Written by: Benin Mwangi, African Path Published 04/06/2008 Here are two Tanzanian business people whose names do not get mentioned as much as some of their East African counterparts...Yet, they have done so much to advance the topic of business in Sub Saharan Africa. We are talking about Reginald Mengi of IPP Media and Nimrod Mkono of Mkono and Co. If I ever get the opportunity to travel with The Cheetah Index to East Africa, you could bet that I'd be trying to get in front of one of these two. But for now, please take a look at their biographical summaries below and I'm sure you will be amazed: From Katie, a graduate business student abroad in Tanzania: "Philanthropist, Entrepreneur, and a man who has really made SOMETHING from nothing. Born in a mud hut in Northern Tanzania, Mengi would struggle for one meal a day, shoes were hard to come by, he walked long distances to school in BARE feet. Poverty was a CHALLENGE to him, not a problem. Mengi says, "You must believe in yourself, that you have power to make things move." Just like the childhood story of The Little Engine that could, I think I can, I think I can, I think I CAN. I MUST and I WILL. Mengi is an exceptionally inspiring/motivational individual with multi-faceted perspectives. BUSINESS (Mengi's perspectives con't...) Having no capital is NOT a problem, but a CHALLENGE. Mengi told us about his story, how he built himself up & is continually trying to build Tanzania. Some entrepreneurial advice from Mengi..." More on Mr. Reginald Mengi from Isibingo: "Reginald Abraham Mengi, industrialist and media tycoon, twice nominated the second most respected Chief Executive Officer (CEO) in East Africa -in 2001 and 2002- is owner and Executive Chairman of Tanzania's IPP Media Group and one of Africa's leading and most influential businessmen.A chartered accountant by training, Reginal Mengi created the IPP business conglomerate in the mid 1980s, after serving as Chairman and Managing Partner of Coopers & Lybrand in Tananzia. The IPP Group, which started as a small scale, hand operated ball point assembly plant in Dar Es Salaam has expanded and diversified to become one of the largest industrial groups in Eastern Africa. Among other activities, it encompasses a Financial Consulting firm -IPP Consulting- a bottling company in joint venture with Coca-Cola -Bonite Bottlers Ltd.- Tanzania's leading manufacturer of soaps and toothpaste -Bodycare Ltd.- as well as eleven newspapers, three radio stations and a television company operating in Tanzania, Kenya and Uganda." The other gentleman that I wish to mention is none other than the Honorable Mr. Nimrod Mkono. If not for a chance encounter with some of Mr. Mkono's close friends and family here in the States, I probably would not have heard of him. That is because he is too busy making things happen in Tanzania to make much noise outside of East Africa. But indeed he has been very busy... Here's what Felix Andrew has to say about Mr. Mkono's latest venture: "Bank M Tanzania Limited, the latest entrant in the banking sector in the country, has opened its doors to customers. Promoted by two financial service professionals and major industrial houses in the country under the chairmanship of Nimrod Mkono, a prominent lawyer and Member of Parliament, the new bank focuses on corporate banking targeting the upper end of the mid market and corporate enterprises both in the manufacturing and trading arenas. The bank, with a paid-up capital of 6.5bn/-, which is 30 percent above the statutory requirement, is introducing innovative products and services which were hitherto unknown to this market. It has come up with new innovative solutions to the growing demands of the new economic order." Now let's take a look at Mr. Mkono's day job-Mkono & Co. For those who may not know, Mkono and Co is the most respected law firm in East Africa and it was founded by Mr. Mkono himself. Below is a snippet from the founder's profile. "Hon. Nimrod Mkono is the founder and Managing Partner of Mkono & Co, which he has headed since 1977. The name Nimrod Mkono has come to be the mark of competence and efficiency in relation to legal work in Tanzania. His specializations include company law, corporate finance, privatization and corporate taxation. Hon. Mkono has handled numerous consortium arrangements and has been responsible for advising on a number of high profile acquisitions including the unbundling of and eventual privatization of the National Bank of Commerce and the privatization of Tanzania Telecommunications Company Limited, as well as acting for both the government and major corporations in international commercial litigation and arbitration." So these two businessmen are helping to put Tanzania on the map. Are you someone in Africa who like these two is putting your homeland on the map? We would like to hear from you. Thank you.