It was 1990, in just four short years I had gone from cobbling together $75 from friends and a relative to start a small electrical contracting business, to a burgeoning multimillion dollar, national business with almost 500 employees. I had learnt the art of raising money from banks, and had now secured an investment from The International Finance Corporation, an arm of the World Bank.
I had been named both Business Man of the Year and Industrialist of the Year. I was now sole owner of the business, as my partner had cashed out, and gone to establish his own business, before the IFC investment. We remain good friends to this day.
I began to think for the first time that I could tackle work in neighbouring countries, I chose Mozambique. So one morning, as part of my research into the opportunities in the country I visited their local embassy and spent several constructive hours with officials. When I left the Mozambique Embassy Building, I decided to walk back to my office rather than be driven. As I walked, I noticed a vehicle that appeared to be driving slowly behind me, but being deep in thought, I paid it no real attention. When I finally got into my office, two men rushed behind me, and abducted me at gun point!
I was taken to a secret detention centre by my abductors. Time and choice (today) constraints stop me from going into must detail about this incident. But let me say what is important; as I was in the place where I was being held and my abductors were outside, I did something I had not done since I was a child, I got on my knees and prayed earnestly to God, with tears in my eyes begging him to rescue me… He heard me! …. I was rescued from my ordeal that night!
And now I had learnt the most important lesson of all… GOD ANSWERS PRAYER!
I came remarkably close to losing my life. We shall return to this issue again, my relationship with Jesus Christ, that is…..
God Bless You.
Strive Masiyiwa is the Founder and Executive Chairman of Econet, a diversified global telecommunications group with operations and investments in over 15 countries. His business interests also include renewable energy, financial services, media and hospitality. Masiyiwa serves on a number of international boards, including Unilever, Rockefeller Foundation, the Council on Foreign Relations’ Global Advisory Board, the Africa Progress Panel, the UN Secretary General's Advisory Board for Sustainable Energy, Morehouse College, Hilton Foundation's Humanitarian Prize Jury and the Kenjin-Tatsujin International Advisory Council. He is one of the founders, with Sir Richard Branson, of the global think tank, the Carbon War Room, and a founding member of the Global Business Coalition on Education. Masiyiwa took over the Chairmanship of the Alliance for a Green Revolution in Africa (AGRA) from Kofi Annan. He is also Chair of the Micronutrient Initiative, a global organization focused on ending child hunger and improving nutrition. In 2012, Masiyiwa was invited by President Obama to address leaders at the Camp David G-8 Summit on how to increase food production and end hunger in parts of Africa. In 2014, Masiyiwa was selected to Fortune Magazine’s list of the “World’s 50 Greatest Leaders”. As a philanthropist, he is a member of the Giving Pledge, and his contributions to education, health and development have been widely recognized. Masiyiwa and his wife finance the Higher Life Foundation, which provides scholarships to over 42,000 African orphans. In 2015, he was the recipient of the International Rescue Committee’s Freedom Award and was presented with a UN Foundation Global Leadership Award for the work of the Africa Against Ebola Solidarity Trust, which he chairs and helped establish to fund the deployment of African healthcare workers to combat the outbreak in West Africa.View all posts by Strive Masiyiwa