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Kwesé TV is not a Zimbabwean company

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A Kwesé TV decoder

We understand that there is excitement that there is a new pay-TV option to rival DStv. Kwesé TV is that option and for the first time in decades one can look beyond DStv and still get their entertainment fix. As comparisons were made certain statements were thrown around as fact to make points. Let us look at Kwesé TV the company and not the service. 

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Some feel Kwesé TV has been over-hyped and they are right, in a way. Kwesé TV was fortunate in their launch in Zimbabwe. The Zimbabwean government in BAZ practically single-handedly made the whole nation sympathise with Kwesé TV as they tried three times to block it. They still are trying

Kwesé TV was also fortunate to come at a time when there was a cash crisis in the country and their rival DStv had stopped accepting bond notes. People still felt betrayed by DStv and when Kwesé TV promised that we could pay however we wanted and with whatever currency some felt the end had come for DStv and told it on the mountaintops. Maybe all that was just an attempt to get DStv to accept bond notes, who knows at this point? 

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As people debated whether BAZ was right in denying Kwesé TV a licence some were angry that the government which failed to deliver the two million jobs it had promised was now blocking a Zimbabwean company from providing much needed employment to Zimbabweans. 

That argument that Kwesé TV was Zimbabwean kept coming and it is easy to understand why people would think that. Kwesé TV is Econet’s baby and we all know that Econet is Zimbabwean even as we know that Strive Masiyiwa, the guy behind Econet is Zimbabwean. Some were like, ‘Kwese is Shona guys, how more Zimbabwean can you get?’ This is all common knowledge but how accurate is it? 

Yes, Strive Masiyiwa was born and bred in Zimbabwe but he hasn’t lived here in ages. Having said that we should acknowledge that he might not have left the country had the political situation not been what it was.

When people say ‘Econet’ in Zimbabwe they usually mean Econet Wireless Zimbabwe (EWZ). EWZ is where it all began for the Econet Group but now the Econet Group is massive and EWZ is merely a subsidiary. The Econet Global Group is headquartered in Mauritius. This means that Econet is a Mauritian company. Econet Wireless Africa is headquartered in Johannesburg South Africa and is part of the Econet Group.

EWZ though has a bit of autonomy, seeing as they are listed on the Zimbabwe Stock Exchange. This means EWZ is a public company in Zimbabwe. It’s activities are confined to the Zimbabwean market. The Econet Group in contrast is a private owned company not listed on any stock exchange.

On to Kwesé TV. We all are familiar with how companies may register with the Registrar with one name but trade with another. This is what Kwesé did. Or more accurately Econet Media. Yes, the company behind Kwesé TV is Econet Media and is only doing business as Kwesé. 

Econet Media like the Econet Group is a Mauritian company. When Dr Dish took BAZ to court you might have seen reference to Econet Media (Mauritius.) That company is Kwesé.  Econet Media Limited operates as a subsidiary of Econet Wireless International (Pty) Ltd.

So while there is debate to be had that Kwesé TV is necessary to challenge DStv’s monopoly in the pay-TV market, they are by no means a Zimbabwean company. Of course as Zimbabweans we will always have a sense of ownership of everything Strive Masiyiwa touches but it is only a sense. He is not resident in Zimbabwe and the Econet Group is not Zimbabwean. Kwesé TV is not a Zimbabwean company. We welcome Kwesé but as a foreign company.


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85 thoughts on “Kwesé TV is not a Zimbabwean company

  1. Wasting your enegy and time on irreleant details. Zvekuti ndeyekupi zvinebasarei nesu izvo. We had Zimbos who chose to remain here when their businesses blossomed but were are those businesses now. Creating subsidiaries in other countries wil hedge you against pitfalls that you may come up against in our unstable economy. Kingdom had at one point was the most inovative and successiful bank locally , had they expanded externally they would not be were they are now.

  2. I do not understand Shona but all i know is ku Cameroon Ethiopia, Gambia, Ghana, Kenya, Lesotho, Liberia, Malawi, Nigeria, South Africa, Zambia, Ghana etc vose vongodaidzira “Kwese” kwese kwese yemwana wevhu wemuZimbabwe.

  3. Kusafunga vanamasiiwa vakachenjera maoneroako akanaka chose but why Africa yese ichinzi kwese a Zimbabwean name you zvibate haunyare

  4. This article was completely pointless. It should have stayed at the bar where it was first thought up. Company founders will register their companies in a location and environment that is the most favourable in terms or certain business and economic decisions. What matters is not where it was registered but who registered it and who the visionary behind the company is

  5. Today u say its not Zimbabwean but in December 2015 u reported… Strive Masiyiwa announces Kwesé TV, Econet’s DStv rival
    Posted 4 Dec 2015 by Nigel Gambanga
    Strive Masiyiwa, the founder and chairman of Econet Wireless has announced a new pay TV service called Kwesé TV. Through a post on his Facebook page, Mr Masiyiwa highlighted how Econet had been working on the service for three years.

    This is an almost direct reference to ipidi, the VOD service that the Econet Global group has been working on through its fibre services company Liquid Telecom. There has been mention of plans to white-label the ipidi service in different sub-markets across Africa. Kwesé (whose name means “everywhere” in Shona) would fit into the mould.

    Though the official launch of ipidi is yet to be announced, a lot of work has been carried out to get it to launch, especially over the past year, including the securing of content from various studios and preparing a mobile app that will complement the service

  6. Even if Kwese might not have its headquarters in Zimbabwe but in Mauritius, its not Mauritian, its an international company – a Multinational company to be specific. Am not sure of ownership structure, but if it is majority owned by Strive then it qualifies to be an indigenous firm as per our statutes because Strive is indigenous Zimbabwean.

  7. I don’t care if its Chinese for the record none of you would register the company your investments in Zimbabwe

  8. We are just welcoming Kwese, A COMPANY of econet international, associated with one of our own. Giving DSTV and BAZ sleepless nights. Actually DSTV has reduced costs because of Kwese Competition. And the Jobs, we salute.
    KWESE KWESE vanhu varikufara.

  9. You are correct in the business sense but you also need to appreciate that DSTV had a monopoly that has been challenged hence better service for all!

  10. ZIMBABWEANS ARE GOOD AT CLAIMING,,,, Thandi Newton is ours,yet she hasn’t set foot in Zimbabwe,,,Tinashe Kachingwe, never set foot in Zimbabwe, Lucky Dube, Archie Moroka(Generations), Garry Balance(Cricket), Brendan Galloway…. They are citizens of other countries,and they respect that particular flag,,Let us not be delusional and claim something to be ours on principle when it is actually LEGALLY not ours.

  11. point of correction Strive Masiyiwa’s father is known by a few as he was a Malawian. Strive was born and bred in Broken Hill (Kabwe) in Zambia to a Zimbabwean woman and adopted by a white family at the age of nine.

  12. What’s your point Mr writer? As a consumer of a service, I have no business with all those analyses that you seem heated about. We just want accessible, affordable, optional and available service, fullstop. Is DSTV Zimbabwean? Personally I have no problem with any service provider who has customers at heart. Contrary to what I read here that Kwese came and took lime light at a time of cash crisis, I cuncur with reservations. Its not totally true as a reason for DStV losing customers, if they did lose them or are losing them. DSTV simply, according to me has a very weak marketing foresight and a stubborn public relations approach. For months customers were both complaining and giving the company free advise which received no listening ear.
    The writer should have explained why DSTV, operating in Bond-using Zimbabwean market refuses to accept Bonds, when it is the “currency” we are using as a country for now. Am still searching for the real message in that article- Tiiboneki, ndaishaya, ayikhanyi, can’t find it.

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