African tycoon reflects on the first female, black US Vice President

Strive Masiyiwa, founder and chairman of Econet Wireless Global Ltd., speaks during the annual Milken Institute Global Conference in Beverly Hills , California, U.S., on Monday, May 2, 2016. The conference gathers attendees to explore solutions to today's most pressing challenges in financial markets, industry sectors, health, government and education. Photographer: Patrick T. Fallon/Bloomberg via Getty Images

Billionaire businessman and philanthropist Strive Masiyiwa, a father of five daughters, says the historical swearing in of the first female and black US Vice President Kamala Harris is a great inspiration for millions of girls and women across the world.

Masiyiwa, the founder and chairman of the pan-African Econet Group, writes:

There are people who will want you to believe that it is not a big deal that a woman of colour is becoming Vice President of the United States.

It’s a REALLY BIG DEAL FOR ME, and here is why:

I am a father of five daughters, and from the moment each one of them took their first breath, I have wanted them to be successful in life. I want them to be whatever their God-given talents and grace will allow them to achieve.

But I have always known that there are barriers which must be removed for them to get there – precisely because they are woman, and also because they are black.

Each time someone out there removes a barrier that my children face, I rejoice!

How can I not rejoice because a woman and one of colour has reached this level?

When she is sworn in later this afternoon (January 20, 2021), I will sit with each of my daughters, and we will watch. And so will millions of black Americans who will see this day as a miracle. And many little girls will dream, and dream!

When my daughters were little, they would shout encouragement about each other with these words:

“Go Joanna, Go! You are a champion! Girls can do anything!”

(Joanna was the smallest of them, and she got to Yale University!).

So let’s all shout: “Go, Kamala, Go! You are a champion! Girls can do anything!”

Let us encourage others, so that we too might draw encouragement.

Strive Masiyiwa

London-based Zimbabwean billionaire businessman and philanthropist. He is the founder and Executive Chairman of the International Technology Group Econet Global.

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