Tanzania’s richest man Mohammed “Mo” Gulamabbas Dewji says he is prepared to donate Tsh2 billion ($870,000) to facilitate the construction of a contemporary conference center and a stadium for Simba Sports Club (Simba SC), a football club based in Dar es Salaam, Tanzania.
The donation comes after Mo handed a Tsh20-billion ($8.6 million) check to Simba SC for a 49-percent equity stake in the club.
In a social media post, he explained that his decision was informed by recent comments by the club’s other owners and supporters, who are advising the team to build its home stadium.
“I have received many comments from my fellow Lions who are advising us to build our stadium and are willing to contribute to make the construction a success. I would like to make it clear that I have received the comments with both hands,” he said.
The billionaire believes the new stadium will place the Tanzanian company on the path of sustainable earnings, as it will be able to generate additional revenues through sponsorships, advertisements and gate fees from fans and supporters.
He also called on the board of the football club to come up with a quick procedure to fast track the project’s implementation.
Murtaza Mangungu, the chairman of Simba SC, said the club is planning to build a conference center and offices at their current address on Msimbazi Street, which will earn them an added Sh500 million ($216,9510) annually, up from the current Tsh200 million ($86,780).
“This building — which is one of the club’s investments — generates Tshs200 million ($86,780) a year for the club. But, soon it will generate Sh500 million ($216,9510), and project construction starts next January 2022,” he said.
To cover the construction costs, Simba SC has set the goal of collecting Tsh11.8 billion ($5.12 billion), mainly from voluntary contributions.
Yusuph Nassoro, the club’s head of finance and administration, said the funds will be gathered from various sources, including membership fees, sponsorships and gate collection.
The business tycoon recently stepped down from his post as the club’s chairman due to his extremely busy schedule, which involves significant international travel.
As of press time, Mo is estimated to be worth $1.6 billion. The billionaire derives the majority of his wealth from METL Group, a Tanzanian conglomerate founded by his father in the 1970s.
METL maintains active operations and investments in textile manufacturing, flour milling, beverages, and edible oils in East, Southern and Central Africa.