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AFRICAN GREATS

18 POWERFUL LESSONS FROM BILLIONAIRE STRIVE MASIYIWA

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Strive Masiyiwa through his Higher Life Foundation recentlyannounced that they will be be launching a new training fellowship for Junior and Senior Doctors employed at public healthcare institutions in Zimbabwe. Higher Life Foundation has to date supported the education of 250 000+ students in Zimbabwe, Burundi and Lesotho in it’s 23 years of existence. Last year Econet Zimbabwe donated US$ 10 million to aid in the fight against cholera with Masiyiwa pledging another $60 million to build resilience against the disease.

Early January 2018, we woke up to the news of the first Zimbabwean billionaire and to me it  had taken too long to be announced as no one could have landed at that position none other than the great Strive Masiyiwa. His wealth was estimated to be sitting around $1.7 billion according to Forbes and the source of wealth is well known by many and I shall not waste your time trying to explain where he gets his money.

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His current net worth is estimated at $2.3 billion raking him 8th among Africa’s billionaires.

Who is Strive?


Born in 1961, born in Zimbabwe in 1961. He was still a child when his family fled to Zambia as the colonial-era government began to crumble and the nation descended into civil war. Masiyiwa attended university and graduate school in the UK, returning to Zimbabwe as an entrepreneur with a background in telecoms engineering. With a now-legendary determination, he eventually won a telecom license that would form the basis for Econet, one of Africa’s most successful companies. Strive sits on the board of The Rockefeller Foundation and on the US Council on Foreign Relations Global Advisory Board. He has been named by Fortune Magazine as one of the World’s 50 Greatest Leaders.

As one of Africa’s most prolific philanthropists, Masiyiwa supports charities that are directly responsible for 40,000 orphans at any given time in the African countries where Econet has operations. He also sits on the African Progressive Panel, a group of 10 distinguished individuals advocating for the highest level of equitable and sustainable development in Africa. He has been actively offering mentorship programs to the African young generation of entrepreneurs and has been using Facebook mostly where he has a growing following of 2.5 followers which Facebook identified as the most engaged page of any business leaders.In the late 1990s in 1986 Strive quit his job after having been worked for the state owned company with only an equivalent of $75 to go to start his own company which was into Electricity. By that time he was around 26 years old, and in 1993, he decide to open a telecoms company Econet Wireless, which he endured those 5 years of legal battle.

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Who is Econet ?


Today Econet has expanded to over 17 countries in renewable energy, financial services, media and hospitality and think you have come across these names on the block Econet Wireless, Ecosure, Ecocash, Mascom, and the latest trending one is Sasai which seems to be taking Zimbabwe by storm through its free ZWL$10 free airtime. Think you can talk of Liquid telecoms and see how they have actually captured the internet service provision in Zimbabwe and some African countries. It has many ventures but one thing I can assure you is that Econet is that one big brand you can’t ignore.

Cassava Smartech came as a demerger splitting Econet’s listing into two separate listed companies on the 18th of December 2018, the value has gone up from $3,2bn to $7,6bn in less than three months. Cassava owns Ecocash, Sasai App and is also into International remmittances among many others. Cassava Smartech is a diversified smartech group, with a mandate to use digital solutions to drive socio-economic development, and to improve the overall quality of life for all Africans.

I have spent almost two weeks digging deep on the founder’s vision, beliefs, principles, drive and goals and I had to read his books, news, lectures, listen to his speeches, seminars and talk and I found out that this man is indeed GREAT!!!!

Ecocash


Don’t Quit


The entrepreneurial journey and life in general might be tough but you don’t have to quit. It is important to have friends and family who believe in you, because it is going to be lonely and tough. He said his wife wanted him to quit, but she later changed her mind. There is need to utilize tehnology, engaging and building a network of entreprenuers where you can strengthen, reinforce and build each other exchanging notes. Don’t be afraid to fail, because there are no jails for those who fail. He talks again of having given his best car to his engineer and he asked, “How many entreprenuers are willing to do the same to their employees?”.


Entrepreneurship


Africa’s problem is not on entrepreneurship but how to stand and build more big companies and brands that compete on the global market because we have many SMEs in Africa so there is need to grow them eg on how to hire other people? Entrepreneurs train like soldiers, and they have to learn the principles.

Sport


He shared something on sport that I had never thought of where he said that sport is a business, and he went on to explain how they are making money. He talks of Kwese ESPN where they are covering sports on the continent and it being the biggest sport website on the continent with millions of followers and they have maximized on adverts that run on the background of the website. To the consumer it is just a website but to them it is a business. There are many entry points to sport and it is a multibillion dollar industry. Kwese has contested at the Indian Cricket League (IPL) 20-20 to get broadcasting rights. A lot to be done in the African continent on its sports, from packing into a commercial product and even for the consumers to be willing to pay as much for the African content as much as the foreign.He urges Africans to be proud of theirs continent.


Social Entrepreneurship


Every entrepreneur should be a social entrepreneur as it should be not always be about profit but making change in our society but the challenge that we have is how we do it without rely on donor funding. He says, “Nothing beats sending a child to school” and talks of him working for money and wife come to pitch for philanthropy. This is undoubtedly one of the best couples in the world where they all have a common cause and it is interesting to note that he started with 2 orphans when his company was very small, and grew to over 40 000 as the company grows. He urges business to start on philanthropy as they start their businesses and grow with them as their businesses grow…


Opportunities for African Entrepreneurs


Opportunities are simply the needs so you need to Identify the needs then work on the solutions. What are the needs? Bill Gates saw the need of the software and worked on it, and today he is one of the richest maan in the world. Greatest opportunity is when you respond to a need, leverage on your skill and knowhow and stay on the course in that area.Each sector is as big as another.First Step to build a Business System?Technology is the heart of everything so you need to use it everywhere and there is also need to integrate technology in our agriculture to improve efficiency and profits.  Mobile phone is a tool to help you build your business system. You need to find solutions because if it is not you who is doing it then who is going to do it.We need to be accountable for the economic liberation of this continent because it is with this generation. You need to build business systems first.


Pitching


He started pitching when he was 26 and he talks of it being part of every entrepreneur’s life and urging everyone to be able to pitch their ideas. Pitching is the art of presenting your idea to your investor and this will stay with you for the rest of your life. Every week he is meeting an investor and he is pitching.


 Partnerships


You will always need capital partners and the questions you should ask yourself is that, “What skills do you need to get real partners?”90% of the problems he has had in business had nothing to do without governments or regulators but business partners and also 905 of the success had to do with partners so at the end of the day it is just like a marriage. Get the right partner and you will enjoy your life.The most important thing is to let them do their job, giving them responsibility, systems and roles. He even says that he hasn’t signed a cheque for a long time as the company has systems and roles so there are people who can do it.You need to hire professionals, trust them and give them responsibility.


Competing With China


China is growing to be the number 1 economy and many states are probably threatened as they feel the impact on their businesses but Mr. Strive had profound words that surprised me when he was asked on how businesses could compete with China.Don’t be critical of China, learn, reach out, partner, and study themIt is important to reach out to understand the strengths of others as processes builds businesses. Build and invest in systems.


Agriculture in Africa


70% of the food production is done by women and the ageing and the youths are now too smart to farm, but millions of these young people are jobless. Agriculture is an industry that is underutilized so it needs to be modernized and put in place policies that encourage people to venture into it.They have helped create over 100 of seed companies producing 1/3 of the certified seeds and this has produced food enough to feed 15 million people.No national growth without agriculture

 

 Policy & Regulations


Entrepreneurs must learn to lobby for change as it is part of business. You need to work to put up change as sometimes it’s just that the policy makers don’t understand so you need to lobby as it is part of the democratic process. 


On building African brands that compete and meet global standards


Begin by understanding that as entrepreneurs you have a duty to act responsibly to ensure sustainability and safety. Policy makers need to be firm on sustainable products and the fight also includes entrepreneurs, consumers and civil society.We need tools to build awareness to ensure that no sub-standard product enters our market.


On what keeps him going


People he works with as mentors e.g in philanthropy that he turns to when in need of help. Find a cause now for example environment, climate and make it an integral part of you.

If you don’t create jobs we end up with Boko Haram and Al Shabab.

Advice to foreign students


He had no simple answer for them but only to say,

“The sooner you go home the better, and start companies there” Integrity


Integrity is the greatest capital and you need to make integrity your currency as it will buy you more than cash in the bank. 

Timing and Choice

These are the most extremely factors in business but it is all about your preparation. You are part of thee smart generation but also in the global generation so you need to make up your mind and do one thing and do it well. You need to stay and dig deep and seeing far such that by the time it is in the newspaper, you should have known about it.The more you into it, the more you excel. 

Eagle in the Storm series


He has one of his famous series and this is what he had to say about it. Warning about impending African storms eg Nigeria, South Africa, Tanzania and we are in a period of correction. He was warning entrepreneurs of the storms eg global and local but to always fight like a soldier remembering that some greatest companies emerged in storms.Don’t take flights because you have seen storm, but instead go and hunt just like an eagle. 

Important Skills for the Youths


See something before it happens.Entrepreneurs are not born but trained, so you have to train yourself and after a while it becomes your thinking. How do they make money? Don’t worry about critics remembering that all statues had critics but no critic had a statue. Know the difference between stubborn and resilient.The greatest challenge, is how do we create jobs?You need skills training and practice on what you say especially on social media, being tolerant to one another. The most powerful words are those of love.

‘Your words are your brand’ On business and Rest of Life


They are two separate entities, remembering that you are not your business and your business is not you. The day you separate yourself from your business you will have a life,His kids didn’t know he was in business until they were teenagers.You have to get a Life.Go home and have fun with family, watch movies, hang out with friends etc.‘No matter what happens, you not taking it with you’ Words of Advice


3 most important skills in business is to

READ, COUNT, SELL

Walk alongside not following Reach out for a need and seek to solve it.Principle he was taught by an old man from Uganda,

‘when its important find the time, when it’s extremely important make the time ’Mentorship is extremely important in Africa because we don’t have a roadmap like America, so who is going to tell them?


Market Genius


Strive used to sell chewing gums at school from his mother to get some personal pocket money, but got lost because he had problems with the 3 most important skills.They faced the greatest challenge of bringing mobile money ‘Ecocash’ in Zimbabwe particularly after the hyperinflation period and people had almost lost trust with banks, but as always they had an interesting marketing plan.They hired university students in commuter omnibuses to start conversations about mobile money, interviews and street comedies.They had street comedies like, “You stole my money, and the other person will be like I can’t steal your money because it is in the phone” then they would advertise from there.  

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#StudentShine

Zimbabwean Born Harvard Graduate Launches Hitch-Hiking App

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tuverl app

Hope was born and raised in Bulawayo, Zimbabwe and he did his A level at Mpopoma High School and O level at Ihlathi High School. Apart from his academic successes, he was also a multi National Chess Scholars Champion winner. Hope later on received a scholarship to go and study at the Harvard
University and just after college he went on to found Tuverl which has to date received several awards and recognition. They recently came out first at the Georgetown Africa Business Conference Pitch Competition which was
held in early February 2020 at Georgetown University in Washington DC. Tuverl also won the World Bank Youth Summit Pitch Competition in early December 2019 held at the World Bank Headquarters in Washington DC.

In mid-December 2019 Tuverl also won the YouthConnekt Sustainable Development Goals Video Competition. They have also participated in several pitch competitions, winning the Fan Favourite prize at the RevRoad Pitch Competition in Provo, Utah, and finishing 3rd place at the Harvard China Forum Pitch Competition in Cambridge, Massachusetts in early April 2019. Tuverl participated in the Mass Challenge Accelerator Boston Cohort in 2018 and were part 10th cohort of Halcyon Incubator Program from January – June 2019. Tuverl is also a recent Startup Battlefield 2020 finalist, the pitch competition was held virtually in September 2020.

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Problem Statement

It can’t be innovation without problem-solving and Turvel application is there to solve or address a wide range of problems. In most African countries, Public Transport is an industry that is run by private companies; millions of small to medium enterprises and individuals, whose buses, minibusses, and individual cars operate without any schedules or timetables. This makes Public Transport very unreliable to commuters, who lose valuable productive time while waiting for transportation or in transit, as a result. Drivers also waste time, fuel, and man-hours trying to locate
commuters along their designated routes or park in one place waiting for commuters to find them.

This is highly inefficient. The Covid-19 era came with new and many
challenges for commuters as Public Transportation was grounded by the government to minimize non-essential movement and reduce the risk of exposing the public to the Coronavirus. This left people who do not own their own personal vehicles with few to no options for safe essential travel.


While some have welcomed the reintroduction of ZUPCO as the sole provider of Public Transport, there have numerous complaints about long lines at bus stops, too few buses in circulation, and the general lack of social distancing while in transit.

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Solution

After assessing these challenges in the 1st few months of the covid19 pandemic, Tuverl went on to develop its intercity carpooling service that is meant to make travelling safer, easier and cheaper during the Covid19 pandemic. After downloading and signing up on the Tuverl App, commuters can search for peer-to-peer trips that originate from a city or town of their choosing to another city or town in Zimbabwe. They can pay for these trips using mobile money payments, such as Ecocash, OneMoney and Telecash.

We plan to support more payment methods in due course. On the Tuverl App, users who have their own personal vehicles can register to be drivers.
Once registration is complete and their profiles have been verified, drivers can create trips from one city or town to another. Drivers have control over the pricing of the available seats in their vehicles. As such drivers can make
extra money during a trip they were already planning to make. Picking up passengers along the road, when drivers travel on pre-planned trips between cities and towns is an old practice. Most Zimbabwean commuters know this as hitchhiking or simply hiking.

Tuverl has found a way to make it a lot easier for drivers to find commuters or passengers, by adding a technology layer that makes it faster for drivers to connect with commuters. As the economy opens up, Lockdown regulations are relaxed, and travel restrictions are removed, it is important to give commuters more options for travelling safely. Commuters and drivers can download the Tuverl App on the following links.
https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?
id=com.tuverl.android .

People who are interested in our work can follow
us on the following links.
Website: http://wwww.tuverl.com/
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/tuverl
Twitter: https://twitter.com/tuverl
Google Play Store: https://play.google.com/
store/apps/details?id=com.tuverl.android

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SUCCESS STORIES

Interview With Princewell ‘The Roadrunner Farmer’

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Roadrunner farmer

In the words of Arthur Ashe, “Start where you are. Use what you have. Do what you can.”, Princewell is one man living and putting to test these words by taking his passion in poultry farming into a test. Princewell (PW) is always there on Twitter mostly sharing his story, pictures, and updates on his roadrunner farming, something which has helped market his business and inspire someone out there. Coach Mallvine (CM), our Productions Manager, caught up with Princewell for an online interview, and below is how it went along. Enjoy the interview and don’t forget to subscribe to stay tuned for more interviews and updates.

CM: Please introduce yourself to our readers.

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PW: Real name Terence Maphosa, a young passionate roadrunner Farmer in his late 30s.

CM: What brought you into farming?

PW: On this one there are a lot of reasons:

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  1. Availability of idleness in my rural area which I saw as a chance to put up something productive and since I had no water, the only idea that looked feasible out of the many I had was road runners.
  2. Passion for roadrunners, before these exotic breeds I was doing the ordinary kumusha roadrunners. So, it became a transition into something catchy more advanced on a larger scale.
  3. Roadrunner farming is not congested that much so, I saw an opportunity that I could use and it worked perfectly.

CM: How big is your farm and what are you currently farming?

PW: This is not a “Farm” as you might call it. It is a resettlement area, but I have a good space which is up to 6 hectares for the chickens and 5hectares for crop farming. It is located in Mhondoro Ngezi. For the crops, I focus mainly on maize, sunflower, soya, and sorghum. These crops reduce the costs of buying feeds.

CM: When did you started the chicken business?

PW: I started in November 2017.

CM: Tell us the types of chickens you sell.

PW: I have 5 breeds that I selected on basis of their different strengths and purposes. Black Australorp (a machine at laying eggs), Koekoek (good at eggs as well), Light Sussex (Both meat and eggs), Kuroila (Meat Master….weighs heavy), Jersey Giant (Meat Master). I have a 6th which is the Buff Orpington but I see it is as a flower that I like seeing around.

CM: Which is the best chicken breeds to keep and why?

PW: Black Australorp, Chicken business needs a bird that lays more so that you minimize the costs. It grows big as well and that will make it marketable for meat. However, I should point out that it differs with farmer’s preferences and also some parts of the community have certain beliefs attached to a black chicken. In that case the Koekoek will come second.

CM: How many hours do you work per day and what is your typical day like?

PW: Roadrunner farming needs all day attention. Feeding, giving medicines to the ones that are sick, cleaning food troughs, etc.

CM: Has it been viewed as more of a business for you or a lifestyle choice? Some combination of both?

PW: To be honest, it started as a business but it grew to be at the heart of my lifestyle. I woke up every day feeling proud of being a roadrunner. So, now I live in the roadrunner business.

CM: What is the most satisfying part of farming for you?

PW: The most satisfying part is having a product that the market has approved and is confident. That alone will give you extra energy to work even harder.

roadrunner farming

CM: What motivates you and how do you deal with negativity and any feeling of giving up?

PW: The greatest motivation is me, I look back and say, I cannot go back to the past life, so the only option is to push. Negativity will always be there and some will even destroy your brand but I always try to engage those who think I went off rail or I didn’t offer a good service. The problem is, people usually appreciate through hate. They hate what they like. So the best way is to engage and find a solution.

CM: What is your current take on youth participation in agriculture and how best can they become effective and active participants in this industry?

PW: Youth out there are desiring to go all out for farming but access to land and capital hinders a lot of us to participate in farming. We have the zeal but we don’t have a chance to express it. The government must identify youth with potential and empower them with ideas and inputs. Without that, farming will remain a thing of an idea to youth.

CM: Have you benefitted from any government or social programs to boost your agriculture business, if not are you looking forward to any?

PW: No. Not as of yet. If the help comes I will take it with both hands. I’m a citizen of the country and if the government sees it fit, I will take them and utilize them without fail.

CM: Many a time, access to finance and support systems are usually not in favor of subsistence farmers. How do you think the situation can be improved and work to boost and support the subsistence farmer?

PW: I am one of the subsistence farmers in Zimbabwe and I am thriving on the small space that I have. So the government may also consider looking into aiding us to boost our projects from the small pieces of land that we have.

CM: With regards to the market and marketing, how responsive has it been, and how you have been effectively marketing your business?

PW: Honestly, Twitter has been the base for my customers. All referrals and recommendations are mostly coming from Twitter. The key is being consistent and not supplying wrong or fake products. As far as to this level, the market has been quite fair to me. I market my chocks on social platforms that are, Facebook, WhatsApp, and Twitter. This is done by me and the aid of all people reading this interview.

CM: Tell us, how is the chicken Market in Zimbabwe and how can we improve our Chicken’s quality?

PW: The chicken business in Zimbabwe has always been there and it was more of broiler productions but the roadrunner business is of growth over the past 5 to 6 years. The marker is high because people are slowly moving to organic meat which I assume will overtake the broiler business in no time. However, we must reach a level of making our own breeds named after us, and unique breeds registered from Zimbabwe. We are focusing on importing breeds from other countries, yet, we cannot make our own. It is my dream that I will see that wish be of reality.

CM: What has been our greatest obstacle in your hustle and how did you manage to overcome that?

PW: My greatest obstacle has been on feed. Generally, feed in Zimbabwe is expensive and the profit margin is thin, so, for a farmer starting to grow it becomes a great challenge. However, planting your feed has been the solution and as for now I have no complaints.

CM: Any mistakes you have made in farming that you regret or have managed to learn from?

PW: My greatest mistake was in 2018 when I almost sold all my chickens due to frustration.  The market was not giving a favorable response and I sold a lot of birds. Later the market gave a positive response when I was almost giving up. It is now a story of the past and I learnt the virtue of patience. Every farmer out there must know, as long as you have a good product, people will buy no matter what.

CM: What advice can you give to the chicken farmer out there who is also looking forward to growing their farming too?

PW: To the small farmer out there; take your time to set your things, there is no competition in farming, the industry is not flooded, market is there go to the drawing board and set your things in the right place then come out with guns blazing and grow big. Whatever line you take in farming, just push to have the best product and remember, “honesty” is key.  Have good breeds that are compatible with any environment. It is not about having many breeds but the type of a breed.

CM: What are the keys to success in farming, particularly the poultry business?

PW: Have the best products, be honest, transparent, deliver, and lastly, work hard.

CM: Where do you see yourself in the next 5 years?

PW: In 5 years to come I will be in the process of perfecting my own breeds and constantly supplying roadrunner meat.

CM: Where can people find you?

PW: I am based in Harare and as for my project it is in Mhondoro Ngezi.

CM: How do you see your role in the community?

PW: I see myself in the sense of a role model. With the growth in business follows a bit of dignity and responsibility. People expect much and you to act a certain way. Therefore, I accept that because some will be looking up to me as a role model it becomes my role in the community.

CM: Please give us your social media pages.

Facebook: Prince Machiavelli Chickens; Twitter: @terrymap1

Website: www.machiavelliprince.co.zw

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AFRICAN GREATS

Winky D Wins ‘Best Dancehall Artist Award’

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Winky D born Wallace Chirumiko has won the Best Dancehall Artist 2020 Award at the African Entertainment Awards United States of America (AEAUSA). In the same awards there were 3 other Zimbabwean artistes who were battling it out with other prominent African artistes. Jah Pryzah was in the Entertainer of the Year category, Shasha in the Best Female Artiste and last but not least Winky D in Best Dancehall Artiste one which he has tonight emerged the winner. Winky was battling it out in the same category with Patoranking and many others.

The AEAUSA awards ceremony is held annually since 2015 in New Jersey with 30 awards being presented to various artist across the continent with the mission to support, celebrate and uplift African Entertainment.

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Winky Dee has also released new songs, “Ragga Musambo”, “Reply” and “David and Goliath” which have been the talk of the streets as they are received with divided opinions. One thing for sure is Winky is still one of the greatest artiste in Zimbabwe and still commands a lot of loyalty and support from his raving supporters and general audience at large. At the time of writing this article the , “Reply” is trending at Number 2 and at 380 000 views on Youtube , 3 days just after release.

Congratulations to Winky Dee and all the Gaffa family.

Thank you for bringing the award home.

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