Dar es Salaam. The year 2019 will go into history books as a year of bad luck to members of the business community.
It will be remembered as the year when Tanzania lost two of its dollar millionaires and some notable brains behind growth of some businesses in the East African nation.
Ruge Mutahaba, an influential media personality and one of the brains behind Clouds Media Group, died in February at the age of 49.
He died while undergoing treatment in South Africa.
The country remembers him for tirelessly working to promote music talents across Tanzania, with a number of high profile artists reportedly going through his direct or indirect coaching in a number of ways.
On May 02, 2019, the IPP executive chairman, Mr Reginald Mengi died at the age of 77 while in Dubai.
A few years ago, Forbes Magazine put Reginald Mengi’s fortune at around $550 million.
No one remembers Reginald Mengi better than people with disabilities with whom he had a tendency of dining together at least once in a year.
One month later, Tanzania lost yet another philanthropist and prominent doctor who was also the founder and chairperson of Regency Medical Centre, Dr Rajni Kanabar.
Dr Kanabar died in Dallas, Texas in the United State of America at the age of 78 where he had been undergoing treatment.
Born in Mwanza, Tanzania on 9th November 1940, Dr Kanabal was a third generation Tanzanian of Indian origin.
As a medical practitioner, Dr Kanabar spent a good part of his time on community service, with his most notable achievement being how he pioneered the ‘Tanzania Heart Babies Project’ in 1979.
Interestingly, among those who contributed to the heart babies project in Tanzania included Rodney Mutie Mengi Foundation which was founded by late Reginald Mengi.
On Sunday, 08 December 2019, the country woke up to the sadden death of yet another dollar millionaire who doubled as chairman for Infotech Investment Group, Ali Mufuruki.
A few years ago, Forbes Magazine and Ventures Africa ranked Mr Mufuruki as one of net worth Tanzanians, estimating his fortune at $110 million.
Mr Mufuruki, who founded CEO Roundtable of Tanzania (CEOrt) and Africa Leadership Initiative (ALI) East Africa died on Saturday night at Morningside Hospital in Johannesburg, South Africa, the CEOrt chairman, Mr Sanjay Rughani confirmed on Sunday, December 8, 2019.
“Dear board members: This is news I would never have wanted to break to you but our dear friend Ali Mufuruki passed on last night at Morningside Hospital, Johannesburg in South Africa….,” Mr Rughani said in his message to members of the CEOrt.
He said Mr Mufuruki fell ill while in Dar es Salaam and was rushed to The Aga Khan Hospital where he was shortly evacuated to South Africa on Saturday in the afternoon.
A businessman and author, Mr Mufuruki was until recently the board chairman for Vodacom Tanzania and Wananchi Group Holdings. He also served as a trustee of the Mandela Institute for Development Studies and a co-author of the book: “Tanzania's Industrialisation Journey, 2016-2056”.
Infotech has interests in property development and leasing, hospitality, advertising and mobile telecommunications. Mufuruki was also a co-founder and partner at East Africa Capital Partners, a technology, media and telecommunications sector focused Venture Capital Fund Manager investing in the greater Eastern Africa region. A prominent board room guru, among other boards that Mufuruki once sat on or chaired in included: Stanbic Bank Tanzania, Mwananchi Communications Limited. This story is still developing