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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.

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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 was almost running mad, Maureen Waititu on finding out Corazon was pregnant with Frankie 

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BY KEVIN KOECH

The Maureen Waititu, Frankie Just Gym It and Corazon Kwamboka saga only gets better by the day with unknown details being revealed.

After having their second baby, for Frankie and Maureen, misunderstanding, couple fights became the order of the day.

Wedding plans for November 2018 stalled with the couple hoping that waiting a little longer would repair their conflicts but that proved futile.

They separated.

 

Maureen said the break up was lowkey with only family members and friends aware.

However, things changed when Frankie was spotted severally hanging out with Corazon Kwamboka.

This left Waititu distressed, less than 2 months after their split, Frankie had already found new love elsewhere.

Maureen said it hurt when she realized Corazon was already expectant.

“When you start hearing about these things, it can make you go mad. I’m here trying to heal, this person has already taken off.

“This two were already being spotted somewhere and I was receiving so many DMs about this. I was never free since then – rumors and constant humiliation,” she said.

Unfortunately, Frankie never let Maureen into the loop about his pregnancy with Corazon, coming to find out just like everybody else and it hurt Maureen so bad!

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

“I was just minding my own business and someone hints about it then I’m like “no” then the next day I see it in the blogs and a day after, they go live. Everything was happening so fast and the fact he never told me, hurt so bad! In fact the day before I found out, I was with him sitted here, but he never told me a word.

“The next day I find out and I was almost running mad with rage about the disrespect. The truth is, my children and I are going to be part of his newborn,” she added.

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Corazon Kwamboka, Frankie Just Gym It welcome bouncing baby boy

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Corazon Kwamboka and Frankie Just Gym It welcomed their first child, a bouncing baby boy early this week.

The couple named him Tayari meaning ready in Swahili

The couple was expecting their child on August 15 but he came early.

They kept it a secret until Sunday, August 9 when Frankie announced it on his YouTube channel.

She gave birth via C-Section and stayed in the hospital for two days.

This came days after they revealed the baby’s gender and name.

The celebrity couple made the revelation in a three-minute video, in which Frankie also surprised Kwamboka with a cake.

The cake was divided in two, one half in blue and the other half in pink. The cake also had the names Tayari and Kesia written on each half.

Before cutting the cake, Kwamboka said that if it turns out that she is carrying a baby girl she will name her Kesia and if it’s a boy, his name will be Tayari.

Upon cutting the cake, the colour inside was blue, meaning it’s a boy.

“It’s a boy, aawww… this is what I wanted, I just didn’t want to say it,” said a teary Kwamboka

READ ALSO:   Former singer K Lynn praises 75-year-old billionaire husband for loving her right
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Google honours Mekatilili Wa Menza 

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BY KEVIN KOECH

Google is celebrating Mekatilili wa Menza, with a doodle of the Kenyan freedom fighter made visible on its search engine platform on Sunday.

Known for inspiring the Giriama people to resist colonial rule, circa 1900, Mekatilili wa Menza is revered as one of the nation’s first Mau Mau fighters.

“The recognition of Mekatilili Menza by Google goes along way in reinforcing what we believe in as Kenya National Heroes Council and a country.

“We believe our Heroes deserve better. They have played their part in nation building. We must affirm them at all times so that we can inculcate the culture of Heroism; the culture of service.

“We shall ensure more of our female heroines are unearthed, highlighted and feted. Other than giving birth to many celebrated our women were at the fore front of our liberation, our struggles and our future remains solely in their hands.

“That is the spirit of the Kenya National Heroes Act,2014 and what we stand for as a Council,” said Amb. Yvonne Khamati-Yahaya, the CEO of the Kenya National Heroes Council.

Mekatilili wa Menza led the Giriama people in the early 20th century and is commemorated during the festivities of the traditional Malindi Cultural Festival, an annual celebration of local history and pride.

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

She was born in Matsara wa Tsatsu during the mid-19th century.

By the early 20th century, British colonial rule had threatened the sovereignty and freedom of the Giriama people with forced labor and taxation.

At a time when women’s power was limited within her society, Menza was compelled to organize her people against colonial control.

The Google Doodle artwork features a depiction of Menza leading the energetic kifudu dance that called so many to action.

The artist behind the Google doodle is Wanjira Kinyua who is based in Nairobi

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