Fai Amario: Intrigues Of The Controversial Businessman Who Built A Multi-Million Empire From Scratch

Fai Amario: The Multi-Million Empire Owned by Late Nakuru Businessman
File image of late Naivasha Businessman, Fai Amario. |Courtesy| The Standard|

Fai Amario was a Nakuru businessman who rose from abject poverty to establish a multi-million empire that continues to live on nearly a decade since his death in 2010.

He was famed for many of his deeds some of them good while others were controversial. He is remembered for placing newspaper adverts on all popular dailies to announce that he was seeking a wife to marry.

The businessman was a darling to many and was accorded a heroic burial in Naivasha.

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Background & Education

Amario was born Peter Gilbert Njoroge Ng’ang’a in 1954 according to a report by Daily Nation in 2010. He was an only child to a family living in abject poverty in Banana, Kiambu county.

The ingenious alcohol distiller and winemaker sponsored his learning in Israel to study the craft at the Wine Institute in Rehovot, nine kilometers from Tel Aviv.


After returning to Kenya, Amario built a factory that employed over 200 people. The factory came up with brands like Pooler, Medusa, Amario’s Sherry, Uhuru 2000, Kata Pingu, Mahewa, and Cantata, which were distributed via his depots in Meru, Murang’a, Thika, and Naivasha.

A report by the Standard on Monday, April 11, 2022, stated that a fresh valuation of Amario’s estate puts its at a net worth of Ksh900 million.

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Fai Amario: The Multi-Million Empire Owned by Late Nakuru Businessman
File image of late Naivasha Businessman, Fai Amario. |Courtesy| Nation|

The valuation report which was ordered by the court revealed that the businessman’s wealth was worth more than the Ksh487 million it was valued at as of September 1, 2016.

According to the report, the value of the estate shot up because of the development in the country, land value appreciation and economic growth.

Amario invested heavily in the brewery business, real estate, among others.

A woman who has since sued to be included in the succession of the estate told the court that she is Amario’s widow.

The valuation report was ordered by High Court judge Teresia Matheka had on October 9, 2020, following a successful application by Bernice Njeri who is claiming to be the businessman’s widow.

List of properties

Amario Factory which stands on 6.3 acres of land in Naivasha and is estimated to be worth Ksh105 million.

Den Hotel established on a 6.5-acre land in Naivasha, estimated to be worth Ksh93 million.

Amario’s residence built on a 1.32-acre land is estimated to be worth Ksh31 million.

Property in Naivasha worth Ksh106 million, residential houses, parcels of land worth Ksh147 million, plots in Longonot, Embu and Njukini in Taita Taveta.

Amario’s land parcels in Nairobi, Thika and Fai Amarillo Wineries Limited in Naivasha.

Wineries Limited

Succession battle

Amario’s son, Miki Ng’ang’a, is one of the administrators of the estate and is the director of Amarillo Limited. He controls 100 per cent of a company which holds 90 per cent shares of all the property.

On October 27, 2021 Justice Matheka directed Ng’ang’a to pay his sister Marsha Dee, Ksh134,000 monthly upkeep. He was directed to cater to his sister’s needs until their father’s inheritance case of 2010 is heard and determined.

Amario’s children Dee, Ng’ang’a, Sheena Auston and their mother Monica Wanjiru are listed as administrators of the estate.

The inclusion of Njeri as a beneficiary to the estate is still pending in court.

Murder accusations & Charges

He was then a subject of controversy and trouble when he was accused of murdering two of his employees in 1996. One of them was Gitau Karago, the deputy manager at one of his depots in Murang’a.

Karago is said to have called his boss sometime in late 1995 to inform him that Ksh 212,000 was missing from the company. Amario responded by sacking Karago together with Makimei Njoroge, the depot’s manager.

A week after his firing, Karago was found dead in Naivasha with a six-inch nail hammered into his head. Njoroge, who was unconscious, survived and identified Amario as one of the attackers.

The businessman was arrested but the state ultimately dropped the charges against him.

In 2004, officers from the flying squad unit raided Amario’s Naivasha home over suspicion of murdering his wife, Sarah Wanjiru, who was suspected to have been buried in the highly secured compound.

After digging in the compound for hours with earth movers, the police were surprised to discover various car parts buried in the compound.

Also discovered were ten unlicensed shotguns in a bedroom, seven brand new but dismantled Toyota Prado and Mitsubishi four-wheel drive vehicles, as well as around 20 computers.

Jail term

Amarillo was sentenced to serve 9 years at Kamiti Maximum Prison in 2005. According to reports, the businessman even threatened the magistrate and police officers handling his case. They were offered extra security by the state.

While in prison, the life humbled him and he shifted focus to opportunities of making life better for prisoners.

“I had dreamt of acquiring a helicopter. But Kamiti has taught me not to think like money minded Kenyan. Now I have a different crusade: to change this country and make it more civilised,” he told Daily Nation during a past interview.

Robbery with violence case

Amario was charged with robbing businessman Mulraj Kanji Patel of his Toyota Land Cruiser, two wrist watches, a gold necklace, a bracelet, two cell phones and Ksh22,000 all estimated to be worth Ksh2.8 million.

In addition to violent robbery, he was charged with being the head of a car theft syndicate.

Amario at some point pleaded for mercy. He claimed his children and businesses needed him. He was released three years later. 

The businessman died in July 2010.

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