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10 Reclusive Kenyan Female Billionaires And Their Businesses

While many Kenyans can easily name several male billionaires, their female counterparts often remain largely unkown. However, there are a number of accomplished women who have made significant investments, showcasing their impressive financial prowess.

According to a past report by Knight Frank Wealth Report, out of the 125 Kenyans with a net worth exceeding Ksh3 billion, only 23 are women. Notably, this compilation excludes women whose fortunes are tied to political dynasties and prefer to maintain a low profile and anonymity.

WoK introduces ten reclusive Kenyan female billionaires who have made a significant impact in the business world.

10 Reclusive Kenyan Female Billionaires You Might Not Know About And What They Do

Esther Muchemi

She is a prominent Kenyan businesswoman and entrepreneur, currently leading the Samchi Group of Companies as its Group Chief Executive Officer. With diverse interests spanning telecommunications, microfinance, hospitality, real estate, restaurants, and ICT, Muchemi has established herself as a successful corporate executive in Kenya.

Esther Muchemi began her career as an accountant and auditor before transitioning into entrepreneurship, opening a retail shop in Nairobi that sold Safaricom sim-cards and airtime. 

Over time, she expanded her business empire, and today, the Samchi Group encompasses multiple companies operating in various sectors. Muchemi’s achievements have garnered international recognition, including receiving the Global Inspirational Women Leadership Award.

Her diverse investments span across microfinance, real estate, and hospitality, including ownership of luxurious five-star hotels in Nairobi and Mombasa.

Jane Wanjiru Michuki Photocredit/Courtesy

Jane Wanjiru Michuki

Jane Wanjiru Michuki is an accomplished lawyer with an impressive educational background. She holds a Bachelor of Laws degree from the University of Nairobi, a Postgraduate diploma from the Kenya School of Law, and a Master of Laws from Warwick University in the United Kingdom.

She has also acquired a Certificate in Human Rights and International Instruments from the Netherlands Institute of Human Rights.

As the Managing Partner of Kimani and Michuki Advocates, a corporate law firm, Michuki has built a strong client network that includes Equity Bank Holding, one of Kenya’s largest financial institutions.

She specializes in contracts negotiations, financial negotiations, and perfecting securities, and has been involved in negotiating significant commercial contracts in the finance sector. Michuki’s investments extend to prominent companies in the region, such as Equity and Britam. 

In 2018, she held a 9.5% stake in Britam valued at over Ksh5.4 billion, which she owned through an investment firm where her stake was 44.4%. 

Additionally, Michuki has served on the boards of major companies and organizations, including British American Tobacco Kenya, Institute for Education in Democracy (where she was also the chairperson), Women in Law and Development Africa (WILDAF), Nyumbani Children’s Home, and as a trustee and vice chairperson of the Federation of Women Lawyers.

She has also held the position of chairperson at the National Construction Authority of Kenya.

Sadhna Thakrar

She is the wife of former WPP Scangroup CEO, Bharat Thakrar. She is the owner of Naiya Indian Fashions, a prominent women’s clothing store. It has been reported that Bharat made his wife a co-owner in the company, which is valued at over Ksh2 billion. Together, they held a 13.8 percent stake in the blue-chip firm.

Jane Wangui Njuguna

She holds substantial shares in Equity Bank and Britam, amounting to an estimated worth of Ksh3.7 billion. As the life partner of Equity Bank CEO James Mwangi, she is part of the largest family fortune at the bank and also operates an investment vehicle called Filimbi Limited with Equity Bank founder Peter Munga.

Wacera Maina

The billionaire was a shareholder at Kenya’s largest betting platform, Sportpesa. She was removed as a shareholder of the multi-billion betting company. 

Dr. Catherine Nyongesa

As the CEO of Texas Cancer Centre in Nairobi, Dr. Catherine Nyongesa is the first female radiation oncologist in Kenya. She took a Ksh100 million loan to establish the hospital, which has seen significant growth and is now valued at over Ksh1 billion. Dr. Nyongesa’s dedication to cancer treatment and education is commendable.

Mary Okello

She’s the founder of Makini Schools, gained almost Ksh1 billion after selling a 71% stake in her school to UK-based and South African companies. She holds the distinction of being the first African woman to become a Branch Manager at Barclays Bank in 1977, and her entrepreneurial journey has been a testament to her success.

Amarjeet Patel

Amarjeet Patel is a co-owner of her husband’s vast investment portfolio, estimated to be over Ksh3 billion. Her husband, Baloobhai Patel, is a serial stock market investor and also owns the renowned Sankara Hotel in Westlands, Nairobi. Their most significant stake is in Carbacid, the leading supplier of food-grade carbon dioxide used in carbonated beverages.

Leah Wanjiku Muguku

She’s the widow of the late Nelson Muguku. Leah Wanjiku Muguku’s 0.9% stake in Equity Bank, valued at an estimated Ksh1.2 billion, demonstrates the significant wealth she has accumulated. In addition, she built the Ksh3 billion Waterfront Mall in Karen, Nairobi County.