Elijah Njoroge, aka ‘Kururia’, is the current Gatundu North MP. At 36, he is among the youngest, richest, and most flamboyant legislators in the country.
From a cook’s boy, to a piano player, to MP, this is his story as told by WoK:
Elijah Njore Njoroge was in 1987 to a 17-year-old mother in Gakoe, Kiambu county. He was the firstborn in a family of 6.
His education journey started at Gakoe Primary School in 1993, where he sat for his KCPE in 2000. His mother was a casual laborer, who made a living by picking tea. His father was a cook at Gakoe secondary school.
Njoroge has always been a leader throughout his life. “From class one to form 4, I was the class prefect,” the MP proudly shared in an interview.
After primary, he proceeded to Gakoe secondary school, where he was a vibrant member of the Debating and Journalism clubs. He would later become the first MP in Kiambu to school in a day secondary school.
As the son of a tea picker and a cook, Njoroge’s academic journey was fraught with economic hardships. He was constantly absent from school for lack of school fees. He never attended a school tour, as his parents could not afford to pay for one.
“Sometimes, when my classmates bought new uniforms, they would give me the old one.” Said the MP.
Despite these challenges, he completed his high school education with a C+ in KCSE.
After high school, he was invited to Nairobi to work as a tout by Mr. Wainaina, the tycoon who owned Eldoret Express buses. However, he was later denied the job due to his small stature.
“They told me I was too small to change a tire,” said Kururia.
Jobless and dejected, the young Njoroge moved to Mathare slums to reside with his uncle. There, he attended the local church, where he learned a skill that would later change his life – playing the piano.
He soon became a skilled piano player and was hired by the church to play the instrument at Ksh300 per service.
Soon, he rose through the ranks and was hired at Bishop Pius Muiru’s church, Maximum Miracle Centre, where he was paid a monthly salary of Ksh12 000 — still as a piano player. He rented his first house and bought some amenities, including a TV and sofa set.
After some time, he was poached to Bishop Edward Mwai’s Jesus Winner Ministry Church, where his salary as a piano player rose to Ksh30 000.
Being a piano player earned Njoroge connections with the who and whos of the church.
Bishop Mwai had a car importation business. By associating with him, Njoroge learned the ropes of the business and was soon hired as a sales agent.
The business was lucrative, with commissions sometimes exceeding Ksh100 000. Soon, the cook’s son bought his first car at Ksh300 000.
“In the car importation business, I was not looking for buyers. They were looking for me,” he would later say.
It was during that time that he met and married his former classmate at the age of 21.
By 2015, the now-successful businessman owned a fleet of matatus operating in Eastleigh and Ruiru. But despite the success, he was still a piano player.
He soon met and befriended another car dealer by the name of George Mburu. One day, Mburu was selling a piece of land near the Ruiru bypass. However, he had been having a hard time getting a buyer.
Njoroge offered to broker the land for him. Their agreement was that he would sell the land at whatever price he wanted, but he would give Mburu sh 30 million. In addition, he would receive a brokerage fee of Ksh3 million from the Ksh30 million.
In an extraordinary stroke of good fortune, he sold the land for Ksh84 million – making a profit of Ksh54 million plus Ksh3 million brokerage fees.
The cook’s son was now untouchable. He spent the money on luxury cars with custom number plates and expensive shopping sprees.
“No matter what I bought, the money never seemed to end,” said the 36-year-old legislator.
Luckily, someone advised him to invest the money before he had spent all of it. It was then that he founded Airwave Properties in 2015, one of the most popular real estate companies in Kenya today.
The name Airwave was a spur-of-the-moment idea from a Honda Airwave car that was driving in front of him.
The company’s projects spanned from Embu to Ruiru, to Juja, with a plot going for as low as sh 50 000. Aggressive advertising on TV stations sent customers tripping over themselves to purchase the plots.
By 2017, Njoroge was a tycoon – in the real sense of the word. He decided to vie for the MCA seat in the Biashara ward in Ruiru.
During campaigns, while a prominent gubernatorial seat aspirant distributed Ksh300 ‘tea’ to the voters, Njoroge made a name by distributing Ksh1 000 despite vying for the much humbler MCA seat.
In one incident, he handed out Ksh700,000 cash to Ruiru residents. This was the genesis of his nickname ‘Kururia’.
Needless to say, he achieved a landslide win at the 2017 general elections under the Jubilee ticket. He would later become Kiambu County Assembly chief whip and later Chairperson of all Mt Kenya MCAs.
In 2022, he vied and won the Gatundu MP seat as an independent candidate, ousting prominent MPs that had dominated the region. He was the only MP to be elected within the central region as an independent candidate.
Currently, the 36-year-old has three children and looks forward to greater achievements.