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Strive Masiyiwa: “Fear makes a wolf bigger than he is”

HARARE – Strive Masiyiwa has responded to people asking for solutions in face of rampant corruption. In his fifteenth instalment, he highl...

HARARE – Strive Masiyiwa has responded to people asking for solutions in face of rampant corruption. In his fifteenth instalment, he highlighted fear as the main obstacle to eliminating graft.
However, intimidation remains a key hindrance.   

Words by Derick Matsengarwodzi: media consultant, author of forthcoming books (The Winners’ Workshop and Death is not Dearth) and founder of Aloe Media Group. Let us interact on: Facebook; Email:; Twitter handle: @TinzweiDerick or Blog:

Writing on his Facebook timeline, the telecommunications mogul was emphatic.  

What is fear?
“I want to address a concern expressed by some of you about speaking up or acting against corruption. I want you to know I am listening. Your concerns can be put into one word: fear – a response to imminent physical or emotional danger.

There are different types of fear – of death, of pain, of revenge, of the unknown, of collateral damage to loved ones. Fear is very real, and it can freeze us like when an animal is caught in headlights on train tracks. Many animals act on instinct. As humanity, we have a choice. We can stand there frozen in fear, or we can move.”

He further likened corruption to an unstoppable train, saying that the corrupt do not intend to stop if we are in their way. They intentions are meant to propel their selfish agenda by threatening or make one complacent.

Masiyiwa adds, “Fear is a strategy of our enemies. A German proverb says, “fear makes a wolf bigger than he is,” but, in fact, the wolf of corruption is a very fearful wolf. 

In Africa, corruption has devoured untold billions of dollars over the decades. It has devoured prosperity. Worst of all, it has eaten away at the hope and self-confidence of Africa’s younger generations, in particular.”

Overcoming fear
Quoting Mark Twain, he wrote, “Courage is resistance to fear, mastery of fear, not absence of fear.” 

The philanthropist emphasises the need of citizen participation.

“Overcoming fear is a very real factor in the fight against corruption. As citizens you have every right to stand up for what is right,” he adds, cautioning that, “But I don’t want any of you to decide to recklessly confront those who would maybe even kill you just to keep themselves out of prison, or out of revenge, or simply to make money.”

Africa needs a strategy to fight corruption and overcoming fear is a first important step, Masiyiwa suggests.   

“Courage is the ability to do what frightens you, but, in this case, do it wisely.” The Aloe News 

• This text cannot be reproduced without prior consultation with the author.   

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