February 04, 2019

Jumanne Ngoma, The Discoverer of Tanzanite, Dies

On Wednesday, January 30th, the country of Tanzania mourned the death of Jumanne Ngoma. He died at the Muhimbili National Hospital (MNH) where he was receiving treatment.

Who Was Jumanne Ngoma

If you didn't know, Jumanne Ngoma was the person that discovered Tanzanite back in 1967 in foothills of Mount Kilimanjaro. He was only 28 years old when he happened to stumble upon this beautiful violet blue gemstone we now call Tanzanite. This amazing find, Tanzanite, was a gemstone 1000x more rare than Diamond (which we totally believe) and has done a lot for the country of Tanzania, especially over the last few decades.

While he made this amazing discovery, he still lived in poverty. For all the efforts and the find of Tanzanite, he only received a certificate of recognition and a financial reward of 50,000 Tanzanian shillings, which doesn't seem like much in most people's eyes. But it is very rare for any African that makes a discovery to be rewarded for it.  Much of this was made good in April of 2018 when the president of Tanzania awarded him 100 million Tanzanian Shillings (about $44,000 in US dollars). He asked him to speak at the opening up the wall that was put up around the Tanzanite mines in later 2018 as well. The president said Mr. Ngoma was “the hero of the nation who has for long been forgotten and neglected.”

The people of Tanzania hailed him as a hero, as the find he has made, changed the country of Tanzania forever.

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Steve Moriarty


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