Last week, Kenyans.co.ke dived into the foundations of very wealthy people in Kenya and chronicled the little-known county schools some of them attended.
During the research process, we found out that while some tycoons have a history of weed for grace, some, mainly those from wealthy backgrounds, have frequented prominent institutions but kept the fires burning until the decision-making table.
From presidential contender Jimmy Wanjigi to little-known billionaire Joseph Wanjui, the tycoons on this list have attended national schools ranging from Alliance High School to Mang’u.
Here are 5 billionaires who got off to a great start in life.
1. Jimi Wanjigi
Jimmy Wanjigi speaking to people at early event
Born in 1962, Kenyan businessman and politician Jimi Wanjigi is currently trying out for the presidency, but he can attribute his success to his stint at St Mary’s School.
While at the school, Wanjigi studied alongside Uhuru and Senator Baringo, Gideon Moi, before moving to York University to study business.
Upon his return, he took over Kwacha Group, a family business, which is a holding company of several other family-owned businesses. The company owns shares in various companies, including Barclays Bank (now Absa PLC).
He also runs the Caramel Restaurant and Lounge located at ABC Place along Waiyaki Way.
2. Bundotich Buzeki
In recent years, billionaire and politician Zedekiah Kiprop Bundotich, known as Buzeki, has found himself rubbing shoulders with a senior government official, which only asserts his power.
From humble beginnings peddling milk with a cart in the coastal region, Buzeki has grown into a business mogul who is one of Kenya’s wealthiest CEOs.
However, part of his turning point came after he was accepted to Mang’u High School after excelling in his Kenya Primary Education Certificate (KCPE) at Molo Academy.
After his stint in the milk distribution industry, he bought the company he worked for from his employer and renamed it Kilifi Gold. Her shopping spree extended to Molo Milk and Limuru Dairy Farmers Cooperative Society.
In 2013, Brookside made him an offer he couldn’t refuse, propelling him to billionaire status after buying two of his dairy businesses for around Ksh 1.1 billion. Today, he runs one of the largest logistics companies in the country, Buzeki Enterprises Limited.
File image of Buzeki from a previous interview
3. Duncan ndegwa
The former governor of the Central Bank of Kenya has a career rich in a number of firsts, most notably as the first post-independence civil servant.
Born in 1925, Ndegwa made his debut at Alliance High School before continuing his studies at Makerere University in Uganda and St Andrews University in Scotland.
On his return, the billionaire made a stint in the public service where he worked as permanent secretary, cabinet secretary and head of the public service.
He was also among the top 10 shareholders of NIC Bank and chairman of Mombasa Continental Resort. He died in January 1996.
4. Joseph wanjui
Billionaire Joseph Wanjui will become one of the richest people in Kenya as well as one of the most influential people in the country.
The tycoon, in his heyday, crisscrossed the business sector to that of presidential adviser and invested in real estate, hospitality and insurance, among others.
According to his resume, Wanjui was educated at Manq’u High School in the mid-1950s before joining Ohio Wesleyan University where he studied physics and mathematics and graduated in 1961.
He owns stakes in Hill Park Hotels, UAP-Old Mutual as well as Bawan Rose and was at one time the owner of the World Bank headquarters in Kenya.
Former World Bank owner Joseph Wanjui.
5. Muhoho Kenyatta
President Uhuru Kenyatta attended prestigious St Mary’s School in Nairobi alongside his brother Muhoho Kenyatta. Teachers at the institution revealed that they had received instructions from the founding president, Mzee Jomo Kenyatta, not to give them any special treatment.
After leaving the institution, Muhoho moved to Williams College in Massachusetts, USA, where he obtained a Bachelor of Arts in Political Science.
During his career, Muhoho was appointed Executive Chairman of Brookside Dairy Milk and is also the chaperone of the Kenyatta family businesses.