TBL’s director with ample knowledge on local beer market

11Feb 2020
The Guardian Reporter
The Guardian
TBL’s director with ample knowledge on local beer market

ONE of the most competitive markets in the country is that of beer and hard liquor in which Tanzania Breweries Limited dominates it in every aspect.

James Bokella doing what he loves best as TBL’s director for Northern Zone, checking beers. Photo: Guardian Photographer.

Among TBL’s prowess to control the domestic market is its rich list of experienced manpower like its northern zone director, James Bokella who is popularly known as JBG by his peers.

The personal achievements that he has registered during the past 18 years of his service at TBL have not turned him into a self centred chest thumping individual. As the English adage goes: ‘Good wine needs no bush,’ JBG will not easily issue a blurb of himself. At first blush, you may not easily notice that he is the man who takes care of business interests of TBL Group for an area that is equivalent to half the size of Tanzania.

All he will tell you is that he is happy to be among senior employees of the leading beer brewer at a time when the government is advocating industrialization. “I have registered a lot of achievements but the most important one is that I am happy to be one of those Tanzanians who are contributing massively towards industrialization of my country in accordance with aspirations of the fifth phase administration of President John Magufuli,” JBG, who is TBL Group’s business director for the Northern Zone of Tanzania, said.

His story reveals of the kind of a person who believes in working hard as being the secret behind self-advancement and this is what he tells youths. “To those who are in colleges, my advice to them is that they must study hard. They must be creative and above all, they should always be mindful of what brought them there,” he added.

JBG is candid. He believes that in life, short cuts are always wrong routes to take. Youths, who have just been employed, must always refrain from the allure of making quick economic gains at the expense of their employers’ interests. “They must always observe the rules and regulations governing their jobs. They must implement their responsibilities honestly. They must be people of high integrity. Apart from working hard, employed youths must also work patiently,” he said.

Apparently, these are the qualities that enabled him to climb the corporate ladder and reach the peak as director in the giant beer brewer. During the past 18 years, JBG had worked with different people in and outside the country, specifically, in South Africa. That was during the days when TBL Group was a subsidiary of SABMiller.

During the period, he occupied different position including worked as sales manager for Dar es Salaam and for the Southern Zone which comprises of Dar es Salaam, Zanzibar and Rukwa. JBG also  held the positions of TBL’s national sales manager; sales and distribution manager for the Northern Zone (comprising of Tanga, Kilimanjaro, Arusha, Manyara and Singida regions)as well as sales and distribution manager for the Southern Zone (Dar es Salaam, Coast, Zanzibar, Mtwara, Lindi, Morogoro, Dodoma, Iringa, Ruvuma, Mbeya and Rukwa regions). Prior to his current position, he held the position of business director for the North Eastern Zone.

In appreciation of his roles in the growth of the company’s business, JBG has received several awards from his employer, including: Masters Certificate 2012 (SABMiller Africa), MS&D MD Gold Award 2014 (SABMiller Africa) and ABI Partners Award 2017 (ABInBev- Global).

Despite such recognition, he remains steadfast in pursuit of further achievements: “From the community point of view, my plan is to play a key role in training youths so they can be active players in Tanzania’s industrialisation process,” he noted while stressing that in his professional capacity, after attaining a Master of Science Degree in Economics from Aberdeed University (UK), the task ahead is how to translate that theoretical knowledge from the university into practice.

Off his busy official schedule, JBG always finds time to be with his wife Yasinta and their children: Kenneth, who is doing his studies at Zhejiang University in China and Nicholaus, who is a student at Saint Laureate International School.

When he gets time to chill with colleagues and relatives during weekends, he will happily take his bottle of Castle Lite, Ndovu or Budweiser. Like almost every other Tanzanian, watching football and listening to music are JBG’s favourite hobbies.

For fear of being left behind with happenings across the world, JBG will also find time to watch news on Sky News, CNN, TBC, BBC, ITV, Citizen, SBC News and Aljazeera.