Meet Tsitsi Masiyiwa, Co-FOUNDER Of Highlife Fountion

Tsitsi Masiyiwa is an African philanthropist and social entrepreneur who has devoted much of her life to empowering the lives of young people through education and technology. Tsitsi Masiyiwa started working in philanthropy in the early 1990s through the work of her husband, Strive Masiyiwa, in the telecommunications business in Zimbabwe. During that time, the country was gripped by the HIV/AIDS pandemic and many families lost breadwinners.

The impact of the pandemic touched the heart of Tsitsi Masiyiwa and she started supporting the children of employees and community members that would have passed on due to the HIV/AIDS pandemic. The impact of the pandemic was so dire that the Masiyiwa family attended and supported funerals of either an employee or a community member every other month and then it became every other week and then it became every other day.

From this experience, Tsitsi Masiyiwa dedicated her life to supporting the lives of young children especially orphans with the goal of providing these children another opportunity in life. Together with her husband, Strive Masiyiwa, Tsitsi Masiyiwa founded Higherlife Foundation in 1996, a non-profit organization that has heavily invested in Africa’s future through education. Over the years, Higherlife Foundation, has directly and indirectly supported over 250,000 children to access education services. Higherlife Foundation has become one of the largest scholarship program in Africa and thousands of children have gone on to receive tertiary scholarships to study at some of the top universities in the world.

In addition to supporting education initiatives, Higherlife Foundation also supported the response to the Cholera outbreak in 2008 in Zimbabwe, resuscitation of operations of the College of Medicine in Zimbabwe in the 2008-2010 period and provision of food packs to starving families during drought periods. Recently, Higherlife Foundation streamlined its strategy and operations to focus on identifying and nurturing orphans and vulnerable children and highly talented students to fulfil their potential through education. Higherlife Foundation has expanded operations and has in-country presence in Zimbabwe, Lesotho and Burundi. Tsitsi Masiyiwa’s work through Higherlife Foundation has had massive impact on the livelihood of the African population.

Driven by her passion for technology and innovation, Tsitsi co-founded Muzinda Hub, an entrepreneurship and innovation project based in Harare, Zimbabwe. Muzinda Hub is an incubator lab for youth digital skills development and business mentorship that leverages technology to promote youth entrepreneurship. Muzinda is the fastest growing tech hub in Sub Saharan Africa with more than 1,000 coders. The scale-up of Muzinda Hub initiatives is being supported by Econet Zimbabwe.

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