Meet the Zimbabwean Power Couple Behind One of Africa's Most Impactful Foundations

·1 min read
Photo credit: Gisela Schober - Getty Images
Photo credit: Gisela Schober - Getty Images

When Zimbabwean husband and wife duo Strive and Tsitsi Masiyiwa founded their Higherlife Foundation in 1996, it was focused on education initiatives for vulnerable African children, providing funding for both merit- and need-based scholarships as well as constructing libraries and resource centers. To date, the organization has touched the lives of 250,000 children. Today the foundation’s work encompasses healthcare, medical assistance, crisis response, leadership development, food insecurity, and building rural economies, among other projects, and, in addition to Zimbabwe, has a footprint in Lesotho, Burundi, Rwanda, Swaziland, South Africa, and Kenya.

The Masiyiwas, who are routinely hailed as two of the most generous philanthropists on the continent, have also expanded their reach: Strive, a billionaire telecoms mogul (and Zimbabwe's richest man) who serves on the Council on Foreign Relations’ Global Board of Advisors, was appointed the African Union Special Envoy, to mobilize the private sector response to Covid-19, and is also on the board of Netflix. Tsitsi is a founding member of the African Philanthropy Forum and a member of the Generation Unlimited Global Leadership Council. Both have also been signatories of the Giving Pledge since 2014.

This story appears in the Summer 2021 issue of Town & Country.

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