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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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Blogger Robert Alai arrested

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Police have arrested the controversial Nairobi-based blogger Robert Alai for allegedly sharing pictures of policemen who were killed in Sunday’s terror attack in Wajir. Alai has been reportedly driven to the Directorate of Criminal Investigations Headquarters for questioning.

On Monday, Police Spokesman Charles Owino warned internet users against circulating the images terming the act unpatriotic and supportive of the actions of Al-Shaabab.

A statement from the police read in part: “The unfeeling act of posting pictures of our fallen heroes is online by one blogger is very unfortunate and inhuman. This is glorification of terror which is tantamount to supporting the same. It is also a cold-hearted display of insensitivity to families of the deceased, the NPS fraternity and the entire nation of Kenya.”

This was then followed by a warning by the National Cohesion and Integration Commission which called on Alai to pull down the graphic pictures of the dead police officers.“Whereas Mr Alai has the freedom of expression, such publications can be interpreted as propaganda for war which is not protected under the Constitution of Kenya,” The NCIC noted.

However, Alai  yesterday accused the government of neglecting the police. He vowed not be silenced by the criticism.He tweeted: “I will continue to speak out for the poor police officers who are neglected and their allowances taken by “wakubwa.” We must give our men and women who die wearing uniform, respect, dignity and honor they deserve. We shouldn’t treat our cops like dogs. I am angry!!”He also slammed the NCIC for not fighting for the plight of the police officers.“Ever seen NCIC condemn ethnic appointments in govt? Even seen them address the real issues preventing cohesion like the now fights in Marsabit? They are after silencing people addressing real issues. Police officers have asked me to help highlight their issues,” he added.

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

Alai burst into fame after he published graphic pictures of people making love in Kakamega’s Muliro Gardens. Over the years, Alai and has stepped on many toes through his fearless exposure of social evils.At one stage, his uncompromising tenacity compelled State House to rope into its communications whereupon he became a familiar figure during President Uhuru Kenyatta’s open forums at the big house on the hill, awarding him Head of State Commendation for raising pertinent social issues.

Source:Standard.co.ke

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Diaspora

US announces new approach to reduce Green Card, Citizenship applications backlog

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The United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) has announced a new strategy it says will decrease processing times of green card and citizenship applications in some locations.

USCIS on Monday said it will shift caseloads between different field offices in a bid to decrease processing times in some locations. USCIS says with the new strategy, some applicants may be scheduled to appear for an interview at a field office outside of their normal jurisdiction. Biometrics appointment locations will not change, and applicants will still be scheduled at their nearest application support center.

The new strategy of scheduling applicants to a field office outside their jurisdiction affects Form N-400, Application for Naturalization and Form I-485, Application to Register Permanent Residence or Adjust Status.

USCIS says an increase in processing times at some locations has been caused by an upsurge of the volume of applications received, with FY 2017 applications received being up 15.6% from FY 2016. FY 2016 receipts were 25.5% higher than FY 2015. Since the increase in volume has not affected all field offices equally, this has “resulted in some disparity in the processing times among field offices.”

SOURCE: Mwakilishi.com

READ ALSO:   Former singer K Lynn praises 75-year-old billionaire husband for loving her right
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Larry Madowo pens emotional message to his late dad on Fathers’ Day

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Celebrated media personality, Larry Madowo joined many other Kenyans in the Father’s day celebration marked on Sunday 16 June with an emotional message to his late dad.

Taking to his Instagram, the BBC Africa Business Editor expressed how his dad loved them despite the short time he spent with his family, while hoping that his father would be proud of what he has become.

“It’s been 25 years since my dad left this world. I was just a little boy but I knew he loved us and he spoiled us rotten. It was almost as if he understood that he wouldn’t be with us for long. The years after weren’t always easy but I think we’ve made him proud #HappyFathersDay,” he wrote.

The former NTV journalist’s fans joined in to help him celebrate his late father with messages of condolence and encouragement.

Bucketlistcess He’s smiling from heaven, you’ve definitely made him proud. Happy father’s to the dads in heaven too.

Briankisuke 25 years so short for a loved one not to be around. You have never let his light dim.

Eva_soila So sad,take heart.A time like that is the hardest. Lost my Dad 3 months ago and still in denial. Hoping il recover soon.

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

Joemacha_ Happy father’s day to the handsome dad, he still had his thick hair haha

Dorothykinyakir I thought u should be sending happy father’s day to him cuss i trust he s still watching over you. But all in all sorry for that you arr not the only one take heart we r many in this…sorry again larrys

Warria.teddy You come from a strong stock! May you keep his fire alive and well. Peace and Blessings. #HappyFathersDay

Marabisimon You have turned out great…Your dad looked like that guy of Uko flani…wanafanana sana.

Source:Mpasho

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