By Benjamin B
The government handed Saniniu Laizer a cheque for 7.74 billion Tanzanian shillings (£2.4million) for the two dark violet-blue stones, each about the size of a forearm, during a trading event in the northern region of Manyara yesterday.
Laizer discovered the chunks in one of the tanzanite mines in the north of the country which are surrounded by a wall to control cross-border smuggling of the valuable mineral.
‘There will be a big party tomorrow,’ Laizer, who has four wives and 30 children, told the BBC. The 52-year-old said that he would slaughter a cow to celebrate his good fortune.
He vowed to use some of his earnings to build a school and a shopping mall in his community, adding that many locals can’t afford to pay for their children’s education.
But he insisted that his lifestyle would not change and that he would continue to look after his herd of 2,000 cows.