The “Bill Gates of Africa”

The “Bill Gates of Africa”

Anesi (16 years old) and his brother Osine (14 years old), are two remarkable young boys from Nigeria.

When they were 9 and 7 years old, the two of them started their own business called “BluDoors”(http://www.bludoors.com/), they were inspired to use the name “Doors” from the name Bill Gates’ used for his own product,  “Windows”.

The story of the Nigerian brothers is a classic story of how great entrepreneurs are launched. In the series of the “Fast Follower”, I pointed out that when a service or product that you are using frustrates you, instead of railing insults at some poor shop assistant, or call center operator, just sit down and make something better.

Image Caption: Anesi and Osine Ikhianosime
Image Caption: Anesi and Osine Ikhianosime

This is what happened with these two boys:

Even at the tender ages of 9 and 7, they had already developed an interest in computers, and a few years later were learning CODING. I have already said that the next billionaires in Africa, will include those who learn computer Coding.  In Hong Kong,  Coding is now being taught to five year olds!

The two boys taught themselves Coding on platforms available on the Internet such as the Code Academy.

As they got better they recognized that there was a “need” to develop a “browser”  which could be used with the type of cheap smartphones that people in Africa generally buy…. Cheap phones or imitations cannot process data as well as more expensive phones, causing the user many problems.

Imagine the audacity of these two youngsters;  to sit down and re-imagine the Browser from the mighty Google, known as “Google Chrome”…….But they did!

 Today they have their own business promoting their own browser  which they called, “Crocodile Browser Lite”. It is available for free on Google Play Store: (https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=com.webs.enterprisedoor).

If you want to see Africa and the World’s next “Bill Gates”,  they will look like these two young boys from Nigeria! This is how Bill Gates and Paul Allen also started.

Let me also tell you a great secret:

 These young boys will not need to go looking for money, money will come  looking  for them!

….”ProVISION always follows a great VISION”

The End.

Author:Strive Masiyiwa

Strive Masiyiwa is the founder and Executive Chairman of the Econet Group. He serves on several international boards including Unilever, and the Global Advisory boards of the Council on Foreign Relations and Stanford University. A board member of the Rockefeller Foundation for 15 years, he also serves as Chairman of the Alliance for a Green Revolution in Africa (AGRA). He is a co-founder of the Carbon War Room, Pathways for Prosperity, and the Global Business Coalition on Education. He and his wife, Tsitsi, co-founded the Higherlife Foundation and are signators of the Giving Pledge.

30 Replies to “The “Bill Gates of Africa””

    1. Wow … i am a 16 year old Zimbabwean boy and I think i will spend some time unable to look at myself in the mirror but i know one thing If they can do it then I can , in as much as zimbabwe is technologicaly backward with the help of God it is possible. Good work to the Bill Gates of africa you have made me notice the side to life that o never believed could happen to an African child. Well done and thank you for motivating me Mr Strive

  1. Mynaturerules Grace,
    Writes:

    This is great and inspiring . Will use this to inspire my son .Thanks for sharing . Also so impressed about the African seed. God is a great lifter.

    My reply:
    You are very wise!
    It is the first thing that came to my mind when I first heard about them:
    I will use this to inspire my children.
    Then, I thought “no let me use it to inspire millions of young people around the world, who follow me on FaceBook…. And also their parents.”
    This does not mean that every child must now go into Coding. It simply means that we must inspire our young people to go after their passions, and realize their full potential.
    I was inspired by their parents because they encouraged their children to pursue an interest in computers. It could just as easily have been agriculture or Acting, or singing, or playing soccer.

  2. Last year, I wrote a post in which I identified Coding as one of the core skills of the future. Does anyone remember that post?
    Anyway, I also decided to create a scholarship program to help orphans to learn coding. We set up a complete facility including computers in Harare for upto 1000 students. It is called Muzinda Hub. The first group of 1000 are due to finish their course.
    This is an extension of the Capernaum Trust, which has sent more than 200,000 orphans to school since my wife and I launched it about 20 years ago. The students at Muzinda Hub, are school leavers from the Capernaum Trust program.
    I’m hoping to one day have a Muzinda Hub in other African countries.

  3. I would love to see at least 100,000 of our friends on this platform download the browser created by Anesi and Osine. It is free and is available on Google Play Store. Let’s also encourage our children to download it, and try it out.

  4. Thank you for such an inspiring article sir. I will also encourage my son, who has learnt (via the net) how to amend code for his favourite car games. I am fairly grey haired, but am one of the few who love coding for Ad Hoc Management reports for corporates in Zimbabwe, and have a company that has been doing that for years. We have recently started the project in Harare.

    1. I feel so much challenged when i see some of African young men doing great work for Africans , these brother have proved that “NOTHING IS IMPOSSIBLE WITH COMPUTERS IN AFRICA”.I am motivated to dig deep around vast programming languages to come up with something nice in Africa and i usually say to my self and those around me “computers have the ability to solve problems as long as we work in abreast with technological advancement”. Thumbs up for Africa…………

  5. I was amazed when I read their story on your Facebook Page sir, it was really an inspiring one.

    I love stories like this and wish to ask for your permision to repost the article for my readers. I run an entrepreneurship blog where I try to inspire entrepreneurs and startups, providing relevant information for their growth and personal development.

    I am yet to download the app but could notice that it is already recieving nice review from users.

    I want to also use the opportunity to thank you Doctor for your weekily inspirations in the life of mostly African youths. You are a God sent to Africa. Taking out your time and money to make sure that all that care to know have access to the knowledge.

    I wrote an article about you and some of your selected quotes in my entrepreneurship blog. If you have a little time, please kindly peep in (http://www.thetotalentrepreneurs.com/quotes-by-strive-masiyiwa/)

    Francis Nwokike

  6. Excellent.
    Could you help me please i need some money as i am from India living in middle class family.
    Thank you

  7. Greetings, I am Emeka from Nigeria. I built a social networking website called KnowAndNet (www.KnowAndNet.com). It is very similar to Facebook but the idea is different (it brings together the ideas behind Facebook and LinkedIn). It is a website that brings professionals together on a worldwide platform. Through it, people can network with other professionals, showcase their CV, increase their possibility of gaining employment, share ideas, share pictures and make posts. Due to very limited funds, I am unable to project it for the world to see.

    Please sir, I will like you to help give it some exposure by writing about it. I believe your write-up will give it a lot of exposure.

    Thank you in anticipation.

  8. Emekowa,
    Writes:

    Sir! You are the singular person, who made me to make the decision to enroll for coding. You did that for me and many, through this platform. And, just like a grear COOK…the food would be READY…soon! Thanks so so much Sir. …Let there be Light!

    My reply:
    You cannot imagine how excited I get when I read a response like yours.
    This is great. Well done.

    A recent research paper I saw shows that the amount of work available for African based Coders is nearly $5bn per year. This is a growing industry which can create millions of jobs, and also earn foreign exchange for countries.
    There are many countries that are already proactively taking steps to create job opportunities in this area. Kenya is one country which is at the forefront of this effort. Last month I held a meeting with President Uhuru Kenyatta and we discussed an initiative to create over 1m new jobs across Africa through this new field. I also held a similar meeting recently with President Mahama of Ghana on the same issue.
    As a philanthropist I’m constantly looking for different ways to help. You cannot offer the same solution in every country.

  9. Champion Uchenna,
    Writes:

    I am a blind boy, i use a braille configured phone, dont know if this browser can be enabled in my phone, i will check out the code academy, learning to code and investing in stock market is the next thing on my mind. I will ensure my daughter learns codin

    Dear Champion:
    Your courage in the face of adversity is what will build Africa.
    I will find a way to reach you!

  10. A brother (whose name I won’t mention),
    Writes:

    Someone should show Dangote and Otedola and co this post. Come on what is wrong with Nigerians?

    My reply:
    There is nothing wrong with Nigerians, or any other African country for that matter. There is only something wrong with the way you yourself approach these issues. Of a truth you are simply looking for an occasion to complain, or blame someone else.
    Aliko Dangote is a great philanthropist, and he does many wonderful things. I’m currently working with him on trying to solve issues like Ebola, malnutrition, and illiteracy in certain parts of Africa. I know that he does many other things that go unreported. He does not have to tell you personally everything, as he is not looking for your vote or approval.
    The fact that you have not personally heard of these efforts does not give you the right to simply criticize.
    So let’s not be divisive: we are all Africans, trying to build a better Africa, and hopefully even a better world.

  11. “Never look down to test the ground before taking your next step;
    only he who keeps his eye fixed on the far horizon will find the right road.”

    …Dag Hammarskjold.

  12. Wow! This is really awesome and inspiring. So remarkable. Now i can see that i can too make our world a better living. I will use this to inspire my the community. Yeah this is wonderful. Onesi and your brother well done guys, keep the flame blazing.

  13. Peter Van Der Spuy, writes:

    I do recall your post when you mentioned that if any of us saw a child on the streets, that is one more child that is being deprived of education and should be in school. Last night when on my way home at 9pm, on this particularly cold night, I noticed 2 young kids waving thier school satchels in the road. I stopped and their mother, Natasha, and her 2 young shivering crying daughters pleaded for a lift to Hout Bay where they needed to collect their belongings as they were unable to pay their rent of R350/month for the past 3 months. These were true destitute Africans and the 2 young kids were desperately trying to attend school to write their exams. I called the landlord whom confirmed their story and that he needed the 3 months rent for them to stay on. Their mom is due to start a job in 2 weeks and would then be able to pay her rent for the room for her and her 2 daughters. I went to the ATM and drew the funds and drove them home and settled their full outstanding rent and assured the kids their rightful seat at the school today so they can write their exams. I wanted nothing in return but just the good feeling that I could contribute to our children education. I am thankful to Dr Strive Masiyiwa for his continued help, guidance, motivation and mobilisation of our wonderful nation and its poeple.

    My reply:
    This is truly the love of God “shed abroad in your heart..”.
    … You have fulfilled all righteousness:
    “The second is like unto it,… And on this (the love of God and of thy neighbor) hangs all the law and the prophets..”

    You are truly a great man, and one day I hope to meet you.
    Thank you my brother.
    God bless you.

    1. Amazing, you are really a God sent man Dr Strive. Thanks for inspiring us as young Africans, that no matter how tough life seems might be, we can still create a way out ourselves. Thanks for such powerful posts, this platform to me is more of a lecture room, I like.

  14. The next series will feature 10 African women entrepreneurs who are doing remarkable things to transform our continent, and the world. Hold on to your seat!
    The series will be called “The Roar of the Lioness”. It will start on Friday.

  15. Hi,
    I am a college teacher representing Asbiro school of business from Poland. This coming October (17-18 Oct) we are organizing a conference on how to make a business in Africa. We would like to meet someone who is fluent with African business environment. We would consider to invite Anesi and Osin. How could we do it? There is not even their last name available on your web site. Please, advise how to manage the case.
    Best regards
    Jan M Fijor
    +48-600-745-945

  16. Wow … i am a 16 year old Zimbabwean boy and I think i will spend some time unable to look at myself in the mirror but i know one thing If they can do it then I can , in as much as zimbabwe is technologicaly backward with the help of God it is possible. Good work to the Bill Gates of africa you have made me notice the side to life that o never believed could happen to an African child. Well done and thank you for motivating me Mr Strive

  17. Good day Mr Masiyiwa,
    I trust you are well. Please forgive my intrusion, but I assure you, my intention is not to waste your time. I have acquired a piece of traditional land in my home country and would love to go into farming – I intend to start small but with the view to expand to commercial farming with time. I need to sink a borehole and funds to purchase the first lot of seeds after which the project will be self sustaining. I have no assets so this has made it challenging to get funding from banks or other lending institutions.

    I wouldn’t want to take up too much of your time as I realise you are a busy man, but would you be able to assist or point me to someone who can? Your assistance will be hugely appreciated.

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