The International Order of the Lion has been awarded to Tanzanian media magnate Reginald Mengi by the International Association of Lions Clubs. The award has been given to Mengi thanks to his tireless support of good causes, and the fact that he has donated vast amounts of his multimillion dollar fortune in the name of philanthropy.
At a gala banquet held on the 4th of March in Dar es Salaam, Mengi was given the highest honour bestowed on philanthropists by the Lions Club. Many well known figures in the Tanzanian business spheres were in attendance, along with politicians and diplomats. In addition to the accolade, Mengi received a gold medal in recognition of receipt of the award.
A selfless dedication
The International Order of the Lion was presented to Mengi by Lions club regional Governor Wilson Ndesanjo, in lieu of Barry Palmer, the Lions Club International President, who was unable to attend. In his speech, Ndesanjo hailed Mengi’s “selfless dedication to humanity and a determination to labour for the public welfare.”
Ndesanjo also recognised the fact that Mengi’s work always highlighted and upheld the key beliefs and objectives of the Lions Club. Mengi’s dedication to philanthropy in both healthcare and education were also applauded.
Do as I do
Mengi’s acceptance speech featured a call to arms for Tanzania’s other businessmen to spend more resources helping the poor. Commenting that it was an honour to “use part of one’s achievements to help God’s people,” Mengi said that your financial success and business endeavours would be remembered less than “contributions and support to others in needy situations.”
As one of Africa’s richest men, Reginald Mengi has amassed a fortune of over half a billion US dollars. He is also perhaps the most recognisable and prominent philanthropist in the whole of Tanzania. Each year, Mengi pays for around 100 children suffering from severe heart problems to be treated in foreign hospitals. This is due to the fact there are not that many specialist units in Tanzania. At the same time, Mengi also helps hundreds of Tanzanian children get an education, by paying school fees from primary to tertiary education.
Trained as an accountant, Mengi founded the Tanzanian media group, IPP Group, which runs a range of newspapers along with television and radio stations. Mengi also owns and operates bottling plants, factories and gold mines, employing more than 5,000 Tanzanians.