Africa State of Mind with Lee Kasumba: Africa's billionaires and Nigerian music

In this podcast series celebrating Africa, Ugandan radio and TV presenter, writer and singer, Lee Kasumba is joined by Forbes Africa's managing editor and author of Africa’s Billionaires, Chris Bishop.

Bishop says the book has been doing well and is "selling like hotcakes".

Writing the book was a "no-brainer" as he had privileged access to all the billionaires featured in the book, he says.

He did one-on-one interviews with each of them, finding out how they thrived and 'made it' in the world of African business.

I thought this is a great opportunity to dig in and give people great stories.

Chris Bishop, Managing Editor of Forbes Africa and author of Africa’s Billionaires

I think it is important getting these guys on the cover, I think it’s a major footprint for this continent.

Chris Bishop, Managing Editor of Forbes Africa and author of Africa’s Billionaires

Bishop says he is in contact with some of these billionaires and spends time with people like Mohammed Dewji who is a Tanzanian businessman, philanthropist, and former politician. He is also in contact with Herman Mashaba, now a politician as well as mining mogul Tim Tebeila.

Mohammed Dewji has a really incredible story to tell, a likable fellow, he shakes hands with everybody - very humble...

Chris Bishop, Managing Editor of Forbes Africa and author of Africa’s Billionaires

One thing I like about Mohammed is that he grew up poor, he was born in a rondavel in the middle of Tanzania. He sponsors a lot of entrepreneurs today...

Chris Bishop, Managing Editor of Forbes Africa and author of Africa’s Billionaires

Bishop shared some of the challenges he faced trying to get some of these big names to actually sit with him and tell their stories. They have busy schedules and meetings to get to, so they literally do not have time to sit for an interview, he explains.

He clarifies what Forbes Africa is all about and what kind of stories they tell - it only features entrepreneurs with good stories, preferably, rags to riches, and people who made their money in an honest way - and they don't do "tenderpreneurs".

We get a lot of people who want to be on the cover. People need to understand we don’t do CEOs and CFOs, we don’t do people who are doing jobs, we only do entrepreneurs. We have to have a face that is recognisible outside of your own country...

Chris Bishop, Managing Editor of Forbes Africa and author of Africa’s Billionaires

You should have a good story to tell, rags to riches, and have at least between $200 - $300 million before we consider them.

Chris Bishop, Managing Editor of Forbes Africa and author of Africa’s Billionaires

The people we want sometimes play hard to get and the people we don't want seem to come all the time, but I think it is important getting these people on the cover, I think it’s a major footprint for this continent.

Chris Bishop, Managing Editor of Forbes Africa and author of Africa’s Billionaires

Kasumba also spoke to Nigerian musician Femi Kuti, the eldest son of Afro-beat legend Fela Kuti.

The two chatted about Felabration, an annual music festival conceived in memory and celebration of musician and Femi's father, Fela Kuti.

Over the years Felabration has attracted many high-class musicians from all over Africa and this year the festival featured many younger musicians like Wizkid.

It’s about making the business beautiful and asking the creativity for the audience.

Femi Kuti, Musician

Music is the only profession that touches you, you don’t touch the music.

Femi Kuti, Musician

In life, there are good times and bad times and when the bad times come you have your instrument to console you.

Femi Kuti, Musician

To hear more of the interviews with Africans doing great things on Africa State of Mind, listen below:


This article first appeared on CapeTalk : Africa State of Mind with Lee Kasumba: Africa's billionaires and Nigerian music


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