WATCH: Strive Masiyiwa Chats with TD Jakes – 23 May 2020

T.D. Jakes had a fire side chat with London based Strive Masiyiwa on 23 May 2020. Masiyiwa is the founder and chairman at Econet and is a member of the giving pledge and was named Fortune Magazine’s top 50 most greatest leaders.


In his introduction, T.D Jakes talked about how he went into a business partnership with Tyler Perry on the “Woman though art Loosed Series”

  • Sometimes you can have the right idea in the right environment
  • You can do the right thing at the wrong time
  • What stimulates growth is losing – when you fail you learn

Here are some of the key points:

  • Masiyiwa was born in Zimbabwe but his family left when he was 6
  • He was a telecommunications engineer trained in England
  • When he returned he approached the government and pitched the idea of introducing of cellphone.
  • Mugabe was not amused when Masiyiwa went to court and made it a constitutional issue, while Masiyiwa made it a political issue.
  • After 5 years the constitutional court pulled down the monopoly.
  • The 5 year battle was over principle and not legality.
  • On the eve of the when he day he decided to launch the business, that is when Masiyiwa became a christian. June 1994. He was in the church and he had great men of God around. He kept the bible and the constitution of the country on his desk.
  • The government would pick Masiyiwa up and lock him up and keep him over the weekend.
  • Others were beginning to do what he was doing in other parts of the country.
  • The government tried to choose his partners.
  • When he was finally allowed to proceed, he decided to take ECONET Public
  • Masiyiwa took ECONET public because he had no money
  • Masiyiwa knew God would restore everything he lost.
  • Eventually Masiyiwa was forced to leave Zimbabwe in 2000 and has never retruned and today it is a $3 Billion Dollar Business.
  • Today ECONET is in 25 countries
  • 50 to 60 Nationalities work for ECONET
  • In Nigeria and North Africa there will be different different religions and cultures
  • You havent visited a country until you have visited the home of someone in that country
  • 75% of Africans have a mobile phone, In 2020, Africa will have 500 Million internet enabled handsets.
  • If you want to succeed in business, identify the human need.
  • When Masiyiwa started his business, he came across the challenge of HIV. With his wife, they started to help orphans, so far they have helped 250 000 kids to stay in school.
  • These children are called history makers. They are told that they are not disadvantaged, and they can change the world.
  • 100 students are sent to a 2 year boot-camp and are sent to the top schools across the world.
  • Within 10 years, what we are discussing now, nothing of it will be cancelled – You can not delete it – its out there
  • We are the light, light shows the way. We have to go back to our foundation of our values.
  • Big deals take time, there is no major business deal that meets a deadline.
  • You have to be careful who tell your vision.
  • What separates the long term vision with a short term win is consistency
  • ECONET has connected, SA, Zimbabwe, Zambia and now we are in CAIRO, now LAGOS
  • If you know how to do things you will always have a job: If you know how they do it , they will always work for you.
  • I might get lost along the way, but I must maintain consistency
  • When Masiyiwa set up a cellphone company in New Zealand they laughed at him
  • There must be a core of people that believe in you
  • Along the way you needs sign posts, wins on a daily basis, weekly basis etc
  • CEO and Chairman, Husband, you should know where all the lines are.