The big takeaway from the past week in business news is that A) secretly released documents show that billionaires aren’t paying their fair share in taxes. (Gee, you think?) And meanwhile, B) hotels and restaurants and other businesses can’t find enough people to work as maids and dishwashers, etc.
If that doesn’t get your "hmmm" juices flowing, I don’t know what will.
Let me explain by first going through the A and B elements and then speak to how they’re connected.
The billionaire tax news I’m referring to comes from a blockbuster ProPublica story which dropped on Tuesday, (highly recommended reading, btw.)
Here’s a money sentence: “Taken together, [all the documents] demolishes the cornerstone myth of the American tax system: that everyone pays their fair share and the richest Americans pay the most.”
The main takeaways are 1) that the super wealthy, the .001%, make most of their money through the appreciation of property and especially stock, which isn’t taxed of course. And that there are myriad means at their disposal to derive monies from these troves, like bank loans, so they can live high on the hog tax free. And 2) to the extent that they do have income, none of these billionaires are paying anywhere near the top marginal rate of 37%—thanks to loopholes and deductions—and in fact some have paid no taxes at all.
If you think these tax avoiders are all a bunch of rock-ribbed, Trump-loving Republicans, you are wrong. Subjects include Warren Buffett, George Soros and Jeff Bezos, who are Democrats or lean that way.
In some instances, it appears they are paying huge amounts of taxes, but look again. Check out this on Bezos from the ProPublica piece:
“His tax avoidance is even more striking if you examine 2006 to 2018, a period for which ProPublica has complete data. Bezos’ wealth increased by $127 billion, according to Forbes, but he reported a total of $6.5 billion in income. The $1.4 billion he paid in personal federal taxes is a massive number — yet it amounts to a 1.1% true tax rate on the rise in his fortune.”
ProPublica doesn’t even bother to calculate the rate he paid on his $6.5 billion in income. I did. It’s 21.5%, thanks no doubt to tax avoidance schemes. If he was paying at today's top marginal rate of 37%, he would have paid $2.4 billion, instead of $1.4 billion. (The top marginal rate ranged from 35% to 39.6% in that time period.) The difference—the avoidance if you will—a cool $1 billion is enough to...well, maybe we should ask Bezos what he did with it.
Same logic applies to Warren Buffett who despite his protestations that the tax code is messed up, paid $24 million in taxes on $125 million in income between 2014 and 2018, according to the article. His defense is that he will give 99.5% of his money to philanthropy upon his death. Fair enough Warren, but again, how about having it both ways? Avoid the tax avoidance and pay your 37% across the board. You’ll still be giving away more than $100 billion.
Now consider the practice of billionaires paying themselves a pittance in salary. Bezos famously pays himself $81,840, as a nod to the working man, apparently. Mark Zuckerberg, Larry Ellison and Larry Page reportedly take home $1 a year. We used to think of this as a show of good faith, a display that the billionaires believed their company’s stock would go up and that they were aligned with and would share in that risk with shareholders.
Now it almost looks like flaunting. As in, NAH-nah-nah-NAH-nah, I make so much money in capital gains I don’t need income and by the way, it allows me to avoid paying any taxes. Wouldn’t it be nice if Elon Musk took a salary of $500 million and paid $185 million in taxes. That’s a whole lot more than the $65,000 he paid in taxes in 2017, according to ProPublica. (And he paid zero in 2018, according to the article.) Know that Musk’s net worth increased by nearly $14 billion from 2014 to 2018 and that he is worth some $166 billion today.
What that means is working people essentially subsidize billionaires. Drive down Highway 101 in Silicon Valley, and know you chipped in more than Elon Musk did for that road, not only on a relative basis, but in some years on an absolute basis. That Musk and his cohort have created thousands of jobs and billions of market value does not offset this in any way. How about create the jobs and the market value, AND pay your fair share of taxes? Is that too much to ask?
And to those of you who are crying, ‘lay off these people, they are engines of our economy and it’s the American way,” I will tell you I agree with you (except the lay off part.) They are (mostly) helping move our country forward. But again, it’s not a binary thing is it? You can get insanely rich and pay billions in taxes. Yes, both. Do you really think Musk and Bezos knew they’d be worth over $150 billion-plus each and their plans would have been foiled if they paid $5 billion or $10 billion more in taxes along the way?
By the way, does the government waste money? Sure. Is that any reason not to pay taxes? No, it's a problem to fix, and it’s not all broken anyway. I was just at Grand Teton and Yellowstone National Parks and it was a joy to see my tax dollars at work there.
But I would admit that our system of tax collection is so broken that it would almost make more sense to tell billionaires that from now on paying taxes is 100% voluntary, the only catch is that it’s transparent. I bet this would result in squeezing more money out of them than they currently pay. Or how about a billionaires’ minimum tax? I know that’s essentially a wealth tax, like the one Bernie Sanders and Elizabeth Warren have proposed, which would be 3% for billionaires.
Sorry for the rant. I just couldn’t help myself when I discovered that in any given year I’m paying more, much more, taxes than George Soros or Mike Bloomberg. I don’t care what the tax code says. That. Is. Just. Not. Right.
People won't work for peanuts anymoreWhich brings us to Element B that I mentioned at the top, which is that hotels, restaurants and other businesses are having a devil of a time hiring right now. The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics reported on Tuesday that job openings increased by almost 1 million at the end of April to nearly 9.3 million, a record high. Separations, or "quits" also hit a record of 2.7%.
Why is that?
Much of it is because of COVID-19, of course. The recovery and opening up of the economy is creating unprecedented demand for workers, ASAP. And there are worries about the workplace. “Part of the story is there are still workers who are concerned about COVID from a physical perspective (contracting the virus) and a mental perspective,” says Joseph Song, a senior U.S. economist at Bank of America. “A lot of these workers were in the service sector and dealing with customers during COVID is not easy, such as imposing COVID rules when a customer doesn't want to abide can be tough. There are also some concerns about childcare and family issues especially for children who are still doing virtual or hybrid. Someone has to be at home.”
But there’s another matter, which is pay. Some companies just aren’t ponying up enough to attract workers. Plenty of people, including Democrats, point to the $300 a week stimulus checks (on top of state insurance of course) as being a deterrent to workers coming back on payroll. “I do think unemployment insurance benefits could be having some effect,” says Heidi Shierholz, a senior economist and director of policy at the left-leaning Economic Policy Institute. “We know low wage employers have a lot of capacity to suppress wages, and when workers have another option and aren’t totally desperate to take a job no matter how sh***y, unemployment insurance may be playing a role to some extent.”
Do the math. Take the federal minimum wage of $7.25 (which hasn’t been raised since 2009), and multiply it by eight hours (a day), times five days (a week), times 52 weeks. It comes to an annual salary of $15,080. (And that’s with zero time off, which is unrealistic of course.) The $15,080 is less than the $300 a week federal COVID payment (annualized $15,600), plus you can on average double that from state unemployment insurance, which comes to some $30,000.
No wonder people won’t work for peanuts anymore. And furthermore, you can argue the government has taught them not to, beginning with the CARES Act which was signed into law by President Trump in March 2020. To get workers back, companies are going to have to pay more.
“Right now it looks like we might see a one-time step up in wages as a result of these labor shortages,” says Daniel Zhao, a senior economist with the job site Glassdoor. “Even though no $15 minimum wage was enacted by law, we’ve now seen companies set it as a minimum wage or average wage. Folks have said that because minimum wages are so far away from market wages right now, employers don’t have useful reference for where to set wages. Employers are having to experiment much more aggressively to find what the right market wage is, which could mean a more dynamic market and more competition in terms of setting wages.”
So basically $15 is becoming the new minimum wage, which is $31,200 annualized. Kind of makes sense, right? If more than doubling up the minimum wage seems like a huge leap to you, consider that it amounts to a raise of about .64 percentage points per annum over those past 12 years.
Uh oh. Here come the whiners: “Ohhhh, I will have to lay people off. Ohhhh, I will have to raise prices. Ohhhh, that will kill job growth.” And there’s even this from supply side economist Arthur Laffer in an interview on Fox:
“...the poor, the minorities, the disenfranchised, those with less education, young people who haven't had the job experience," Laffer said. "These people aren't worth $15 an hour in most cases….And after becoming unemployable, they become hostile…”
It’s all bunk of course, and if you don’t believe me ask the CEOs of
For a company of any size though, if you can’t raise your pay over $7.25 an hour, it means that over the past decade the federal minimum wage has helped you hold down wages and subsidize your business. I suspect the partly free lunch will soon be over for you.
I’m not saying it will be easy for all businesses. But for some excellent case studies, read this spot-on article in the Washington Post about 12 companies that raised pay for workers. Here’s the lead:
“The owners of Klavon’s Ice Cream Parlor had hit a wall.
For months, the 98-year-old confectionary in Pittsburgh couldn’t find applicants for the open positions it needed to fill ahead of warmer weather and, hopefully, sunnier times for the business after a rough year.
The job posting for scoopers — $7.25 an hour plus tips — did not produce a single application between January and March.
So owner Jacob Hanchar decided to more than double the starting wage to $15 an hour, plus tips, 'just to see what would happen.'
The shop was suddenly flooded with applications. More than 1,000 piled in over the course of a week.”
Not only did these 12 businesses get more and better applicants, but attrition dropped. And at least one company noted increased sales from having more employees which offset the increases in costs. Yes, a few had to raise prices. But higher wages doesn’t necessarily mean hurting your business.
For instance, as Yahoo Finance’s Brian Sozzi pointed out, Chipotle just raised prices, and presto, its stock went up. Why? Because people are now willing to pay more for their food.
“...despite the newest menu price increase, Chipotle (CMG) isn't showing any signs of losing customers upset with having to pay more for a burrito or salad bowl. Actually it's quite the contrary. With people becoming more mobile after getting their COVID-19 vaccine, they are packing out Chipotle (and other fast food restaurants) locations for lunch and dinner. What amounts to pricing power amidst strong demand is likely to be a tailwind to Chipotle's earnings this year, even when factoring in higher labor costs.”
Good thing that Chipotle is raising pay for its workers, because its CEO felt no pay-pain during the time of COVID. Not at all. In fact Chipotle CEO Brian Niccol took home $38 million in 2020 or reportedly 2,898 times more than the median store-level employee. As if that ratio isn’t eye-catching enough, there’s this nugget too: "For 2020, Brian's compensation includes the value of a one-time modification that is not reflective of his ongoing pay package." Hmm, what modification might that be. Why, it’s right there on page 43 of the company’s proxy*.
Let me summarize for you. Chipotle got the go ahead from some big shareholders to throw out the performance of restaurants as well as cost increases during the worst of the pandemic which would have crimped the CEO’s comp. In other words, he got a mulligan. To be sure, Chipotle was supportive of its employees during COVID. But it does look like the company was even more supportive of its CEO and other top executives.
Same thing with Amazon—and this is how wealthy people not paying their share of taxes and worker pay is connected. Sure Bezos raised hourly comp to $15 an hour. But he’s now worth almost $200 billion and according to ProPublica paid 23% tax on his earnings of $4.22 billion between 2014 and 2018 (never mind no tax in 2011 ) and of course nothing per se on his net worth.
So while CEOs and billionaires employ armies of experts to pump millions and billions more into their pay packages and work furiously to avoid taxes, we get all bent out of shape over paying people, get this, a living wage.
And it brings me back to the kicker of that Washington Post story:
“There’s a shaming that’s happening to working-class people,” said Schaefer, the owner of the D.C.-area hardware stores. “Nobody talks about the fact that the economy is going to fall apart when a tech guy gets a $195,000-a-year salary with a 5% raise every year, or when lawyers are making $300,000. This conversation only happens when you’re talking about the people who make the lowest wages. And I think as a society, that’s just really insulting.”
I spoke to LA Dodgers co-owner and CEO of Eldridge Industries, Todd Boehly, on this subject recently:
“Labor costs are going to go up, period,” he said. “And I think they should. $30,000 a year is not enough to live on. I just think we need more people back working. So I think we're going to be paying more for hotels and more for food and more for restaurants, which frankly, we should. I just think we're lucky to be alive and we're lucky to be American.”
Another round of hear hears.
How about this for a radical thought: Close the damn tax loopholes and make the billionaires pay their 37% rate. Or have them fork over a minimum annual tax of 1% of their net worth—a third of what Sanders and Warren want. (Or we could implement my purely voluntary but 100% transparent tax idea. Ha.)
And finally this: Raise the minimum wage in this country to $15 an hour.
Pay to the People!
*After engaging with five of our top shareholders with combined ownership of approximately 34.2% of our common stock to understand how to help ensure fair alignment for our leadership team, the Compensation Committee approved the following modifications to the 2020 annual incentive plan and 2018-20 long-term performance share units (“PSUs”):
(i) Excluded three months (March, April and May 2020) from the calculations of comparable restaurant sales (“CRS”) and restaurant cash flow (“RCF”) margin in which CRS growth was below -7.5%. For the PSUs, this is only three of 36 months in the performance period. These were months in which CRS growth was severely impacted by COVID-related government restrictions. These restrictions required us to completely close some of our restaurants, close many of our dining rooms, limit our offerings to takeout and delivery, and/or implement modified work hours.
(ii) Excluded certain COVID-related expenses (i.e., the net increase in delivery costs) in the calculation of RCF margin from the remaining months of 2020. We excluded these costs due to the unexpected, sudden and significant spike in delivery costs caused by the pandemic and our inability to rapidly offset these unexpectedly higher costs.
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Jasmine Phinex, a mother and entrepreneur, founded Serenity Nail Polish with her husband James and 4-year old daughter Serenity last year. Since then, they have created one of the fastest-growing lines of vegan non-toxic nail polish products that are safe for children.
The idea of putting up a new business came in an unexpected way last year during the pandemic. The mother and daughter had been spending more time together at home doing things that Serenity enjoys such as getting her nails painted.
One day, Serenity wanted to buy new nail polish for herself after running out. When her mom asked her where should they buy it from, she confidently answered, "Let's go to Serenity Nail Polish store." It was then that her mom realized that it was time to launch their own brand and name it just that.Serenity Nail Polish, with young Serenity as the Co-CEO, offers high-quality vegan nail polish that is made with harmless chemicals safe even if ingested by children. The nail polishes are waterproof and scentless, making them more suitable for children to apply themselves.
The brand currently offers different collections and colors of nail polish as well as nail art designs. They aim to create more priceless moments with loved ones while at the same time promoting creativity, confidence, and self-expression through painting and designing nails.
For more information about Serenity Nail Polish and/or to order online, visit SerenityNailPolish.com
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Tamika Franklyn, founder and CEO of Precision Franchise, is the owner of one of very few Black woman-owned franchise brokerages in the nation. 77% of franchise business owners are white males, but Tamika aims to change this by providing knowledge, resources, and access to people of color. She has created a strategic path for entrepreneurs to find and secure proven business models at no cost to them.
Because of her extensive years in business execution and operations, Tamika has been able to build a strong reputation for helping potential franchise owners find lucrative a business that fits their lifestyle goals. Precision Franchise has access to extensive data on thousands of franchises which enables them to find the best option for their clients. Additionally, her company connections to exclusive industry insiders provide them with the knowledge and resources to help make their clients’ ambitions of securing a franchise much easier within a shorter span of time.As a certified member of the Franchise Brokers Association (FBA), they are uniquely qualified to assist clients in all facets of their franchise discovery process. While many individuals may equate franchise ownership to the restaurant industry, ownership spans numerous industries such as beauty, B2B, real estate, vending, home care, and many other sectors.
Tamika's company assists individuals with finding convenient, cost-effective ownership opportunities including business models that do not require full-time or brick-and-mortar stores. Regardless of the business or market, aspiring franchise owners rely on her company to provide them with resources, support, and a solid brand to invest in. Her company effectively works with its clients to produce a comprehensive end-to-end solution that caters to every clients’ business franchise requirements.
"The decision to purchase a franchise is likely one of the biggest decisions an entrepreneur will make in their lifetime. Even after they’ve decided to pursue ownership, there are a myriad of other decisions that also need to be made to find the right fit," said Tamika. "We understand that every potential owner has different ambitions-whatever these may be, we are keen to help you achieve them," she added.
Investing in a franchise takes time and work, but Precision Franchise shortens the process and provides clarity by providing funding sources and connecting clients with the right option. Their services help inform and protect prospective owners. Tamika sets her business apart by championing the community to invest in franchise ownership opportunities – a nearly untapped industry for people of color.
To learn more about her company, visit PrecisionFranchise.com or follow the brand on Instagram and Facebook.
For press inquiries, contact email@example.com
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Black Woman raised $68,000 in three weeks to fund her graduate studies at Harvard University - Bshani Radio News
Aramide Akintimehin exactly a year ago, a lot of amazing people and I raised $68,000 in three weeks to fund my graduate studies at Harvard University.
It was a daunting ride, but I couldn’t take no for an answer, so I decided to fundraise my tuition.
I’m excited to graduate from Harvard with a full distinction result, and all I feel right now is gratitude.
I am super grateful to all those who believe in me and my vision for change in the education system. I am grateful to everyone that carried my fundraiser on their head and continued to support me.
I went back and forth in tears while typing this and I can’t begin to imagine where I would be without everyone’s support.
It truly takes a village to raise a child, and I am grateful to everyone for raising this leader.
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By Tara Blair Ball
After several awkward situations where I’d approached a dude only to be told he was in a relationship, I decided to take my friends’ advice to “let the guys come to me.”
For weeks, my friends got asked out or went twirling onto the dance floor while I waited by our table as the designated purse watcher.
While approaching guys hadn’t worked, neither was waiting for guys to come to me. I felt stuck and frustrated.
Later, a guy friend told me, “Men don’t know when to approach women. We see one and think she’s hot. We go try to hit on her and get rejected. But there could have been 20 other hot girls wanting us to go over to them and we’d have no idea. We’re clueless.”
If a woman is introverted, wanting the guy to make the first move, or not making the first move for some other reason, guys need to pay attention to the signs women throw out.
Women are actually really obvious, but if you aren’t paying attention to their body language, you’ll miss the signs altogether.
1. She’s looking around the room.If a woman clearly wants to be left alone, she’ll have headphones in, be staring at her phone, book, or laptop, and/or be giving her full attention to whomever she is with.
But a woman who is possibly interested in being approached will take some time to look around and assess what’s going on and who’s around her. This won’t be a quick glance or in response to some sort of commotion. This will be a full scan of the room and one she’d likely do multiple times.
2. She meets your eye and smiles.Know what I do when I meet a guy’s eyes I’m not interested in, but can sense he’s interested in me? I immediately look down and away and avoid looking in his general direction again.
In studies, men tend to overestimate a woman’s sexual interest. They actually project their own interest onto these women: “I’m interested, so she must be interested too.” Unfortunately, these women may feel the exact opposite.
Since men might take even a brief eye glance as a sign of interest, women often do all they can to not meet the eyes of men they aren’t interested in.
If a woman, in fact, meets your eye for 2–3 seconds and smiles, that’s gold.
3. She starts preening whenever you look at her.Women are like birds. We primp and preen when we’re interested.
As an observer and a relationship coach, I’ve seen so many examples of this behavior out in the real world. Once you’re aware of it, you can’t unsee it. I’ve even been called out for doing it myself when I saw a hot guy looking at me and my friend asked, “Why do you keep messing with your earrings?”
Here is an example of this kind of behavior:
If you look over at a woman, she meets your eye, smiles, and starts messing with her hair, clothing, jewelry, etc., there’s a great chance she’s interested in being approached by you — and you alone.
4. She says things just to you or that seem directed at you.Let’s say that you’re intently watching a football game on the bar’s TV. You hear a woman near you say something like, “The game is on?!? Thank God. What’s the score?” It could be that she’s asking you, or she could be talking about something you’re clearly interested in to get you to pay attention to her.
She may be hoping you’ll tell her the score or that you’ll say something like, “You like football? Are you a _______ or ________ fan?”
5. She moves closer.If a woman wants you to approach her, she may actually move herself to be nearer to you. She might hang out on your side of the bar, have her friend group switch tables, dance nearer to you or in your line of sight, or take up a spot alone so you can see she’s open to be spoken to.
I’ve personally gone so far as to drag a friend of mine to take a selfie with me in front of a sign that happened to be right next to the guy I kept sneaking glances at.
6. She sets up a situation where you might run into each other.You go to the bar, and suddenly she’s there beside you ordering a beer too. You come out of the restroom, and she’s walking toward it. You head to the dance floor, and so does she. You’re playing pool, and she keeps passing your table.
While this may be a coincidence, pay attention if there are any other signs she’s throwing off. Is she meeting your eye and smiling too? Preening?
And the #1 sign that she doesn’t want to be approached by you…
1. She’ll put something between you and her.If you approach a woman and she immediately crosses her arms, pulls her purse in front of herself, or walks behind a chair or table, she’s clearly not interested and attempting to put some distance between the two of you.
If you see this, take heed and excuse yourself politely.
Men, I’ve heard all of the excuses: “If women always expect me to come to them, then I’d rather be single,” “If a woman’s interested in me, she can just get off her butt and come tell me,” and “Women are just too complicated. Why even bother?”
But you know who is always giving these excuses? The same guys who hire me as their Relationship Coach to help them find love because they’re tired of being single.
Let me tell you this:
What comes easy won’t last long, and what lasts long won’t come easy.
Pay attention to the signs, and quit complaining that you have to do something a little different. Just try it. You may be surprised by the results.
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The NBA legend Shaquille O’Neal is not only the joint owner of 155 Five Guys restaurants, 17 Auntie Annie's Pretzel restaurants, 150 car washes, 40 Twenty-four hour fitness centers, a shopping center, a movie theater, and several Las Vegas ventures, he also earned his Doctor of Education degree from Barry University in Miami, FL. In addition to his business holdings, Dr. O'Neal earns $22 million a year (about $423,000 a week) from his endorsement deals including Icy Hot, Gold Bond, Buick, Zales, Arizona Creme soda, and several other corporate sponsors and he is a studio analyst for TNT. In Shaq's own words, "It is not about how much money you make. The question is are you educated enough to KEEP what you earn and utilize it to help others.” Not bad, since basketball players were supposed to "shut up and dribble", says, the Ed.D. who credits God for helping him to realize his goals and dreams. “If God did it for me, He can do it for you!” — feeling festive in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
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What Could You Do With An Extra $2-10 Million? Use These Ideas To Monetize Your Email List - Bshani Radio App
By: Cheryl Conner Here’s a path to new revenue you potentially didn’t know you were missing. Most every company maintains an email list of customers and followers. It’s the way you let them know about product updates or coming events. Maybe you send an occasional business tip or newsletter as well.
But here are some additional ideas from speaker, author and radio host Bennie Randall, Jr., from Fort Lauderdale, Fla. From an early life that was riddled with hardships he progressed to a career in the music industry as a dancer, “hype man” and rapper. As he gained an increasing level of comfort in front of any size crowd, he decided each his own life hardships—losing a sister, two brothers, his first-born child and father, were meant to teach him a lesson. He moved to Brooklyn, NY and began to share his stories with others, speaking to businesses ranging from small teams to Fortune 500 organizations. He wrote “The Motivation Factor” and developed two best-selling audio books, producing more than $2 million in sales.
Next came a successful private online community, BennieOnDemand.com, and two digital radio stations, BshaniRadio.com and VercayRadio.com.
In all of these ventures, however, one of his most notable achievements that he is able to share with others is the importance of monetizing your email list. Since everyone has or can easily develop a mailing list of their own, he’s shared with me a few of his favorite strategies for leveraging your list for additional revenue and customer engagement. So regardless of your current email marketing strategy, he advises you to keep these tips in mind:
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Strive Masiyiwa, a 60-year old Zimbabwe-born telecommunication tycoon who moved to London in 2010, has officially been named as the UK's first Black billionaire, according to the Sunday Times' Rich List. He also serves as the African Union's special envoy helping secure COVID-19 vaccines for various countries throughout the continent of Africa. Masiyiwa, whose family fled unrest in Zimbabwe when he was just 7-years old, first made it to the Forbes billionaire sheet in 2018, with his total worth estimated to be around $2.3 billion. Earlier this month, he has also been listed as a billionaire on the Sunday Times Rich Times.Masiyiwa is the founder of Econet Wireless, which is Zimbabwe's largest telecom and largest company by market capitalization. He launched the company in 1998 despite opposition from then-President Robert Mugabe and fought a costly legal battle for 5 years before it was given the go signal to operate.
He eventually launched a new Econet Wireless group, which now operates in Africa, Europe, South America, and the East Asia Pacific Rim. Masiyiwa is also currently a member of the Netflix and Unilever boards of directors.
Masiyiwa, who is a father of six and now living in London, is one of the most prolific African philanthropists. He has provided scholarships to over 250,000 young Africans in the last 20 years and he continues to do so through Higherlife Foundation, which he and his wife Tsitsi founded.
Most recently, he helped seal a historic agreement with Johnson & Johnson for 400 million doses of COVID-19 vaccines for Africa.
Follow Strive Masiyiwa on Instagram @strivemasiyiwa
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TENNIS SUPERSTAR NAOMI OSAKA RESPONDS TO FANS AFTER ANNOUNCING WITHDRAWAL FROM FRENCH OPEN - Bshani Radio News
Earlier this week, Naomi Osaka announced her withdrawal from the French Open. On Sunday, May 30th, Osaka was fined $15,000 for declining media interviews for a post-match press conference. According to officials, Osaka failed to meet her contractual media obligations. Tennis officials expected her to attend a news conference after her first-round victory against Romania’s Maria Tig. But Osaka announced that she had to prioritize her mental health instead.
“I’ve often felt that people have no regard for athletes’ mental health,” Osaka wrote in a Twitter post on May 26th.”We’re often sat there and asked questions that we’ve been asked multiple times before or asked questions that bring doubt into our minds, and I’m just not going to subject myself to people that doubt me.”
Fans from all over the world supported her decision. But there were many who criticized her decision, citing her obligations as a pro athlete.
Her latest post on May 31st provided more transparency around her struggle with depression.
“The truth is that I have suffered long bouts of depression since the US Open in 2018. I have had a really hard time coping with that.”
She adds, “I’m gonna take some time away from the court right now. But when the time is right, I really want to work with the Tour to discuss ways we can make things better for the players, press, and fans.”
The Calm app, founded by a meditation and mindfulness company, announced a $15,000 pledge to a French mental health organization to support Osaka’s decision. The organization has also pledged to pay the fines of any other players who choose not to participate in Grand Slam press conferences this year.
Grand Slam authorities have promised to address the mental health concerns of its players, ESPN reported.
Osaka has been quiet on social media since making her big announcement. On Saturday, the Tennis superstar tuned back in to express her gratitude to her supporters.
“Just want to say thank you for all the love. Haven’t been on my phone much but I wanted to hop on here and tell you all that I really appreciate it.”
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