Day 5: I can, I must, I will!

Monday 3/17/08

This afternoon we were fortunate to meet Reginald Mengi. His speech was very inspirational for everyone and I must say it was a highlight of this trip. Mengi is a person of both worlds in Africa - poverty as well as success and wealth.

R. Mengi is Rupert Murdock of Tanzania. He is a Chairman of IPP Group who started his business with ballpoint pen assembly. Mengi had a difficult childhood, living in a mud hut with his family that also accommodated a cow, goats and even rats. A meal a day didn't come up easily, a pair of shoes was unheard off. He describes the time walking barefoot long distances to go to school, owning only one uniform that you wear during the day and wash and press at night, so you look clean next day. He himself says he comes from “the poor of the poor”. However, he emphasizes the difference between poverty of the country vs. poverty of people. He rephrases: “I was born in a very rich country. But people of Tanzania are poor.” For Mengi poverty was not a problem, it was a challenge. He says how important it is to be able to see it and convert problems to challenges. “When you see it as a problem it sits on your shoulders and pulls you down. But a challenge will stand in front of you and you'll try to overcome it.”

Mengi touched on many topics - poverty, religion, entrepreneurship, environment, happiness... He spoke with so much passion, energy and charisma and I must say he is very theatrical. I truly enjoyed his discussion and hope you'll get inspired as well. Enjoy the video!

Here are some of Mengi’s thoughts that I keep in mind:

To be a good entrepreneur:
- Hard work
- Start small think big
- Know your destination
- Make a plan of your destination

You must see yourself as a winner #1. You must believe in yourself. I can I must I will!!!

You must delegate with a full heart and trust. Have confidence in people you delegate. Important things to see in people and in this order are: commitment and competence.

Build people as a part of your business. Otherwise they won’t feel like part of the asset.

Find the way to thank people and God.

Contribution to the environment is not to pollute. Support the programs that improve environment.

Happiness is collective not individual.

When you go you take nothing with you. You’ll be remembered by what you did with your money not by amount of money.

There are 2 types of people: 1) Those that die and are gone 2) Those that live in your heart.

Fear is an enemy of entrepreneurship!

There are no different jobs for educated and not educated. Difference lies in ways you do it. With education you do it more efficiently.

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