How Far Can You Go?
"Ask of me, and I will give you the nations for an inheritance, and the utter most parts of the earth for a possession" (Ps 2:8).
"Your story has gone around the world, and we want you to help us set up a business in New Zealand". The man talking to me, was a Maori from New Zealand. His name was Bill Osborne, a legendary member of the revered, "All Blacks" rugby team, of the 1970s.
"Do you have a cell phone license?" I asked him.
"No, not yet, but we believe it might be possible to do what you did in Zimbabwe."
"Oh, I don't want to fight another protracted legal battle." I said.
"We don't think it is necessary, to go to court, but we have a rock solid case, to ask for a license, under the provisions of an old treaty, called the Treaty of WAITANGI of 1840."
"Give me a few days, Bill, I just need to consult our Father."
"Oh, I did not know your father , was involved in your business?"
"I suppose you could say, that."
(How else was I to tell a total stranger, that I wanted to spend some time praying about it?)
After, a few weeks of prayer, and fasting, I bought a ticket, and headed down to New Zealand. In New Zealand, I was met by a man who has become a life long friend, and dear brother, Simon (Tex) Edwards. I took with me a young Zimbabwean engineer, who was part of my original Econet team (Nic Read), he is still there to this day.
A new adventure of faith, had began:
As in Botswana, we were forced to go head to head, in an international public tendering process, with some of the giants of the industry, such as Vodafone, Orange, and Telstra:
We prevailed in miraculous circumstances. We did not do it with any technical partner. The year was 2000 we then had to mobilise capital from all over the world, including Hong Kong,, Austria and the United States.
New Zealand is an amazing country, with some of the most friendly people, I have ever met. They welcomed us, with open arms, even though we were a young company, from Africa.
The government helped our local partners, with support, so they could own shares,and participate fully,as investors.
It took several years to finally get it all going, but I am so glad, that we were, with our partners, able to get the business going, and create value, including many jobs.
We remain to this day, shareholders, with our partners, in one of New Zealand's 3 operators. The company is called 2 Degrees. It was our first time to enter the Asia Pacific region.
You can visit the website of 2 Degrees:http://www.2degreesmobile.co.nz
Also readStrive Masiyiwa : How we got the license to operate as Mascom in Botswana part 1Strive Masiyiwa : How we got the license to operate as Mascom in Botswana part 2Strive Masiyiwa : How we got the license to operate as Mascom in Botswana part 3More from Strive MasiyiwaHow we took over Lesotho a kingdom in the mountains Part 1How we took over Lesotho a kingdom in the mountains Part 2How we took over Lesotho a kingdom in the mountains Part 3