Richest Kenyans, it Turns Out, Are Not So Philanthropic

 Richest Kenyans, it Turns Out, Are Not So Philanthropic

On Tuesday 24th March 2020, Kenya received 100,000 face masks, 20,000 Coronavirus test kits and protective suits from Chinese tycoon Jack Ma as part of a donation of personal protective equipment to help in the fight against the global pandemic.

Ma made the donation of medical equipment to all the African countries to assist in the fight against COVID-19, which continues to ravage many nations.

Jack Ma, or Ma Yun, needs introduction only to very few people. He is a Chinese business magnate, investor and politician. He rose to the top in the business world as co-founder and former executive chairman of Alibaba Group, a multinational technology conglomerate.

Example to emulate

We would like to
believe that Jack Ma, who visited Kenya in 2017, donated the stuff after being
touched by the plight of Africans whose economies have been managed in such a
way that few individuals control most of the money, leaving many at the mercies
of helplessly corrupt governments.

“We cannot ignore the potential risk to Africa and assume this
continent of 1.3 billion people will blissfully escape the crisis,” Mr Ma said after
Kenya reported its first cases of Covid-19 infection. “We can take precautions
now and get prepared ahead of time, as Africa can benefit from the experience
and lessons from other countries that were earlier hit hard by the virus.”

Well, cross over to Africa, and Kenya to be specific. Almost two
weeks later, the silence from its most successful sons and daughters or
families is as deafening as what we imagine a Covid-19 isolation room could be.

Kenya is blessed with men and women of means, who often grace the lists of the super-rich, even on the African continent. We thank God for the richest Kenyans.

When it comes to giving back to society, however, the list of Kenyan billionaires, is almost always short.

Giving, or helping a cause, is voluntary. It comes from the heart. But you just can’t help wondering why Kenya, and even Africa at large, has a short supply of philanthropists from its richest lot.

Yet it’s through the philanthropy of other people that some children from poor households get educated. It is through the giving of others that some get medicare. It is, indeed through philanthropists, that the world is such a better place.

Successful but mean

Microsoft Bill Gates runs philanthropic projects in health
through Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation. Former US Presidents Bill Clinton
and Jimmy Carter, run charity projects across the world touching on various issues,
which have transformed lives for the poor. The list can go on and on.

In a report by Knight Frank released in March 2020, Kenya has 42 ultra-high net worth individuals, worth over $30 million each which is equivalent to Ksh3.07 billion. Utra-high net worth is financial lingo for the super-rich. If we were to include the rich, the list would run into thousands.

Some of Kenya’s super-rich run successful businesses that fund charity projects. That’s commendable. But at the individual level they shy away from helping their brothers and sisters who very much need a boost here or there. Richest Kenyans who are notable philanthropists locally include Manu Chandaria, Nairobi Governor Mike Sonko

Whatever contribution each Kenyan makes, big or small, will go a long way.

the Coronavirus pandemic, for instance. Aside from corporates doing this and
that, less for charity than branding recognition, we are not seeing Kenyans abundantly
blessed with wealth and material coming through. Many Kenyans under
self-quarantine can’t afford sanitizers; for some, buying soap is a big deal.
With partial lockdown and curfew coming in effect, many will struggle to find
something to eat.

In short, we are in a situation where philanthropic souls play major roles, and when we need many, many of them. The government is doing its part and President Uhuru Kenyatta has led his top executives in taking pay cuts. MPs have followed suit. Whatever contribution each Kenyan makes, big or small, will go a long way.

SEE >> Key Things That Millionaires Do that Most Other People Don’t

As Coronavirus situation continues to defy interventions, we feature some of the rich Kenyans, who are actually billionaires, and whom we are looking up to for some action during the Covid-19 lockdown and other causes. If each of the individuals we list below and hundreds of others not on the list supported different causes in Kenya, our country would easily attain middle-income status.

This list of 20 wealthiest Kenyans courtesy of 

20Kiprop Bundotich (Buzeki)

Zedekiah Kirop Bundotich, aged 42, also known as Buzeki has a net worth of $30 Million(Ksh3 billion). His income is largely from dairy, transport. Founder and Group Executive Director of Buzeki Group of Companies his Buzeki Dairy Limited in 2008 made the Tuzo and Molo milk brands largely enjoyed by Kenyans. 

As a strategic businessman, in 2013, Bundotich sold his Buzeki Dairy business to Brookside Diaries owned by the Kenyatta family for KSh1.5 billion. Buzeki Group is a well-established company in the transport and logistics industry in Kenya worth billions of shillings. 

Zedekiah Kirop Bundotich (Buzeki).

Presently, Buzeki group has the following list of companies:

  • Buzeki Enterprises
    Limited – Transport solutions provider.
  • Bunoil Limited – Fuel
    and Oil dealership.
  • Transtruckers
    Logistics Group Limited – Involved in Cement distribution.
  • Buzeki Insurance
    Limited –  In-House Insurance Agency.
  • Buzeki Fleet
    Management Limited – Fleet Tracking service provider.
  • Koima Motors Limited –
    Sale of Heavy commercial vehicles & Spare parts.

19. Pius Ngugi

Pius Ngugi, aged 75, a
business tycoon, worth $35 million (Ksh3.5 billion), engaged in Food
Processing, and owns the Kenya Nut Company which he founded in 1974. Research
has it that the company is presently the main exporter of macadamia nuts from
Kenya and has over 2,500 employees.
In 2016, he made $60 million in revenue from exporting macadamia nuts from

Other companies he
owns include Thika Coffee Mills, a shareholder in the Tatu City development
project and Kenya Alliance Insurance. Other interests includes dairy farming,
Amazon Motors, manufacture of sweets and winery.

18. Adil Popat

Adil Popat, aged 69,
is one of the most successful car dealers in Kenya, worth $40 million (Ksh4

Also into hotels, he is the Group Executive Chairman of Simba Corporation which has interests in motor sales and service, hospitality, investment, and financial services. 

Adil Popat.

The company founded in
1948 has grown into a billion shilling investment as he is the sole authorized
dealer of Fuso, Mahindra, Renault and Mitsubishi car brands. The Group also
owns the famous Villa Rosa Kempinski (Nairobi) and Olare Mara Kempinski (Masai
Mara) hotels.

17. Jimnah Mbaru 

This is another
popular name a ringing bell in Kenya. Jimnah Mbaru, aged 65, is a successful
business man into investment banking, worth $48 million (Ksh4.8 billion).

He is the owner and
Chairman of Dyer and Blair Investment Bank, which he acquired from KCB in
1983,  the bank according to statistics is the leading investment firm in
Kenya with branches in Uganda and Rwanda. It has over $300 million (Ksh30
billion) in assets under management. Other interests arear where he has stakes
are Equity Bank and Transcentury Group among others.

16. Dr William Ruto

Aged 53, his worth is
$50 million (Ksh5 billion), as his wealth is derived majorly from politics and
business. Recognised as one of the self-made multi-millionaires in Kenya, here
are the list of the companies and property he owns. 

  • Sentrim 680 Hotel
    located in the Nairobi CBD which is worth an estimated Ksh3 billion.
  • Weston Hotel worth an
    estimated 2 billion60% stake in MediaMax  (previously owned by Kenyatta
  • Amaco Insurance
  • Osere flats in Ongata
  • Oerter Enterprises Ltd
  • Sh1 billion
    residential home in Uasin Gishu
  • Sh1 billion chopper
  • William Ruto is one of
    the richest people in Kenya.

15. Mwai Kibaki

Mwai Kibaki &
Family, aged 88, worth $60 Million (Ksh6 billion), is a self made man in
Politics and properties. Mwai Kibaki was the third Kenyan President and one of
the biggest landowners possessing thousands of acres of land around the
country. Precisely, about 10,000 acres of land in each of the following
places; Bahati, Nanyuki, Laikipia, and Rumuruti.

Other areas of
interests where he has shares are: UAP insurance, Jacaranda Hotel, CFC Bank,
CMC Holdings Group of companies, Unga Group Ltd, Toyota Kenya, Express Kenya
Ltd, Royal insurance, Windsor Golf, and Country Club among others.

14. Titus Naikuni

Titus Naikuni. [ Photo / Nairobinews ]

Titus Naikuni who’s source of wealth is traced to the Corporate Sector with net Worth of $100 million (Ksh10 billion) aged 66, is  a Kenyan mechanical engineer, entrepreneur, and business executive. He’s the chairman of the board of Rift Valley Railways Consortium and Airtel Kenya. Former Managing Director and CEO of Kenya Airways, Kenya Power and Lighting Company, Brunner Mond (South Africa), Tata Chemicals Magadi and Prudential Life Assurance Kenya.

13. Baloobhai Patel

Baloobhai Patel a well
known philanthropist, aged 81, worth $150 million (Ksh15 billion) in Kenya, a
businessman and an entrepreneur, a non-executive director at Pan Africa
Insurance, the largest non-institutional shareholder with significant
shareholding in Barclays Bank Kenya, Bamburi Cement, Carbacid Investments,
Diamond Trust Bank Group, and Safaricom. In July 2013, his holding in NSE-listed
companies valued at Ksh2.4 billion.

12. S.K. Macharia 

Samuel Kamau, aka S. K
Macharia, aged 77, has a net worth of $150 million (Ksh15 billion) and founder
of Royal Media Services in Kenya. His largest private television and radio
network  in Kenya and East Africa. Some of its famous brands include
Citizen TV, Inooro TV, Radio Citizen, Hot 96 among others.

11. James Mwangi

Considered as one of
the richest people in Kenya, he has a net worth of $170 million (Ksh17 billion),
aged 56. His source of his wealth is mainly Equity Bank. Currently, he is the
Managing Director and CEO of Equity Group Holdings Limited (EGHL). James is
among the major individual shareholders of EGHL with a 5.52% stake. He also
owns shares at British American Insurance Company Limited (Britam).

10. Raila Odinga

Raila Odinga, aged 76,
worth $250 million (Ksh15 billion). He gets his money from Politics, manufacturing,
industrial gas storage amongst several others.
Raila Odinga also owns 2 private choppers and residential homes in Karen,
Runda, Kisumu, and Mombasa.

9. Peter Munga

Founder and Chairman
of Equity Group Holdings Limited (EGHL), a financial services holding firm
based in Nairobi and is an owner of Equity Bank, one of the largest commercial
banks in Kenya. The Group also has operations in Uganda, Rwanda, South Sudan,
Tanzania, and DRC.

The company has a
total of over 13 million customers and generates annual revenues in excess of
Ksh19.5 billion. EGHL also controls assets worth an estimated KSh530 billion.

8. Chris Kirubi

Chris Kirubi, with net worth of a $400 million (Ksh40 billion) into real estate, aged 78, is a successful business magnate and industrialist. He is a Director and the largest individual shareholder (with a 28.94% stake) at Centum Investments amongst others.

7. Uhuru Kenyatta

The son of Jomo
Kenyatta and the 4th and current President of Kenya, is a successful
businessman and one of the richest persons in Kenya, he worth US$500 million
(Ksh50 billion).

Here are his assets:

  • 24.92% stake in
    Commercial Bank of Africa (CBA).
  • 13.2% stake in NIC bank
  • Brookside Dairy which
    has expanded to Rwanda and Uganda
  • Chartis insurance
  • Heritage hotels
  • Enke Holdings
  • Peponi Schools
  • Mediamax Group (K24,
    the people Newspaper, Kameme Fm, Meru Fm, Milele FM)
  • Timsales Holdings, a
    timber processing company.

6. Naushad Merali

The Executive Chairman
of the Sameer Group, a business conglomerate based in Nairobi, is worth $600
million (Ksh60 billion). Aged 68, his business empire comprises 15 companies
and has operations in Kenya and the rest of Africa.
Here are some of the businesses:

  • Sasini Tea and Coffee
  • Sameer Africa Limited
    (manufacture of tires)
  • Kenya Data Networks
    Limited (Information Technology firm)
  • Savannah Coffee Lounge
  • Equatorial Commercial

5. Bhimji Depar Shah

Bhimji Depar Shah. [ Photo / UrbanKenyans]

He has a net worth of $900 million (Ksh90 billion). Aged 88, his company, Bidco Africa, produces edible oils, fats, soaps and detergents, animal feeds, margarine, food, and beverages. It is based in Thika and also has operations in Central and Southern Africa. The company has manufacturing factories in Kenya, Uganda, and Tanzania.

4. Mama Ngina Kenyatta

The only woman amongst the richest Kenyans has a net worth of $1 billion (Ksh100 billion). Mama Ngina is the widow to Jomo Kenyatta, the first president of Kenya. She’s also the mother to Uhuru Kenyatta.
The family’s giant dairy company, Brookside, has acquired several rival dairy firms including Buzeki Dairy in 2013 for Ksh1.1 billion. Other acquisitions include Ilara, Delamere, SpinKnit, Molo Milk and Kilifi dairy brands.

3. Nicholas Biwott

With a net worth of
$1.1 billion (Ksh110 billion), Biwott, now deceased, was the owner of Yaya
Center (a shopping mall in Nairobi),  operates petrol stations across
Eastern, Central, and Southern Africa.
Other investments are: 

  • AirKenya Express – an
    airline based in Nairobi
  • Kipsinende Farm
  • HZ Construction and
  • Lima Kenya
  • Rono Ltd among others.

2. Manu Chandaria

Aged 90, with a net
worth of $1.7 billion (Ksh170 billion), Manu Chandaria is a Kenyan businessman,
industrialist, and philanthropist of Indian descent.His company, Comcraft Kenya Ltd, which manufactures aluminum and steel
products as well as plastics, operates in Tanzania, Ethiopia, and Uganda.
Comcraft generates annual revenues of more than Ksh200 billion.

1. Daniel Moi &

The richest person in
Kenya, worth $3 billion (Ksh300 billion) is Daniel Toroitich Moi & Family. Daniel
Moi (who died 4th Feb 2020), is a former politician who served as
the second President of Kenya, an entrepreneur, investor, and businessman.
Daniel Moi and his family have interests in many industries such as:

  • education
  • manufacturing
  • maritime and freight
  • media
  • airline and transport
  • hotel & tourism
  • insurance
  • The oil industry
  • banking
  • real estate

Other business
interests he pioneered are:

  • Kabarak University
  • Giant Holdings
  • Homestead Enterprises
  • Eagles Airlines
  • American Bank
  • Safariland Club
  • Mugoya Construction
  • Equatorial Bank among
  • Transnational Bank
    (recently sold to Access Bank of Nigeria)

NEXT READ >> Kenya Ministers Earning More Than Their President


Warning: Unknown: write failed: Disk quota exceeded (122) in Unknown on line 0

Warning: Unknown: Failed to write session data (files). Please verify that the current setting of session.save_path is correct (/var/cpanel/php/sessions/ea-php71) in Unknown on line 0