On the 3rd of August, Higherlife Foundation Founders Mr Strive and Mrs Tsitsi Masiyiwa participated at the African Philanthropy Forum (APF) regional learning session in Johannesburg to explore the role of key actors and partnerships in philanthropy. This session was focused on shaping a new narrative on African philanthropy to take African philanthropy to the next level.
Established in 2014, The African Philanthropy Forum is a community of African philanthropists and social investors who seek to explore ‘equitable sustainable development in Africa’. APF seeks to inform, inspire and transform the future of philanthropy in Africa by bringing together Africa’s leading voices in social change to connect and share ideas that enhance the development of Africa’s communities.
The session whose theme was “The Changing Face of Philanthropy: Unusual Champions Driving Inclusive Change” brought together a cosmopolitan array of change agents “the unusual champions” who are shaping a new narrative on African philanthropy in their own unique ways. From renowned visionary leaders to NBA legends and stars, the learning session saw lively panel discussions that showcased the power of collaboration and innovation in driving inclusive change throughout the continent.
In her panel discussion that focused on collaborative change, Mrs Tsitsi Masiyiwa highlighted the need for African philanthropists and actors for social change to come together to make a difference in African communities. “Find common ground to work together for the common good of Africa,” stressed Mrs Masiyiwa.
Mrs Masiyiwa also dispelled the myth that to become a philanthropist you have to be a in a position of great wealth. “We started the foundation before the business. I encourage Africans to start giving from where ever they are until your work grows,” she added.
“My philosophy is ‘to go where people in need are, eat what they eat, sleep where they sleep’ to fully understand their situation and develop effective sustainable change models that define your giving,’ articulated Mrs Tsitsi Masiyiwa.
In a fireside chat with Dr Jackie Chimhanzi the CEO of African Leadership Institute, Mr Strive Masiyiwa delved into the importance of seeking the endless possibilities around us to usher in a new era in African philanthropy “I see an Africa where borders disappear.
An Africa that is united in empathy and challenged to action,” voiced Mr Masiyiwa. The prolific philanthropist and business icon, also spoke on the need for Africans to embrace the spirit of Ubuntu by making time for their fellow citizens as this spurs development. “When it matters, I don’t find time, I make time,” stated Mr Masiyiwa.
A firm believer in the art of entrepreneurship, Mr Masiyiwa also articulated approaches that can help build a better Africa. “The tools in our hands to address Africa’s challenges are philanthropy and entrepreneurship,” shared Mr Masiyiwa.
Mr Masiyiwa also spoke on educational philanthropy as a vehicle for building communities in Africa “You can have a 100 Ferraris but nothing beats a young person walking in and saying “sir, here is my degree, thank you for the support” described Mr Masiyiwa.
Together Mr and Mrs Masiyiwa have impacted over 250,000 children through education support and through Higherlife Foundation they continuously look for innovative ways to impact more lives and strategic partnerships to drive collaborative change in Africa’s communities.
Other thought leaders at the session included NBA player Bismarck Biyombo who spoke on his journey to the NBA and his philanthropic vision. “Let’s all have a goal to build something that will live forever, that generations after will benefit from. Let’s make Africa continue to shine, “stated Mr Biyombo.
The learning session also saw a diverse spectrum of game changers in philanthropy including renowned NBA Legend, Dikembe Mutombo and dynamic humanitarian and social entrepreneur Prince Cedza Dlamini and South African actress and entrepreneur Rosie Motene.
To learn more about Tsitsi Masiyiwa and her philanthropy please visit: http://www.tsitsimasiyiwa.com/international-leadrship/philanthropy