Tanzania

Tanzanian dollar millionaire Reginald Mengi dies at 75

Reginald Mengi
Tanzanian billionaire, business magnate, author and philanthropist Reginald Mengi has died aged 75. FILE PHOTO | NMG 

Dar es Salaam.

Tanzanian media mogul, entrepreneur and philanthropist, Reginald Mengi is no more.

The IPP executive chairman -- who is ranked as one of Tanzania’s dollar millionaires -- died on Thursday, May 2, 2019 in Dubai.

News about the death of Mr Mengi broke early in the morning on Thursday via IPP media outlets, including ITV and EATV.

Shortly, President John Magufuli sent a condolence message via his Twitter page.

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“I am shocked by the death of an elder and a friend Dr Reginald Mengi. I will remember him for his immense contribution to the development of our country and for the words he wrote in his book [titled] I Can, I Will, I Must. Sorry to members of his family, IPP workers and the entire business community,” President Magufuli twitted.

Mr Mengi’s death comes six months after the death of his ex-wife and IPP co-founder, Mercy Anna Mengi.

Mercy died on October 31, 2018 at Mediclinic Morningside Hospital in Johannesburg, South Africa, where she had been admitted.

Mercy and Mr Mengi, who married on November 27, 1971, were blessed with three children, Regina, Rodney and Abdiel. The couple then worked their way up to build a business conglomerate in Tanzania.

Poor family

Reginald Mengi narrates his entrepreneurial story in his book: I Can, I Must, I Will in which he shows how he was born into a poor family but managed to overcome circumstances and establish one of the largest businesses in Tanzania.

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 (now PriceWaterHouseCoopers) up to September 1989 during which time he became its Chairman and Managing Partner. In October 1989, Dr Mengi left Coopers & Lybrand Tanzania to concentrate on his own businesses.

Today, his flagship IPP Limited owns several TV and radio stations as well as newspapers.

It also has interests in a number of Coca-Cola’s Bonite's Bottlers.

Bonite’s main plant is located in Moshi in the Kilimanjaro region of northern Tanzania.

The company, which operates in four regions of northern Tanzania (Kilimanjaro, Arusha, Manyara and Singida) also bottles its own brand of bottled water, Kilimanjaro Drinking Water.

In 2012, The Japan Bible Institute for Africa awarded Mr Mengi with an Honorary Doctor of Humanity Degree, in recognition of my work for social development.