Everything started from a contract with God, inspired by a difficult ordeal Tsitsi Masiyiwa went through in the late 1990s. Wife of Strive Masiyiwa, now considered one of the richest men in Zimbabwe, Tsitsi today helps thousands of orphans. Her story …
A life of dreams, Tsitsi Masiyiwa knew well before the 1990s when her husband was providing energy services to the Zimbabwean government through his Retrofit Engineering company. But this lucrative partnership between Retrofit Engineering and the government was seriously defeated when Masiyiwa decided to compete with the state-owned Zimbabwe Post and Telecommunications Corporation (PTC). We are then in 1993. The Zimbabwean authorities did not digest this “affront” since they intend to keep the monopoly on telecommunications in which they already saw a very promising future.
Our problems started when we sued the government, remembers Masiyiwa. You cannot sue the government and think things will always be right.
The authorities refuse him not only the license, but also threaten to sue him if he persists in completing his project. Strive Masiyiwa decides to take the Zimbabwean government to court for an attempt to monopolize telecommunications. Five years of hard judicial battle were thus launched.
As the government is Retrofit Engineering’s biggest customer, it decided to withdraw all contracts from him. Having no more money to pay the wages of his employees and to support the fees of his lawyers, her husband Masiyiwa puts the key under the mat.
Very believing, his wife takes the lead in “signing” a contract with God. If the latter again opens the door to success, she promises to take care as far as possible of the maximum number of orphans.
With the limited resources they have, Mr. and Mrs. Masiyiwa set up the Capernaum Trust organization. In addition to feeding the orphans, the organization also decides to offer scholarships to the needy when it can afford it.
In 1997, the Supreme Court of Zimbabwe granted Econet Wireless (the couple’s business project) a license to create a mobile phone company in Zimbabwe. The Supreme Court ruled that the government’s monopoly on telecommunications was contrary to a provision of the country’s Constitution.
A victory for the couple whose company took off in 1998. To date, the company boasts some 15 million subscribers across Zimbabwe, Botswana, Burundi and Lesotho and has positioned itself as the best telephone company in the country.
Investing in Africa’s Development Charity
A promise being a debt, Tsitsi Masiyiwa devotes part of his life to Zimbabwean orphans. As a first act, it organizes a great feast in their honor. This will be the beginning of a beautiful charity. Its program “the actors of history” allows orphans to go to study in the United States in particular.
The foundation has been exported to South Africa and Burundi. Better yet, the couple invested in three other charities, each with goals to be reached in different areas: religion, medicine and school.
For Tsitsi Masiyiwa, to be successful, is “to bear the responsibility to support initiatives that will fuel growth and development in Africa.”