Masiyiwa’s daughter makes it onto influential Forbes list . . . father’s net worth swells to US$1,9 billion

Vimbai Masiyiwa

IN the latest April-May 2024 issue of Forbes Africa magazine, Zimbabwean Vimbai Masiyiwa, who is the chief executive officer of Batoka Hospitality, is on the 30 Under 30 list.

The list, which marks its 10th anniversary this year, essentially uncovers “some of the most influential and iconic young people on the continent”.

Commenting on the latest list, Forbes said: “The 10th anniversary of Forbes Africa’s 30 Under 30 list is testament to the unmistakable potential and talent pool that exists on a continent boasting the world’s youngest population, and their role in crafting Africa’s growth story. Building a business and consistently creating change on the continent, as a 20-something, is no mean feat.”

What makes Vimbai’s story unique is the fact that she is a cancer survivor.

Although she is the daughter of Strive Masiyiwa, a businessman whose net worth has since swelled to US$1,9 billion, according to Forbes, 29-year-old Vimbai has distinguished herself in business.

Below we reproduce the citation from Forbes.

“Entrepreneurship is in my blood,” Vimbai Masiyiwa tells Forbes Africa.

“I grew up watching my parents work hard to build their businesses, and I knew that it was something I intrinsically wanted to do.”

As the daughter of African billionaire Strive Masiyiwa (with a real-time net worth of US$1,9 billion as per Forbes on March 22, 2024) and Tsitsi Masiyiwa, she knew that there would be pressure on her to succeed.

Diagnosed with cancer at “a pivotal stage” of her education made her re-evaluate what she really wanted to do with her life and career.

“This moment catalysed me to change direction with a focus on creating a meaningful business of my own,” says the cancer survivor today.

Determination helped Vimbai launch Batoka Africa, which, for her, is the culmination of four years of ideating, fundraising, building and growing.

In 2019, she had the vision to turn Batoka into a successful social enterprise tourism business with an entirely new property component, which she spearheaded. Vimbai required a US$4 million capital investment to build the property and while she could leverage on existing staff and resources, a significant component required fundraising.

From 2019 to 2021, it was one of her biggest challenges.

“I am a believer in building great agile teams that have the ability to succeed, no matter the hurdles.

“Working with my incredible team on the ground and collaborators from all over the continent (with the majority of them being women) meant that we pulled together in the worst of times,” says the young Zimbabwean entrepreneur.


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