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Mengi: Billionaire who started by selling pens

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Tanzanian billionaire Reginald Mengi with his family. The business tycoon started by selling ballpoint pens. The author and philanthropist died in Dubai aged 75.

When Forbes Magazine put Reginald Mengi’s fortune at around USD550 million (Sh55 billion) a few years ago, few would have realised that he actually started by selling ballpoint pens.

In fact, with Tanzania experiencing shortage of almost everything during the mid-1983 to 1984, the Tanzanian dollar millionaire, who died in Dubai, had to sweat to get the ballpoint pens, he wrote in his book: I Can, I Must, I Will.

With the government resorting to harassment and detention of traders as it accused them of hoarding the basic necessities during that time, Mr Mengi actually jerked his entrepreneurial spirit and decided to start importing the products from Kenya.

He was denied a USD4,000 (Sh400,000) loan from then government-owned National Bank of Commerce (NBC) but he remained focused and decided to talk to fellow businesspeople in Kenya and finally, it worked out.

Amid challenges, including the lorry, which was transporting the pens from Mombasa, Kenya to Tanzania, getting a breakdown at Horohoro, he finally made it.

“When the components arrived I didn’t know where to put them. So, the best place was my bedroom and it was in that bedroom that I started the assembly of the pens,” he told Forbes Africa magazine in its July 2014 edition.

READ ALSO:   Former singer K Lynn praises 75-year-old billionaire husband for loving her right

Having realised that he could do well with the ballpoint pen selling and purveying business, the next thing in his head was to quit his job at Coopers and Lybrand (now PricewaterhouseCoopers).

Amid a challenging business climate, Mr Mengi was into the trade for good and in fact, he decided to diversify it into other areas, including establishing a Coca-Cola soft drink plant in Moshi, the Bonite Bottlers in 1987.

He sold shoe polish made from ground charcoal and oil, and natural skin exfoliator, which was simply bottled sea mud.

He was on roll and made anything he could: toilet paper, soap, detergent, beds, shoes and toothpaste.

This partly explains the story of Mr Mengi, the founder, owner and executive chairman of IPP Limited and IPP Institute of Technology and Innovation.

IPP has interests in print and electronic media. It also owns Bonite Bottlers.

Mr Mengi also has interests in mining, oil and gas, CNG, pharmaceuticals, large scale horticulture, automobiles, cement and in other manufacturing businesses.

The story of Mengi, who was born in 1944, goes back to Nkuu Village, Machame in Kilimanjaro where he grew up as a poor boy from a poor family.

Mr Mengi writes in his book: I Can, I Must, I Will that his father, Mr Abraham Mengi, was very poor so much that the family owned not even a single acre of land.

READ ALSO:   Former singer K Lynn praises 75-year-old billionaire husband for loving her right

Mr Abraham Mengi and his wife Ndeekyo, bore seven children: Apaansia, Elitira, Asantarabi, Karileni, Reginald, Evaresta and Benjamin.

Having completed his primary school at Kisereny, Mr Mengi joined Nkuu District School where he did standards one to six.

Having passed Standard Six national examinations, he was selected to join Standard Seven at Siha Middle School before proceeding to Old Moshi Secondary School.

He did well with his ‘O’ level Cambridge School Certificate examinations and proceeded with ‘A’ level at the same school.

With the desire to become a chartered accountant, he left the school to pursue further studies when the chance came.

That saw him leaving the school half-way through Form Five and flew from Moshi to Glasgow, via Nairobi and London.

While there, Mr Mengi studied accountancy and articles with Cooper Brothers in the United Kingdom and after being accepted as a member of the Institute of Chartered Accountants of England and Wales, he returned to Tanzania in 1971 where he was employed by the accounting firm of Coopers & Lybrand Tanzania.

He stayed with Coopers & Lybrand Tanzania (PricewaterhouseCoopers) up to September 1989 during which time he became its chairman and managing partner.

In October 1989, Mr Mengi left the company to concentrate on his own businesses.

READ ALSO:   Former singer K Lynn praises 75-year-old billionaire husband for loving her right

Mengi was a generous giver.

He donated cash to groups of the disabled and upon the death of his son, Rodney Mutie Mengi in 2005, he started the Rodney Mutie Mengi Foundation through which he has been sponsoring children to undergo lifesaving heart surgeries in India.

He participated in forming, and then led various business organisations including the Tanzania Chamber of Commerce, Industries and Agriculture, Confederation of Tanzania Industries and the Tanzania Private Sector Foundation.

source:nation.co.ke

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‘I have no access to you,’ Frankie pens emotional letter to son, says he’s barred from seeing his kids

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Fitness coach Frankie Kiarie has penned a touching letter to his firstborn son Lexi with Maureen Waititu.

The father of two showered his son with love and narrating how he brought so much joy to his life.

To My Son,

When you came into this world, you brought a love so pure I had never before experienced. When you spoke your first word, walked your first steps, I became your biggest fan. With every milestone you reached, I reveled in joy. You taught me the meaning of love — true, unconditional love.

As you continue to grow, you will live your own life. You will have times of happiness and times of disappointment. You will fall in love, and you will have your heart broken. Life has its ups and downs and is not always fair, but I know your strength and resilience will see you through.

May you always know your worth and how incredibly precious you are! As your Papa, it is my privilege to impart these important truths to you.

Frankie went ahead to reveal that he hasn’t seen his kids for a while now because he has no access to them.

‘Since I have no access to you, I’ll pass these words on and hope they find you. Be true to yourself always. Live your own dreams. Don’t take life so seriously. And, last but certainly not least, Know that I love you and will always be there for you. No matter what, I’ve got your back. You are my son and always will be. Happy Birthday Lexi,’ he wrote.

A few weeks ago, Mpasho.co.ke reached out to Maureen Waititu to respond to claims that she had barred Frankie from seeing their kids she denied.

‘I HAVE NOT BARRED HIM [FRANKIE] FROM SEEING HIS KIDS.  MY LAWYER CONTACTED HIM THROUGH A LETTER FOR A ROUND TABLE MEDIATION TO COME UP WITH A STRUCTURE AND ORDER ON HOW TO RAISE THE KIDS BUT HE MADE IT VERY CLEAR HE HAS NO OBLIGATION TO RESPOND TO THAT.’ she said.

By Mpasho.co.ke

READ ALSO:   Former singer K Lynn praises 75-year-old billionaire husband for loving her right
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Kamene Goro opens up on marriage struggles 

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BY KEVIN KOECH

Kiss FM Presenter Kamene Goro on Monday October 19, spoke about her journey in the limelight and how one ultimate decision almost ruined her career in media.

Speaking in an interview on Jessy Junction, the 28-year-old, who has been in the media industry for 8 years, narrated how media was not her first choice in school.

“I went to the University of Nairobi where I pursued an undergraduate degree in law. I had numerous scholarship offers to study abroad but my father declined all of them, ” she said.

She further stated that her choice to pursue law was influenced by her father’s close connections within the said industry.

“During my second year, immediately after doing my clinicals, I was dispatched to a law firm, owned by my father’s friend, as a paralegal.

“Eight months passed by and I felt a calling to pursue something else. Then an opportunity presented itself at Ebru TV, which I took,” she stated.

In 2015 life took an immediate turn for the then 23-year-old, when she exchanged vows with a foreigner who had charmed his way into her life.

“I decided to call it quits on my job, so I gave my employer at Ebru TV a two days notice after which I travelled to Tanzania to live with my husband,” she recalls.

READ ALSO:   Former singer K Lynn praises 75-year-old billionaire husband for loving her right

Unbeknown to her family, the acclaimed presenter had left her career in the name of love, a decision which, she states, still haunts her.

She noted that during the course of the two year marriage, she experienced domestic squabbles like any normal couple but one phone call from her husband one evening made her life come to a screeching halt.

“One day when I was travelling to Nairobi, he (husband) called me and decided to end the marriage. In utter shock, I hung up the phone and that was the final time we spoke.

“Looking back, I thought he was my everything. For a whole week, I was a total wreck because of the divorce as I blamed myself for the failure of the marriage,” she added.

Her ability to cope with the ordeal was strenuous at first as she felt all her time invested in the marriage had gone down the drain.

The radio presenter however urged all ladies in similar situations to get back in the dating game in order to cease from self accusation.

The radio girl also responded to the backlash she received from supporting local Gengetone artistes.

“My choice of supporting Gengetone artistes is based on making an impact in the youths lives. The same critics who are quick to judge don’t pay for the artistes’ studio time or source for their venues. If you want them to sing clean, link them up with gospel artistes,” she opined.

READ ALSO:   Former singer K Lynn praises 75-year-old billionaire husband for loving her right

During the interview, the radio presenter disclosed her struggles with negativity and hurtful comments on social media which ensued from an ordeal which transpired a while back.

“One time a story was published about me, which stated that I allegedly received Ksh70,000 for going on a date. This story made headlines and forced me to leave the country for a while,” she revealed.

The comical side of Jessy was also seen throughout the interview as he tried to wow Kamene Goro with his charming antics.

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Man jailed for 20 years for chopping off neighbour’s fingers

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BY KEVIN KOECH

A man in Lamu county will face 20 years in jail after a Lamu court found him guilty of causing grievous harm.

Omar Yakub Athman chopped off four fingers of Mr Athman Omar Athman’s left hand.

The incident happened on 29th April 2019 in Tchundwa Village in Lamu East.

His actions were contrary to Section 234 of the Penal Code.

When officers arraigned him in court before Lamu Principal Magistrate Allan Temba, he denied the charges.

Omar’s plea of ‘not guilty’ prompted the Director of Public Prosecutions to call witnesses. Prosecution counsel Zacharia Kiongo and Eddie Kadede facilitated the entire process

The victim, Athman Omar Athman, had gone to assist his friend only identified as Hamza to collect stones.

The two were collecting stones from Hamza’s compound in Tchundwa village.

While collecting stones, the two saw a male and a female donkey rushing into the compound. They entered into Hamza’s house and came out running the same way they had gone in.

The accused later came into the compound asking for a donkey saddle.

The victim told him that they had not seen any donkey saddle.

Infuriated by the victim’s answer, the accused questioned what the victim’s intentions were.

READ ALSO:   Former singer K Lynn praises 75-year-old billionaire husband for loving her right

The victim responded by saying that he had nothing to do with a donkey saddle.

The accused person left and came back with a panga in hand.

Without saying anything, he aimed at the victim’s head.

While trying to defend himself, the victim blocked the panga with his hand.

His fingers got chopped off in the process.

The victim tried to run but the accused chased after him and slashed him on the left pelvis area.

The victim managed to rush into a neighbour’s house who rushed him to hospital.

After getting medical attention, he reported the matter to a police station.

Lamu Principal Magistrate Allan Temba pronounced the accused guilty as charged and sentenced him to 20 years in prison.

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