By Prudence Minayo
Anerlisa Muigai is the beautiful Keroche heiress and a perfect definition of a socialite. Beyond the beauty and elegance lies an intelligent woman who runs one of the most successful water bottling company in Kenya.
A lot of people look at the luxurious lifestyle and think she’s all fun and no work. After all, she comes from a rich influential family that owns the second largest alcoholic beverages producer in Kenya.
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Anerlisa was born in 1988. The second born in a family of four grew up in a village called Karai.
The heiress attended Father Joseph Baldo Primary School near North Kinangop.
Not much is known about the high school or the university she attended in the United Kingdom.
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Elizabeth Muigai Karanja and Joseph Karanja are her parents. Their entrepreneur skills rubbed off on their daughter early in life. They are a great support to her business and take pride in her accomplishments. Her father prefers life away from the limelight but is always pushing his daughter to flourish in business. Keroche breweries was birthed when he was fifty years old, a little bit over thirty years ago.
Her other known siblings are Edward Karanja and the late Tecra Karanja who died in May this year as a result of a fall from her apartment staircase.
The 32-year-old is the founder and Chief Executive Officer of Nero Company Limited, a manufacturer and distributor of premium bottled water known as Executive Still Water and Life Still Water. The company is a massive success but it took a lot of grit and determination to make it what it is today.
At first it was very hard to penetrate the market. There are other big players in the market that manufacture and distribute bottled water. Most of the water is packaged circular blue bottles but Anerlisa wanted something different that is not in the market.
The then new entrepreneur designed her bottle inspired by a certain champagne bottle. This was way back in 2013. At first, it was very hard to get people to stock it as it resembled an alcohol brand. Times were tough and some even urged her to give up but late 2013, business began to pick up and people were calling to stock their water.
In 2018, she was among the three Kenyans nominated for the young female entrepreneur award at an event organized by Bizna Kenya. She took the runners up position.
While the business is a massive success today, it has taught her a lot through the various challenges she experienced. In an interview with Citizen TV’s Lilian Muli, she revealed how tough the journey to the top was. There was a time they were approached to sponsor an event and in exchange their water was the only brand to be sold. They were shocked when another water company was giving free water to the attendants meaning people couldn’t buy their water.
Despite coming from a rich family, she wanted to be the architect of her own life.
Love life and marriage
The CEO has been in a number of relationships. She was linked to former Straight Up host Ian Mugoya.
Then she had a fling with Don Mbugua, popularly known as DK. During the relationship, there were rumors that he was married and Anerlisa was the other woman. When she was confronted by the alleged wife she asked her to produce the marriage certificate. The relationship ended and she deleted all his photos.
She started dating Tanzanian Bongo singer Ben Pol. The couple was engaged for a year and the Keroche heiress would often profess her love to her new man on social media platforms.
“… My life has not been the same since I met you, you have brought so much love, happiness, honesty and calmness into my life. You have taught me so much that sometimes I wonder if I was really living the life I should live.”
“ Nobody ever came to my life and changed it like you have. God bless us and always protect us. Nakupenda mpenzi wangu,” wrote Anerlisa on the Instagram post.
The two got married in Tanzania.
The marriage came to a screeching end in 2021, barely a year into their marriage.