It’s Man Crush Monday again! Today our spotlight is on Mohammed Dewji Africa’s youngest billionaire and the continent’s 17th richest person, with a net worth assessed by Forbes to be US$1.9 billion (2019) and $1.5B in 2022.
Mohammed Dewji, a millionaire businessman and former politician from Tanzania, was born on May 8, 1975. MeTL Group, a Tanzanian company established by his father in the 1970s, is owned by him.
Dewji represented his hometown of Singida as a member of the Tanzanian parliament for Chama Cha Mapinduzi (CCM) from 2005 to 2015. Dewji was the 17th richest person in Africa and the youngest billionaire as of November 2021, with an estimated net worth of US$1.6 billion. In 2013, Dewji became the first Tanzanian to appear on the cover of Forbes.
Dewji was born in Singida’s Ipembe. He is the second of Gulamabbas Dewji and Zubeda Dewji’s six children. They are Twelve Shias who migrated to East Africa as traders in the late 1800s from Gujarat, India. Dewji was born in sand and mud home with the assistance of a nearby midwife while the family was still of modest means. Dewji said that his umbilical cord was wrapped around his neck at birth, a condition known as the nuchal cord, and that this nearly caused his death. When Dewji started school, his father had transformed a small family business into a successful import-export business.
Dewji finished his secondary education at the International School of Tanganyika (IST) in Dar es Salaam, Tanzania, after completing his elementary education at the Arusha Primary School. His father enrolled him at the Arnold Palmer Golf Academy in 1992 in Orlando, Florida, where Dewji also completed his grade 11 year at Trinity Preparatory School. Dewji then transferred to Saddle Brook High School in New Jersey for his senior and last year of high school. Dewji studied in Washington, D.C. at Georgetown University, earning a bachelor’s degree in international business and finance and a theology minor in 1998.
Dewji came home after earning his degree from college and took over running Mohammed Enterprises Tanzania Limited (MeTL), his father’s commodities trading company. He held the position of chief financial officer (CFO) of MeTL for two years. When the Tanzanian government privatized loss-making businesses in the early 2000s, he bought them at a discount and converted them into profit centers by cutting human costs. The largest privately held conglomerate in Tanzania is MeTL Group of Companies.
Dewji is Africa’s youngest billionaire and the continent’s 17th richest person, with a net worth assessed by Forbes to be US$1.9 billion (2019). (2018). In 2013, he was the first Tanzanian to appear on the cover of Forbes Magazine, and he has since been highlighted three times. Dewji received recognition as the Forbes Africa Person of the Year in November 2015. He dedicated the honor to Tanzania’s youth in his acceptance speech.
Dewji wed Saira, his high school sweetheart, in 2001; they have three children together. They live in Tanzania’s Dar es Salaam. Dewji is a member of the ‘Twelver’ branch of Islam and a Shia from the Khoja Shia Ithna-Asheri Jamat.