Chiamaka Ihekwoaba

Chiamaka Ihekwoaba

Masiyiwa is Striving in Africa

Having an excellent foresight on the future of telecommunications with the emergence of mobile cellular telephony, the the 56-year old engineer expanded his business reach by diversifying into telecommunication.

Winning numerous accolades has gained the 2003 and 2014 (CNN’s Time magazine most and fortune magazine respectively) most influential business leader in the world, international recognition for his business expertise.

His passion to make a difference dates back to his youth days at 37 years of age, when the billionaire was listed by World Junior Chamber of Commerce as one of the 10 most outstanding young leaders of the world.

Considered an audacity for hope, Masiyiwa takes a keen interest in blogging as he uses it as a platform to motivate and mentor youths interested in entrepreneurship. In one of his motivational sessions he noted “A seed in the ground will break a concrete road, if it gets a bit of moisture” as he likened the encounter to a contact faith has with dream.

With zeal and open-mindedness Econet was birthed, as Strive sought partners who would augment his telecommunications dream financially in Botswana. With eyes on his goal, he successfully convinced his friend to put on hold his banking dreams to set up the financing structure in his business.

Against all odds Masiyiwa fought to see his dream become a reality in Zimbabwe, as the legal battle to licence the telecommunications company dragged on for 5 years. Through the rocky road, the Econet crooner travelled, as the journey to the stock market listing took 12 years.

Breaking the norm and defying the odds, Masiyiwa overcame his equity financing challenges through Initial Public offering, leaving him with only 40% beneficial interest. Although he currently owns half of his company, his victory helped spur the development of private telecoms across the continent.

Performance they say is measured in numbers and through resilience Masiyiwa has managed to set up Econet wireless, which in turn has branches such as solar energy, e-commerce, education, renewable energy, hospitality, video on demand and generates a revenue worth over $ 3billion.

Strive’s net worth today stands at $1.7 billion and he has just become Zimbabwe’s first billionaire.