Strive Masiyiwa is a Zimbabwean tycoon. He is a businessman, entrepreneur, and philanthropist. Also, he is the chairman and founder of Econet wireless.
Econet Wireless is a leading Pan-African mobile telecom company and has operations across Africa, UK, the US, Latin America, United Arab Emirates, China, and New Zealand. Strive Masiyiwa has business interests in renewable energy, financial services, media, and hospitality.
Strive Masiyiwa Background
Masiyiwa was born on the 29th of January, 1961 in Zimbabwe and holds a degree in Electrical Engineering from the University of Wales. In addition, he has an honorary doctorate from Morehouse College for his humanitarian work and philanthropy. Strive Masiyiwa is married to Tsitsi Masiyiwa (an African philanthropist and social entrepreneur) and they have 6 children.
Strive Masiyiwa Net Worth
Majority of Masiyiwa’s businesses and investment are held privately therefore, it is difficult to estimate accurately his net worth. However, it is public knowledge that Strive Masiyiwa is Zimbabwe’s first billionaire and has a net worth of $1.7 billion according to Forbes.
Strive Masiyiwa’s Early Career
When Strive returned to Zimbabwe in 1984 after 17 years of absence, he worked briefly as a telecom engineer for the state-owned telephone company. Later, he quit his job and founded Retrofit Engineering, an electrical firm that handled lucrative construction contracts for the government. Strive built considerable fortune with Retrofit Engineering.
In 1993, Strive decided to found Zimbabwe’s first independent mobile telecom network but met resistance with the Zimbabwean government. The government at the time was the sole provider of telecommunication services in Zimbabwe.
Masiyiwa did not just meet resistance, this pursuit also affected Retrofit as the government cancelled their contracts with Retrofit. The challenges experienced caused a major setback for Retrofit and Strive as he was almost bankrupt. It was not until 1997 did Strive get the license to operate Econet. So, Econet finally launched its services in Zimbabwe in 1998.
Strives Masiyiwa Companies
Econet wireless, Liquid Telecom, Cassava connect, Cummii and Kwese TV are some of Strives’ companies. These companies collectively operate in 29 African countries.
Strive Masiyiwa is indeed building a truly home grown African multi-national company, employing thousands of people in the business. He does not just talk the talk, he walks the talk; he is advocating entrepreneurship in Africa and bringing it home.
Strive Masiyiwa’s Principles
Strive does not get involved in political financing. I read an article he published on his facebook page (a medium he uses to mentor and engage with youths and young entrepreneurs) where he made it clear that he does not engage in political financing.
He went further to discuss the dangers of political financing and recounted the experiences of acquaintances who had at one time or the other engaged in the act and either living with the consequences or were burnt by the consequences. He calls entrepreneurs who do not engage in any form of political financing in Africa the “RealAfricanEntrepreneur”.
International Boards Where Strive Masiyiwa Serves
Strive serves in the following board: Rockefeller Foundation, Unilever, The African Progress Panel, the Council on Foreign Relations, Global Advisory Board, Morehouse College, The UN Secretary General’s Advisory Board for Sustainable Energy, The Kenjin – Tatsujin International Advisory Council and Hilton Foundation’s Humanitarian Prize Jury.
Strive Masiyiwa’s Philanthropy
Masiyiwa is one of the prolific philanthropist on the face of Africa. Strive Masiyiwa and his family founded the Higher Life Foundation in 1996, a non-profit organisation that is invested in the future of Africa through education.
Four Foundations Under Higher Life Foundation
- Capernaum Trust
- The Christian community Partnership Trust (CCPF)
- The National Health Care Trust of Zimbabwe
- Joshua Nkom Scholarship Fund
Each of these foundations have their specific agendas which they are fulfilling.
Higher Life according to tsitsimasiyiwa.com has directly and indirectly granted access to education to 250,000 children. The Foundation has grown to become one of the largest scholarship programs in Africa.
Higher Life Foundation also supports other programs like the cholera outbreak in 2008 in Zimbabwe, resuscitation of operation of college of medicine in Zimbabwe in the 2008-2012 period. The foundation has gone ahead to streamline its operation and is focused on identifying highly intelligent orphans and giving them a chance at education. Higher Life Foundation has in-country presence in Zimbabwe, Burundi and Lesotho.
Strive and Tsitsi Masiyiwaalso established a $6.4 million scholarship fund. The fund sends students to Morehouse College in the United States. Also, they co-founded Muzinda Hub which tackles unemployment in Zimbabwe by training young coders in digital skills and IT programming.
Theresa May, the British Prime Minister also recognized the work that Strive Masiyiwa and his wife, Tsitsi Masiyiwa are doing with Higher Life Foundation by awarding them with the Points of Light award.
Additionally, Masiyiwa is a member of the Bill Gates and Warren Buffet initiative known as Giving Pledge.
Awards And Recognition of Strive Masiyiwa
Zimbabwean Businessman of the year award 1990
Zimbabwean manager and Entrepreneur of the year award 1998
Global Business Influential List by Times 2002
10 most influential business leaders in the world by CNN 2003
Builder of the Modern Africa Award 2010
20 Most Powerful Business People in Africa Business by Forbes 2011
25 Leaders of Africa’s Renaissance Award by Times of London 2011
50 Most influential business leaders in the world 2014
10 Most powerful men in Africa by Forbes 2015
The Freedom award by the International Rescue Committee (IRC) 2015
Number 33 in the world’s greatest leaders list by Fortune magazine 2017
Strive Masiyiwa’s Quotes
“Entrepreneurship without skills limits your growth potential.”
“Integrity is better capital than money. You can accumulate it just like money, and you can use it just like money, but it goes further, and is enduring.”
“A vision on its own is not enough. Hard work and dedication is required to make that vision a reality.”
“The opportunity is in the problem. The moment I see a problem, I immediately begin to think about the opportunities that can be created by trying to solve it”.
“You can only find opportunities if you are looking for them”
“Attitude determines your altitude, if you have a bad attitude, even if you are way up there, you will come crashing down, and if you are still trying to take off, a bad attitude, will keep you on the ground, revving your engines but going nowhere.”
Follow us on Instagram to keep track of our activities.