Tanzania: Jacqueline - the Woman Who Sang Into Billionaire Reginald Mengi's Life

Tanzanian media tycoon Reginald Mengi and wife Jacqueline.

Four years after marrying Tanzanian tycoon Reginald Mengi, former Bongo Flava singer K-Lynn has evolved into so many things, from a beauty queen to a wife, and now a widow.

The death of the 77-year-old billionaire, business mogul, author and philanthropist has thrown Jacqueline Mengi, 39, back into the limelight, especially over the running of the multibillion-shilling business empire he controlled.

When she married Mr Mengi in 2015, Jacqueline was the talk of the town in Arusha, with her detractors accusing her of doing this because of his money.

The age difference fuelled the fire, her critics claiming theirs was not a union founded on love.

TRUE LOVE

However, the soft spoken former Miss Tanzania dismissed all the claims, saying she was in love with her husband and that money had nothing to do with it.

In an interview with Clouds FM in April, she advised young people not to judge a suitor by his appearance or the size of his wallet.

What they should look for, she said, is the offer of "true love".

"The mistake young people make is get into relationships for reasons other than love. They judge [people] depending on the size of the pocket or status. What they should keep in mind is that that person can have money today and lose it tomorrow."

MUSIC

Jacqueline was crowned Miss Tanzania in 2000 at a time when she was soaring in the entertainment industry.

In her heyday, she was among the most sought-after musicians in East Africa.

Her major hit songs include "Crazy Over You", in which she collaborated with Squeezer.

The other top hit was "Nalia Kwa Furaha" in which she featured alongside Tanzanian star Bushoke.

DIFFERENT PLANS

But fate had other plans for Jacqueline - her meeting with Mr Mengi changed the course of her life.

According to media reports, the two met in the United Kingdom where Jacqueline was on a music tour.

She is said to have snubbed the media mogul's invitations in the beginning but they later met in Tanzania.

A lavish wedding ceremony took place in Mauritius in 2015 and saw Jacqueline take up the role of a wife, leaving behind her careers in modelling and singing.

'TOTAL BLISS'

Jacqueline described her marriage as one of total bliss and Mr Mengi as a sweet loving and caring man.

"My husband is very kind and apart from being the man I love, he is my friend and adviser in matters business and life in general," she said.

The couple appeared to have been head over heels in love going by the messages they exchanged during Jacqueline's birthday in 2018.

Mr Mengi tweeted, "My love, my darling wife, my best friend, the holder of the key to my life, it is always 'better late than never'. Happy birthday, my Baby. Thank you for giving me a reason to live. I love you crazy [sic]."

She responded, "This is so sweet, 'hubby', I love you so much. I couldn't have asked for a better man to be my everything."

In March, Mr Mengi again took to social media to wish his wife a happy wedding anniversary, thanking her for making it an exciting journey full of love and happiness.

He ended the tweet by declaring undying love for her.

VAST WEALTH

Jacqueline has dedicated most of her life to charity work through her Dr Ntuyabaliwe Foundation, whose mission is to transform the lives of children in low-income communities through literacy campaigns.

Mr Mengi's death has seen her make the headlines, having been left with twin boys and immense wealth to look after.

Mr Mengi was considered one of the richest people in Tanzania with a net worth of $560 million (Sh56.6 billion), according to Forbes Magazine's 2014 list of the 50 richest people in Africa.

His business empire in media includes IPP Media Group that owns 11 newspapers, radio and television stations as well as internet properties.

He also owned Bonite Bottlers, the sole bottler of Coca-Cola products in the northern region of Tanzania, the Kilimanjaro brand of bottled water and IPP Resources Company that mines gold, uranium, copper, chrome and coal.

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