Tanzanian miner Saniniu Laizer hit the jackpot and has become a millionaire overnight by selling two largest Tanzanite gemstones that were ever found in the country. According to reports, the government handed over a cheque for 7.7 billion Tanzanian shillings ($3.4 million) to him. The stones weigh 9.2 kg (20.3 lbs) and 5.8kg and Laizer unearthed them last week in one of the Tanzanite mines in the north of the country. He sold them Wednesday at a trading event in the region of Manyara.
Laizer speaking to BBC said that he planned to use the money to build a shopping mall and a school in his community in Simanjiro, a district of Manyara as there are many poor people who can't afford to take their children to school. He further added that, “I am not educated but I like things to run in a professional way. So I would like my children to run the business professionally.” Reports say that Saniniu Laizer has four wives and is a father of more than 30 children.
Laizer said that he would also throw a big party to his dear ones. Sources say that, Tanzanian President John Magufuli has reportedly congratulated Laizer over the phone. Simon Msanjila, mines ministry permanent secretary, at an event at Simanjiro district in Tanzania's northern Manyara region said that "Today's event is to recognise the two largest tanzanite gemstones in history since the beginning of mining activities in Mirerani."
In 2017, President Magufuli ordered the military to construct a 24km perimeter wall around the Merelani mining site in Manyara which is believed to be the world’s only source of Tanzanite.