This year the Masiyiwa family has been honoured with 3 high profile honours within a period of less than Three months.
Last month, Dr Strive Masiyiwa who is also the founder and chairman of global Telecoms groups Econet Wireless was named number 33 on Fortune Magazines’ list of 50 of the World’s Greatest Leaders. Dr Masiyiwa was named alongside some of the world’s most influential individuals among them, Tesla CEO Elon Musk, former US Vice President Joe Biden, Canada’s Prime Minister Justine Trudeau, Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos and Pope Francis, leader of the Catholic church. Commenting on the acknowledgement via his Facebook page, Mr Masiyiwa thanked his Facebook followers who are now over 2 million as most of his support comes from the readers of his platform.
And yesterday, Dr Masiyiwa was honoured with a honorary doctorate degree in philanthropy from the Nelson Mandela Metropolitan University’s (NMMU).
Addressing graduates in the Faculty of Business and Economic Sciences this morning, Masiyiwa – who began his telecommunications business with just $75 – spoke to the need for university leavers to create jobs.
“It is indeed true that I started business with only the equivalent of $75. In a few weeks, you will begin the journey that I started in an institution not dissimilar to your own. As hopeful graduates going into the job market, you will be aware that it is an extraordinary time because we have extraordinary challenges,” he said.
“Perhaps it was a little easy for me with a fresh university engineering degree, as it will be for many of you, but still you will be going out into the job market. But where do the jobs come from?”
Dr Masiyiwa is recognized for his devotion of a percentage of his annual income towards philanthropy. Together with his wife, Dr Tsitsi Masiyiwa, founded and currently fund the Capernaum Trust, a Zimbabwe-registered Christian charity that sponsors scholarships and medical assistance for over 28,000 orphaned Zimbabwean children.
“The other day I was speaking to African bankers and they asked how to become more supportive of entrepreneurs. I asked them: if Elon Musk walked into your branch, would you recognise him or does he have to go to Silicone Valley?
“He is a South African and an African, and one of the greatest entrepreneurs. We have lots of Elon Musks. Ladies and gentlemen, the hall is full of Musks. They are right here. This is where the jobs will come from.”
Masiyiwa has indeed challenged and transformed the economic landscape in Zimbabwe and Africa.