In the traditional African system, the man and the woman had distinguished roles. The women were automatically rated as high or low as their spouses; women had a specifically constructed role of nurturing and management of the home front. Over time, this style has changed and society not only demands but includes women in the workforce. Thus, some women have risen side by side to their spouses on the economic ladder.
The core of Africa’s focal point is to uplift the economy, as a result, we will be looking at couples who have done well for themselves in that regard. Africa’s power couples are married persons, both of whom have worked to conspicuously great and admirable positions in the society; men and women whose matrimonial contracts are still waxing strong and has not deterred their significance and purpose in the society.
It is indeed striking, the growing idea of individuality and personal interest in business/life pursuit in recent African marriages. We see couples who independently go after an interest in directions that are not necessarily those of their spouses. One would expect that as a couple they run joint family businesses but that is not always the case. Africa’s Power couples are partners who have and are fulfilling a socio-economic purpose in the African society; partners who have become formidable forces in their own respects whether jointly or in varied African sectors. In no particular order, these are the African power couples that will utterly interest you:
12. Strive And Tsitsi Masiyiwa
Think Econet Wireless, Think Strive Masiyiwa, a business mogul, and an incredible philanthropist. Econet is the first and leading telecoms company in Zimbabwe since its inception in 1998. His wife Tsitsi featured in Forbes for feeding 40, 000 children in Zimbabwe. Together both set up a number of charities for the welfare and education of the needy, orphans as well as for encouraging evangelism- supporting church constructions in the remotest part of the country.
While we have billionaires who lavish billions on frivolities, here is a Zimbabwean couple who practically welcomed the idea of giving back; and religiously includes the welfare of 40,000+ children in their budget. If this does not qualify them as Africa’s “super” power couple, I wonder what will. Thanks to their humanitarian personalities, orphans have been taken off the streets and harsh conditions into the bliss of education and sound formation. The couple is not scared of spreading their goodness across the continent, as several beneficiaries also come from surrounding nations. Today they are Zimbabwe’s richest couple. In 2012, Strive reportedly made a $6.4 million fund for college scholarships. He has made countless adventures in the international economic scene, which we could say was considerable enough to make the duo Obama invitees to the 38th G8 summit in 2012.
Tsitsi strongly believes that “people who are successful have a responsibility to support initiatives that will fuel Africa’s growth and development”. In addition to her daunting charities, she has taken up the course of sensitizing all and sundry with the capacity to help to aid Africa to soar higher. In April 2013, the charitable wife and pace setter, in conjunction with Tony Elumelu and other African economy enthusiasts formed the African Philanthropy Forum (AFP). Such are the stuff power couples are made of.
11. Victor And Funke Osibodu
Victor Osibodu effectively runs the Vigeo group conglomerate While his wife is a renowned banking professional. Very distinctly both make towering progresses in their personal fields. With her knowledge and skill in economics, Funke has headed series of sensitive banking positions in various banking firms. In 2012, she vacated the position of Chief Executive of Union Bank Nigeria Plc. Victor remains the Chairman of the Vigeo conglomerate with diversified interests in commerce, shipping, oil & gas. The Osibodu Couple sure does know their way around money matters.
10. Trevor Manuel & Maria Ramos
Country: South Africa
Trevor and Maria are both financial experts who operate rather independently. Trevor is a long time player in the South African government, most recently served as a minister for the National Population Commission. Born during the apartheid regime he suffered series of prison detentions, and in much better days, Trevor served as a South African minister for a span of 10 years, and also was a World Bank Board member. In 1994, he was chosen to be the “Global Leader for Tomorrow” at the World Economic Forum while his better half, Maria “currently serves on the executive committee of the World Economic Forum’s International Business Council” (Wikipedia).
Maria Ramos is of a Portuguese-South African descent; after her university degree in economics, she gradually made her way to the top. From an economics’ teacher to top financial management positions in prominent South African organizations. From 1996-2003, she served as the director general of S.A’s national treasury; in 2009, she became the CEO of Barclays. She has been honored severally for her achievements including the 2005 Sunday Times Business Times Business Leader of the Year.
The two economic and political minded people met in the course of working together and tied the knot in 2008.
9. Mo and Haina Ibrahim
Irrespective of his billionaire personality, Mo is a humble telecoms engineer/entrepreneur and business tycoon as much so is he an African optimist. He also moves for the motion of African Philanthropy and less of foreign aid which has since lost its essence. With the likes of Bill Gates and other international philanthropists, Mo has pledged half of his wealth to charity. After successfully founding and running the Celtel network, he diverted his interest and fortune to Africa’s capacity building and advocating for good leadership in Africa through the Mo Ibrahim Foundation and other platforms. Behind this successful Sudanese, is Haina Ibrahim who worked for many years as a consultant radiologist. Mo and Haina are one of a kind deliberately low profile couple.