What is your mindset when you see a challenge?

__Always look for the “game changer” (Part 2).

Remember what I’ve written before about the importance of having the right mindset? Always looking for the game changer… that’s a mindset, too!

When we were planning to set up Kwesé TV, I asked an expert what he thought would be one of our biggest challenges.

“Getting licenses to operate in all these countries,” he said. “Maybe we have to go to court again?”

“No, we’re not going to court on this one. No need,” I said emphatically. “We will operate where we have licenses and use the YouTube solution elsewhere.”

“YouTube solution?” he asked.

“Does YouTube need a license for their TV services on the Internet?”


“So you mean if we offered the service, through an App, we won’t need a license?” This sounded interesting.

“Well, if it’s like YouTube, the only way they can stop us is to shut down the whole Internet.”

“I see. Can we develop an App like WhatsApp?”

“How many people in Africa watch YouTube?” I asked my team.

“Almost 20m.”

“I wouldn’t mind a TV service across Africa, with 20m customers,” I retorted. “This might be the game changer we need. Let’s offer our service using an App, and let people download like YouTube.”

# What is your mindset when you see a challenge?

Immediately, I got a team to start developing the Kwesé App. You download it just like WhatsApp, and you can watch anything, just like on YouTube! The Kwesé App has been downloaded in almost every African country. Every day, thousands are downloading this App.

Now I know some of you will say to me, “But data is so expensive!”

“Don’t worry, when we started cell phones it used to be $3/minute. It will always come down.”

But if I were to answer you as an entrepreneur, rather than as a customer, I would say: “What an opportunity for you!”

# What is your mindset when you see a challenge?

Some young guys came to see me from a West African country, and told me they want to build WIFI hotspots to enable people to watch Kwesé TV, using the Kwesé App!

“Do you have a business model for it?” I asked.

“Yes, sir!”


“Can I invest?!”

Mobile operators are now lowering their data tariffs so they can cash in on the Kwesé App. It has happened in Rwanda after just one month. Watch what will happen over the next two years across Africa! People will forget that they ever watched TV on a big screen.

# What is your mindset when you see a challenge?

A friend of mine called me to say he was watching Kwesé TV in Nigeria, on a big screen in his house!

“How?!” I asked surprised. We are not yet in Nigeria.

“Some guy bought decoders in Ghana and sold me one,” he laughed. “This is Nigeria, my friend. People are already making money on this Kwesé of yours!”

I laughed, too. Our decoders are probably selling at Ikeja Market, and many other markets across this beautiful continent of ours. Be smart but don’t break the law!

# We are a continent of entrepreneurs!

About my $10,000 competition a few weeks ago, you will find the winner in the Kwese.Com website. (Shhh, let everyone discover for themselves!) And if you didn’t win, study what I said and wait for the next competition. Thanks for participating.


To be continued. . .

by 18 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.

18 thoughts on “What is your mindset when you see a challenge?

  1. Strive Masiyiwa Post author

    Afterthought 2.
    “I am guided each day by these three questions: ‘What are you fixing?’ ‘What are you making?’ and ‘Who are you helping?'” said Juliana Rotich, a Kenyan social entrepreneur and co-founder of Ushahidi, a not-for-profit technology leader in Africa. What questions guide your entrepreneurship each day?

  2. Strive Masiyiwa Post author

    Afterthought 3.
    We’ve just released the latest version of the Kwesé App. If you already have the App, you need to refresh it. If you don’t have it yet, please download, and tell me what you think. We’re also looking for bugs, and we’ll give a free decoder to anyone who spots a bug we haven’t seen. This isn’t just about technology, so download and see if you spot something. Please put your answers under this Afterthought, and be sure to include your country. If Kwesé isn’t there by the end of June, I’ll send you an iPhone instead.

  3. Strive Masiyiwa Post author

    ESPN is the biggest sports broadcaster in the world. Getting them to become our strategic partner for Kwese Sports took more than a year to conclude. This was a real “game changer” for Kwese Tv, and gives us the capacity to compete.
    Whilst I cannot give all the details for strategic reasons, I can assure any sport fan out there, that over the next few months Kwese will be #1 in sport.
    Meanwhile if you have a decoder you can watch the first of the ESPN channels now available on Kwese Tv.

  4. Strive Masiyiwa Post author

    Thiel writes,

    In South Sudan, we have a lot of challenges impeding our economic progress. I would like to know the opportunity that can from wars? I have been trying to think hard about an opportunity that I can seize but I haven’t seen anything good other than suffering and more problems. Thanks for your time and consideration.

    My reply,
    I really feel for your country. Just before the latest troubles I sent a delegation there to see how we could invest. War is a terrible thing, and I pray that peace will prevail soon.
    You can get Kwese Tv by mobile App, if you can access Wifi.
    In terms of a business opportunity for yourself, wait until we open Kwese eStore (in a few weeks) which will allow you to register as a dealer and buy decoders Online for resell in your market.

  5. Strive Masiyiwa Post author

    Nkosinathi writes:

    South Africa, Amazing just downloaded the App and it works perfect, although most channels have not been cintegrated to the app but it’s awesome. Great work sir.

    My reply,
    Appreciate your comments.
    Yes we are working on integration.

  6. Strive Masiyiwa Post author

    Dixon writes,

    kwese app is not here yet Sir…….Zimbabwe

    My reply,
    It is there! Zimbabwe has one of the highest downloads so far…as always I appreciate the support.
    Keep trying.

  7. Strive Masiyiwa Post author

    Amadou writes,

    We don’t have Kwese app in Sierra Leone.

    My reply,
    The Kwese App works in Sierra Leone. I will ask someone to look into your problem.

  8. Strive Masiyiwa Post author

    Abdul writes,

    I am in Tanzania, and there is no Kwese untill now! I am wait by end of June

    My reply,
    Although we are not yet selling decoders there yet, many people watch Kwese Tv on the Kwese App. Also we own TV 1, which shows English Premier League for free.
    Decoders will be on sale soon.

  9. Strive Masiyiwa Post author

    Richard Okon writes,

    Dr Strive, Kwesé is not airing uefa-champions-league, why?
    Football fans love champion league so very much!

    Many thanks, we love what you’re doing!

    My reply,
    This is a good question, which also allows me to explain how the business works:
    A broadcaster like Kwese or DSTV is not allowed to show any programs without permission from the owner.
    In the case of Champions League soccer, this belongs to UEFA, the European football governing body. Every three years UEFA puts up the RIGHTS to broadcast to auction. The broadcaster who wins this auction has the EXCLUSIVE right, which means no one else can broadcast during this period. If we broadcast without permission from the owners, it means we are stealing! There are a lot of people who broadcast like this, and it is wrong.

    Currently the Rights have not expired, and will remain with that operator who has them for the next season. After that I promise to fight at the auction so it comes to Kwese Sport for 3 years.

  10. Strive Masiyiwa Post author

    Joshua writes,

    I have been watching premier league here in Zanzibar through Kwese TV.

    My reply,
    That is great news!

  11. Strive Masiyiwa Post author

    Winner of the $10,000 prize:
    To find out who won the prize go to Kwese.Com, and look under the NEWS section.
    In future I will post the results of any competition on Kwese.Com.
    There are huge competitions to come, so treat this as just an appetizer!

  12. John Kananzwa

    Thank you Sir for showing us the way. Am glad there is a program for entrepreneur mentorship. I am a nurse by profession, and have realised that there are areas without health facilities in different parts of the world for one reason or the other. It is my suggestion that through Kwese TV such areas may be covered on health education especially on non communicable diseases such as Diabetes and Hypertension. In the advent of solar power, we may overcome barriers such as absence of roads, bridges and empower communities on health issues. Am thinking a single decorder in a community during the Ebola era in Siera Leon and Liberia would have made wonders in spreading health education on Ebola.

  13. Fungai K Moneo

    Sir sow much im Learning from you and competition…From the moment Kwese got Launched to now..
    1- the way you handle Kwese as an Ambassador. Its giving insights on what it means to be an ambassador of a brand. One must know alot about the brand
    2 – how research has played a major key ….executing the Licence acquiring
    3 – the importance of Feed-back to perfect the Product .

    From the way competition is behaving im sure we are ahead. The acquiring rights for the UEFA will be an interesting fight that might go down in history.
    Thank you Tatenda Siyabonga #Zimbabwean

  14. George Okewih

    10th March, 2017.
    – Mr. Strive Masiyiwa
    Top of the day to you Sir, trust this meets you well.

    Permit me to render a little suggestion in my humble opinion with regards to Kwese TV and your prospective largest market – Nigeria. Nigeria is a country populated with about 190million people, while we have our challenges, I can confidently say that over 10million people (most of which reside in urban cities) aren’t really bothered about how much they pay for mobile data services relative to quality of service – how expensive can it possibly be, their main concern is value for money –good, stable mobile data service.

    While Kwese TV is leveraging largely on internet TV to avoid the hassles of procuring a license, its main hindrance to that might be “data strength” and not “price of data”, imagine watching a football match online and yours is buffering much slower than that of cable TV, so people around you have shouted goal before you got to see the goal – frustrating! The indigenous mobile service provider in Nigeria have come up with series of very cheap data packages; are their networks good? – no, you most likely would be unable to consume all you bought because of how poor the service is – which is as a result of crashing the price without a commensurate increase in the size of their available data bandwidth.

    Having said that, it might be worth investing in those lads that came to see you from a West African country, so they focus and begin installing their hotspots in countries where Kwese TV is having difficulties and prolonged waiting times securing their license. Coming back to Kwese TV’s prospective largest market – Nigeria; in some cases the best way to overcome challenges is by passing through them; Kwese TV could enter the Nigerian market via internet TV (which could even still be used as publicity) at onset while still working on securing a license, of which getting one now shouldn’t be an insurmountable task – especially with the present government (emphasis on the VP). With regards to the license and cable TV, I strongly suggest Kwese TV considers a more flexible approach of ‘pay per view’ which would be far much cheaper than anything currently available in the country, and I’m confident in a very short while the main competitor (that has become very annoying among viewers because they lack competition hence do whatever they want – how they want to) would loose more than half of their subscriber base – provided Kwese TV has access to sporting channels especially football. However, the intent to come in with ‘pay per view’ option should be kept under lock and key, until the very last moment when it can no longer be kept a secret – surprise is a very valuable tool in warfare.

  15. Lombe Ng'andu

    Jus updated my Kwese app, no noticed bugs so far except the ‘Force closing’. It would be nice if I could choose what video resolution to use depending on data availability and also customize the highlights that appear on the home screen…

  16. Eunice Lar

    Dear Mr Masiyiwa,
    Good day.
    I will be happy if you get to read this and are kind enough to come back to me. I have this idea which I think will help with Mass Housing in Africa but do not know how to go about launching it.

    I am a mum of three who happens to have these ideas to implement but lack the tools to go forward. I need mentors who can put me through on ways I can achieve these goes. I live in London England and have gambled into certain productions where I have lost money and will not want to make a mistake this time. We need people like you who can help us new comers navigate the murky waters of becoming entrepreneurs because you have done it before. Sometimes without help some of us who are of the older generation find it hard to dare.

    I have written my concept and have no help with how I to proceed. I have tried to pull in my first son to help but he has no direction either. I am stuck with this idea that nags me everyday but I am not sure who to confide in who has entrepreneurial spirit who will not take it and run with it and leave me in the loop. This project needs intergrity and dedication to succeed and I haven’t found any one to help me. I have read your blogs and feel the person that can help me and I will feel confident to tell them my ideas is you. I am not bothered being the head but just want to see the project come to fruition.

    I am open to sending you an email with my idea and will await your response and criticism.

    Do have a great day and God bless you always.


  17. simbarashe timothy juru

    I am truly inspired by the content on this site as a first time follower. it is truly inspirational


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