Not everyone may be familiar with the name, Strive Masiyiwa as he may not necessarily be a global household name, but he is one man that has made his mark and will be remembered for a long time as one of the world’s most successful businessmen and philanthropist
Strive Masiyiwa Profile
- Born: 29 January 1961 (age 59)
- Residence: London, United Kingdom
- Nationality: Zimbabwean
- Occupation: Businessman
- Marital Status: Married
- Spouse(s): Tsitsi Masiyiwa
- Children: 6
Who is Strive Masiyiwa
Strive Masiyiwa is a Zimbabwean businessman, entrepreneur, and philanthropist. Strive Masiyiwa is the founder and chairman of Econet Wireless. This leading Pan-African mobile telecom company operates across Africa, the UK, the USA, the UAE, Latin America China, and New Zealand.
A man whose business expertise is acknowledged and recognized at the international level, he is highly regarded as one of Africa’s most generous philanthropists and humanitarians.
Strive Masiyiwa’s Net Worth
Strive Masiyiwa is the founder and owner of Econet Wireless Zimbabwe. Strive owns over 50% of the publicly-traded Econet Wireless Zimbabwe, which happens to be one part of his larger Econet Group.
More than 50% of private company Liquid Telecom, which specializes in fiber optic and satellite services to telecom firms across Africa, belongs to him.
He has other assets spread across Africa and beyond, some of which include; stakes in mobile phone networks in Lesotho and Burundi, and investments in fintech and power distribution firms in Africa.
Masiyiwa is Zimbabwe’s first Billionaire, and his real-time net worth as of 6/4/20 is just around two billion dollars ($2B).
Strive Masiyiwa’s Biography
Strive Masiyiwa was born on the 29th of January 1961 in Zimbabwe, when the country was known as Rhodesia. He spent his early school years in Zimbabwe and Zambia before completing his secondary school education in Scotland.
After his graduation in 1978, Strive Masiyiwa went back to Zimbabwe with intentions of joining the anti-government guerilla forces. The war of independence was won in 1980, and Masiyiwa went back to school, this time in Britain.
He graduated from the University of Wales in 1983 with a degree in Electrical Engineering. He also holds an honorary doctorate from Morehouse College for his philanthropy and humanitarian work.
A year after he graduated from the University of Wales, in 1984, Masiyiwa was back in Zimbabwe as he hoped to help the country in their recovery process post-independence.
Upon his return to Zimbabwe in 1984, Masiyiwa got a job with the state-owned telephone company. There he worked as a telecom engineer for a short time.
After which he left his job and started Retrofit Engineering, an electrical contracting firm, the company was founded in 1987. They handled lots of projects for the Zimbabwean government until 1996, when the company was sold as a result of a dispute between Masiyiwa and the Zimbabwean government.
The dispute began in 1993 when Masiyiwa decided to start a mobile telecom network, but was resisted by the government, who at that time were the sole providers of telecommunication services in the country.
Masiyiwa’s determination to start Zimbabwe’s first independent telecommunication company meant the Zimbabwean government, who happened to be Retrofit’s biggest clients, decided to cancel their contracts with Retrofit.
This was a significant setback for Retrofit and Masiyiwa as he was almost bankrupt and had to sell Retrofit for nearly nothing.
He continued, however, to push for a license to operate and start his telecommunication company, and in 1997, he finally got the license to operate Econet, and in 1998, Econet officially launched its services in Zimbabwe.
Honors and Awards
Strive Masiyiwa received his first National honor in 1990 as he was awarded Zimbabwean Businessman of the Year, making him the youngest person ever to receive the award.
In 1998, Masiyiwa was awarded Zimbabwean Manager and Entrepreneur of the Year.
The following year in 1999, he was acknowledged by ‘Junior Chamber International’ (JCI) for ‘Ten Most Outstanding Young Persons of the World’.
He made the ‘Times Global Business Influentials List’ in 2002. And in 2003, the CNN/Time magazine Poll for ’15 Global Influentials of the Year’ had him on the list.
In 2010, Masiyiwa was honored with the ‘Builder of the Modern Africa Award.’ And the following year in 2011, he was on Forbes Magazine’s “20 Most Powerful Business People in African Business”. He was also honored with the Times of London’s ’25 Leaders of Africa’s Renaissance Award’ that same year (2011).
In 2012, Masiyiwa received and acknowledged and invitation from the president of the US, Barack Obama, to attend the G-8 Summit, Camp David.
Strive Masiyiwa also made the Fortune Magazine’s ’50 most influential leaders in the world’ list in 2014.
The following year, he made the Forbes Magazine’s ’10 Most Powerful Men in Africa list for 2015′. He was honored with two ‘Lifetime Achievement Awards,’ one at the African Business Awards 2015, and the other at the Brand Africa Awards 2015. In that same year (2015), he was honored with the Freedom Award by the International Rescue Committee.
Strive Masiyiwa was named number 33 in the World’s Greatest Leaders list for 2017 by Fortune Magazine. He was honored with the Points of Light Award in 2018, and in 2019, he was honored with both the Norman E. Borlaug World Food Prize Medallion and the New African Magazine’s ‘100 Most Influential Africans award.’
Philanthropy and Humanitarianism
Masiyiwa is widely acknowledged as one of Africa’s most prolific philanthropists
He built and started one of the largest programs that support the education of orphans in Africa. His family foundation supports the education of more than 40,000 children across Africa.
He teamed up with his wife to start the Higherlife Foundation. This non-profit making organization was created to provide a good education for disadvantaged children and create disadvantaged children and create opportunities for talented and innovative young people.
The foundation pays the school fees for 30,000 students annually in Zimbabwe, Lesotho, and Burundi, they make these payments through one of the largest scholarship programs in Africa.
Both Masiyiwa and his wife have also helped Zimbabwe in her fight against Cholera after the outbreak of the disease in 2019, as they donated a total of $10m. He also pledged $60m as the country plans to build resilience against Cholera.
In January 2020, after the doctors in Zimbabwe went on a strike to get paid their salaries, Masiyiwa took it upon himself to pay for doctors to return to work. He also set up a fund through which he will pay every Zimbabwean doctor a subsistence allowance of about $300 and also provide them with transportation to work.