30-day VIP vouchers to watch all the World Cup matches free on the Kwesé iflix app, plus 2000+ hours of other free content!)

Create momentum! It’s all about getting impact and momentum!

Now I can comfortably predict that by the end of the 2018 FIFA World Cup Russia™ final, Kwesé iflix will be the biggest TV platform in African TV history.

The key to our distribution of this service is getting the mobile operators in each market to integrate their billing systems and offer special data bundles to support the service. It is beginning to happen!

This has been really hard and time consuming…! But many are now Live with Kwesé iflix, and more are going Live over the World Cup including: Safaricom (Kenya), Tigo (Tanzania), Vodacom (Tanzania), MTN (Ghana), Airtel (Nigeria), MTN (Nigeria), 9 Mobile (Nigeria), Airtel (Uganda), MTN (Uganda), and Econet (Zimbabwe).

Several more partners are going to be launching beyond that!!

Please support me by downloading the App (if it’s available in your country) right now, and try it out for a few minutes. If you like it, ask friends to do the same.

You are witnessing a unique television revolution @Kwesé iflix!

# Buffalo Hunter principle #2: “Don’t make perfect the enemy of good.”

Some consumers will compare you with existing products and their criticism can even be harsh. The entrepreneur who finally succeeds locks in to their vision!

Just keep listening, perfecting and working until you get it right. Don’t fight the criticism! (I have never launched anything which was not initially derided or even laughed at…)

Remember this: “We are all consumers but only a few of us entrepreneurs as well…”

Never get so carried away with what is happening that you forget you are supposed to be an entrepreneur! Remember what I said earlier: We are all consumers, but not all of us are entrepreneurs…

How have you positioned your business to make money out of the World Cup this year?

If you’re from Egypt, Morocco, Nigeria, Senegal or Tunisia, and you have not yet planned to make money out of this… then you still need to become a “@Real wiredEntrepreneur”!

Enjoy the World Cup and Kwesé iflix! Let us all unite behind our continent at the World Cup!

To be continued. . .


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 “Reflection: What do you see ahead?

  1. Strive Masiyiwa Post author

    Afterthought 1.

    The first person to provide the correct answer to all these questions will win an all-expense paid trip to watch one match at 2018 FIFA World Cup Russia™. Remember if you edit your answer, the edit time is what counts.

    The Kwesé iflix app is currently available in Ghana, Kenya, Nigeria, Tanzania, Uganda, Zambia, and Zimbabwe – so it might be hard for those outside these countries to participate. Don’t worry, we will open up the app up in more markets as we continue to build the service – but not in time for this particular competition.

    # You MUST state in your entry that you already have a valid passport to travel.

    # You must also include the name of your country.

    # After my team selects #1, they will also choose the next 100 VIP vouchers that gives you unlimited 30 day access to Kwese iflix, including all 64 World Cup matches Live.

    Please remember: ONLY answer under this Afterthought or you will not be eligible.

    #1. What is the channel listed first in the Live TV section of the App?

    #2. Name one TV show that is available for FREE (all episodes free)

    #3. What are the names of all five football players featuring on the Kwesé iflix Home Page. For EACH player tell me: 1) their national team; 2) their current professional team; and the 3) position they usually play.

    #4. True or False? You can download movies and series on Kwesé iflix and watch them later.

    A: True/False

    #5. True or False? Once you stop a movie or series on Kwesé iflix you can continue it from where you left it.

    A: True/False

    Note: You can only participate within this Quiz via my Facebook page

  2. Strive Masiyiwa Post author

    Afterthought 2.

    These games and other big global events that take place in your country or even local community are @Buffalo Hunter opportunities! You think that sounds crazy? Well, when South Africa won the 2010 WC, I called a team of my most entrepreneurial guys and asked one blunt question:

    “Tell me how we are going to make money in this?”

    We kicked around some ideas over a few months and even years to come. We made so much money from World Cup 2010 SA, it would embarrass me even to tell you!


    #1. Think as an entrepreneur first and foremost!
    #2. Plan early!
    #3. Use what you have in your hand!

  3. Strive Masiyiwa Post author

    Afterthought 3.
    NBA Finals: My wife is an avid fan of the team that won this year’s finals. I was upset when the tournament ended after 4 games instead of 7… She knew why!

    “I could use another three games!”

  4. Strive Masiyiwa Post author

    Afterthought 4.
    When Nigeria qualified I said:

    “This is huge for business. What an opportunity, we must start planning right away!”

    My heart [during that game] was with Zambia (where I lived as a child in exile), but my entrepreneurial head was with Nigeria.

    And I would have preferred Zambia to Egypt, because I have no business in Egypt… yet!

    Sorry, Mo Salah! You’re amazing and we hope your shoulder is healing well, but business is business…
    And when I sit down to watch any game Egypt play I will be fully behind them, during the game!

    Now if my response upsets you then you are not looking at it as an entrepreneur but as a consumer! This platform is about entrepreneurship. I train entrepreneurs…Lol!

  5. Strive Masiyiwa Post author

    Jason writes,

    Mr Strive Masiyiwa, we need eco MEDICAL AID Society now! Doctors are expensive in Zimbabwe!

    My reply,
    With respect to you Jason, this is not what I try to achieve on this platform. This is not a “consumer’s platform”, but an “entrepreneur’s” platform. This means that if you see a problem, you try and solve it by going into business [YOURSELF] to solve it!
    You do not need an “EcoMedical Aid”, we need your [Put your name there] Medical Aid business.
    Come on Jason, you can do it!
    If you are new to this platform, then stay with us, and before long we will help you become a successful entrepreneur who runs a Medical Aid scheme, because it has your name on it!

  6. Strive Masiyiwa Post author

    Jerry writes,

    Absolutely true. One entrepreneur cannot create all the solutions to Africa’s challenges. We need grasp the enterprise principles being taught here so that Dr Masiyiwa can multiply himself in us and together we create critical mass to radically transform Africa into an economic power house.

    We are learning Dr Strive Masiyiwa . We are transforming Africa one by one .

    My reply,
    This comment deserves a special prize!
    My Assistant will reach out to you and arrange for you to come to travel with me to one of my business events.
    Well done!

  7. Strive Masiyiwa Post author

    Austin writes,

    I didn’t see the “Warriors” coming Strive.

    I was rooting for Cavs and their loss gave me a fair share of a heartache.

    I too would want to know what Tsitsi Masiyiwa would say.

    I kept an eye on her Twitter handle hoping to hear a mention about the NBA finals but nada!

    My reply,
    I wanted Warriors to win but only after 7 games, and not 4 games. The reason is the more games, they played, the more TV audience we get….more money for me!
    I’m an Entrepreneur!

  8. Strive Masiyiwa Post author

    Joe writes,

    I was a bit upset thinking that it’s a bit selfish to see even the moments you are supposed to “genuinely” enjoy as ways/opportunities and not just enjoy them “just for just”…but then read on, got called out on my misplaced feelings and after further thought I realized that as an entrepreneur you genuinely enjoy both as a consumer and an entrepreneur. Nigeria is good to watch as a team but also very good to watch for business.#Noted

    My reply,
    This is a lesson for the senior class in entrepreneurship!
    Long before the teams were selected, we paid $ms of dollars for the rights to broadcast the games in countries south of the Sahara.
    When Italy failed to qualify, we were really upset. Do you know why?
    I’m in the World Cup “business”, and not in it as a “fan”.
    Right now my staff are working overtime!

  9. Strive Masiyiwa Post author

    A senior executive or anyone who wishes to pursue a serious career with us, knows never to ask for leave during major holidays like Christmas or during elections in their country of operation.
    #This is when we make our money!

  10. Strive Masiyiwa Post author

    Mwaba writes,

    Even though Zambia is not at world cup, you can still launch this fantastic product cause we are football lovers. Besides, our own Zambian referee, Mr sikazwe, is officiating at the world cup. Please engage zamtel to launch this product cause there is a definite market here in our motherland…. Thanks for your giftedness!

    My reply,
    Have you ever heard the expression “pound for pound”?
    It applies to Zambia:
    “Pound for pound, Zambia is the best football nation in Africa.”
    They play the most beautiful football, and they have the most passionate supporters.
    In many ways they remind of the great Dutch sides.
    I will never forget the pain in my house when Zambia failed to qualify for the 1974 World Cup. And yet they bounced back and built even better teams.

  11. Strive Masiyiwa Post author

    Just like you study major events for entrepreneurial opportunities, you must also study major business developments for entrepreneurial opportunities for YOURSELF!
    There are huge opportunities for you in Kwese Iflix, and if you are smart about it, you will find them through the business you are already in!!!

    Now don’t rush to ask me for opportunities, it just means you have not yet put your mind into it.

  12. Strive Masiyiwa Post author

    Cosmos Udom writes,

    If you are a business man and you don’t have a presence in Nigeria, you have not started business yet.

    My reply,
    Yes and No, my brother!
    You are beginning to sound like the little boy defending his mother’s cooking!

    Yes, Nigeria is a very important market, particularly for mass consumer products. And yet there are very successful business people elsewhere in Africa, and some of them have no presence in Nigeria.

    You too [as a Nigerian] must go out and see for yourself what other regions of Africa have to offer. You will be delighted.
    It all depends on what type of business you are in.

    Although countries like Mauritius and Botswana have very small populations, like Singapore and Dubai, they have much to offer in certain respects.

    These so called “small countries” produce shrewd entrepreneurs who know how to make up for the difference in small population. I know a guy in Mauritius who is very successful because he focused his business on the proximity of his country to India!

  13. Strive Masiyiwa Post author

    Breaking News!
    Our Kwese IFlix Nigeria team left MTN Nigeria this morning at 3am!
    It’s all live and ready to go!
    “Eagle Arise”!

    I just heard that the team working on Ethiopia have now set up Kwese Free Sports Channel (KFS) to broadcast nationally through EBC new channel.
    It can be reached anywhere in Ethiopia.

    Tomorrow’s Nigeria match against Croatia will be the biggest Tv audience ever…because it is being broadcast for free by Kwese TV in 39 countries!

    Don’t forget to also download the App!
    You can follow all the results on KweseEspn website [the biggest sports website in Africa]!

  14. Strive Masiyiwa Post author

    Uwem writes,

    Please oblige me a response Mr Strive. You announced Kwese TV partnership with Netflix a few months ago. While i should know you would avoid conflict of interests with the launch of iflix, obviously a competition to Netflix, however indirectly, does your Netflix partnership provide content for iflix?

    My reply,
    #Great question:
    We indeed have several partnerships, and they are each designed for different market segments:
    #Kwese Play: is where you find Netflix. It is a more expensive service and needs a fibre optic cable in your house for it to work.
    Kwese Play is currently available in just a few markers like South Africa and Zimbabwe. These markets were chosen as “beta test” [trial markets to get things working]. It is now ready for Prime Time, and you will see it in places like Nigeria very soon!

    #Kwese IFlix:
    This service streams into Smartphones, and is much cheaper [less than $4/month, excluding cost of data].

    #Kwese ESPN.Com:
    This is a web based service.

    There is another big, BIG, one coming….shhhh!

  15. Strive Masiyiwa Post author

    Ignatius writes,

    Yes Nigeria is really a huge market. I downloaded and watched the opening match yesterday. But I observed my data and airtime finished so fast. Can someone enlighten me about the billing of this package?

    My reply,
    Kwese IFlix is currently free, but the cost of data depends on your local network provider. We have been engaging our partner MNOs like MTN, Safaricom, Vodacom and Airtel to develop special “video bundles” which work with Kwese IFlix. They are all working on it, and but it will take time. By the time we get to the end of the World Cup they should be all in place.
    Econet Wireless Zimbabwe is offering free data for Kwese IFlix for a trial period.
    I also urge you to try and find Wi-Fi networks when watching a long game. I personally always use Wi-Fi when I watch any video content.

  16. Strive Masiyiwa Post author

    Ogbaga writes,

    Everytime I read your words I cry.
    I’m in Nigeria law school now.
    I will be writing my Bar Final exam by August this year. By November I would be called to the largest Bar in Africa: The Nigerian Bar Association. But I will always cry because of what I could have done before entering school and what I should have done while in the University. Now, my time is within me and the world is looking at me to soar but I feel not ready inside me, because I’m not yet financially stable.

    But each time I heard you, I believe. I believe that I can live my financial dreams. Now, the first thing that I have to do is to pass my bar finals.

    Mr Strive, I will meet you soon. It’s my dream and I will achieve it.

    My reply,
    Some of the greatest entrepreneurs in the world started their careers as lawyers. Many of the greatest companies are ran by people who trained as lawyers.

    Nic Rudnick who runs Liquid Telecom as CEO started his career in our group as a lawyer.
    You can easily add an MBA to your degree qualifications, if you want to go to the corporate world.
    Now if you decide to go to the Bar and practice as a lawyer, there is absolutely nothing wrong with it, as well. The only caution I make is this:
    Practice law to serve the people and not to make money.
    Whilst there are some exceptional lawyers in Africa, there are also some who see it as simply a business to make money. This is extremely unfortunate as it undermines justice.
    In whatever you do [and this applies to everyone on this platform]:
    #Dont rush to make money because many have caused harm to themselves and others by such an approach.

  17. Strive Masiyiwa Post author

    Siphathisiwe writes,

    Much appreciated Dr Strive. Ethiopia has been waiting for this.

    My reply,
    The Kwese Free Sports (KFS) Channel is available in Ethiopia as a partnership with EBC the national broadcaster.
    Unfortunately the full Kwese TV service is not available in Ethiopia, as we are still waiting for approval from the regulator to launch the service in the country. We are pushing hard for final approval.

  18. Strive Masiyiwa Post author

    I’m sorry that some people in Tanzania were disappointed that they did not get a chance to see all the games on TV1.
    The reason is simple:
    Only 32 of the 64 games are FREE, the other 32 games are on KS1 our pay channel. It’s impossible to make everything FREE otherwise I m not a businessman, Right?

    To get KS1 you need a Kwese decoder. We have been waiting for more than 12 months to get regulatory approval for our decoder to be sold in the Tanzania market. We have stocks of decoders sitting in warehouses.

  19. Strive Masiyiwa Post author

    Jethro writes,

    In those days we were told that opportunity comes but once, but as an entrepreneur I’ve discovered that opportunities roam about the streets every seconds of the day. Thanks Mr. Strive.

    My reply,
    Once I was told that “opportunity knocks once, and you must seize it”. Then I discovered that “opportunity is everywhere, you just have to learn to look for it.” Finally, I discovered that “you can create your own opportunities”.

    “ I believe the more opportunities you create for others, the more you yourself will get.”


  20. Strive Masiyiwa Post author

    Caleb asks,

    Dr. Strive Masiyiwa, can you kindly lets us know why and how the name “Kwese iflix” came about and not any other name?

    My reply,
    Kwese IFlix is a partnership between Kwese, and a company called IFlix. This is an example of “co-branding” in a business partnership.
    We have another partnership called Kwese ESPN which is a sports website.
    This is a good way to leverage the power of each partner’s brand.

  21. Anietie Udoh

    Hello Sir,
    I want to first of all being a mentor to me and many others through this medium. I am experiencing something similar to your first telecom license, MASCOM, in Botswana. I have developed a business model, gotten an advisory board member, studied the market and gotten a technical partner. The issue now is that i do not have the financing to even register the business, the criteria in that business sector is huge and highly regulated, and start operations.

    How do i go about raising finance and who or what type of investors do i approach? I really appreciate your advicd and help. Also how do i contact you to get more advice?

    Kind Regards,
    Anietie Jonah Udoh


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