"Life is about numbers! Life begins with a number and ends with a number!" - Clarence Avant (The Black Godfather)

Hello Bongo Brains! It has been a while, hasn't it? A lot has happened since the last time I wrote. It is amazing what can happen within just a few months. A lot has changed and no one could have predicted that we could witness so much change within just a few months something tells me there is much more 2020 has in store. It is just my hope we are going to start experiencing good things for a change. Not to take too much of your time let me jump straight into the subject I wanted to share today. 

Before we begin I should start by giving a little context in order to make sense of all this. BrainBongo started operating in late 2014 from my living room. I was converting it into a studio whenever I had I photoshoot and a lot of times the bedroom was dubbed as a changing room for my clients. When we heard about the Entrepreneurship Competition in early 2016 and I thought it was a good opportunity to learn through the process and perhaps win the ultimate prize (10 million TZS).

Because the business was still in a start-up phase (barely over a year in operation), I didn't have much to show for it but I was confident that the business idea was valid, and with a capital push from the prize I strongly believed it could make all the difference so I threw my hat in the ring. 

If I am not mistaken, it was said they received about 300 applications and luckily BrainBongo was short-listed among 20 applicants that were selected to move to the next step of the competition.

Now, this was a big deal to me because it reaffirmed my belief that my idea is valid and other experienced individuals in business also think so.

After the shortlist I was called in for an interview with Mo Dewji and a jury of other people who were involved in the process. I was excited and scared at the same time because I wanted it so bad but also I wasn't sure if I was ready to stand before the richest person in Tanzania and the youngest billionaire in Africa and pitch my business idea. When I got to his office there were a few other applicants that were scheduled for the interview on the same date and we were directed to the boardroom. I had prepared a fancy PowerPoint presentation, and I was ready to face the giant BUT something happened a few minutes before they started calling us in for the interview.

Mo's assistant walked into the boardroom and cheerfully welcomed us. She informed us that Mo's schedule was very tight that day and that each of us will have only 10-15 minutes to pitch our idea and there was just no time to go through each applicants' presentation so we have to present without the PPTs. After all, it is your business that shouldn't be hard, right? You tell me

I entered the meeting room enthusiastically, greeted everyone, and then the stopwatch started. I presented my business for about 5 minutes getting into the details about my vision which is helping businesses with proprietary yet affordable advertising solutions and why that money would help take it to the next level. You can read more about BrainBongo and the amazing work we have been doing on our website at

Then, Mo calmly interrupted me and informed me that he has gotten a pretty good idea about my business and wanted to ask a few questions, especially about my finances (numbers). He asked about how much we made last year, how much I was paying for rent, how many people I work with, how much I pay them, etc. While answering these questions he was writing down on a piece of paper. I was getting that tense vibe like that one you see when someone speaks to a therapist and the therapist writes down as you speak always wondering what they are writing.

I think our session exceeded the allotted time but I didn't notice the time passing because everything about it was exciting and equally challenging. He was asking very specific questions (a few that I wasn't fully aware of ) but I think I did my best and then he started speaking. He told me that numbers are the most important indicators of one's business performance and with them, you can know if the business is going to fail or succeed. Also, it is important to know your number as a business owner. At any given time you should be able to know your revenue, production costs, operating costs, profits margins, etc. something that I wasn't fully aware of at the time. I was making a lot of mistakes, I thought I was doing better than I actually was and everything became clear that day. My life and business have never been the same since.

Although I didn't eventually win the prize I won something that day. I got a better understanding of my business, and my finances from one of the most brilliant minds in business, and that has paid/saved me much more money than the prize ever could, and for that, I am forever grateful to Mo.

If you enjoy reading these stories or there is something that resonates with you be sure to leave a comment below and it will surely make my day! Until next post

Geofrey Mtatiro

I'm a storyteller by trade but a problem-solver by birth. I find creative ways to tell stories of Individuals, Brands, Businesses & Organizations through Photography, Film Production & Advertising. In 2012, I founded BRAINBONGO to do just that while still in high school with the help of a few friends. Through the years, we have become really good at it. We love it and we live it. We are #EXTRAORDINARY!

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