By Prudence Minayo
Jimmy Kibaki is a Kenyan businessman who owns Odibets-a locally owned betting firm- and the first born son of the late President of Kenya, Mwai Kibaki. He has shown hints of venturing into the murky world of politics but the real intent is missing. Jimmy has been the spokesman for the family for quite some time now. He addressed the media on matters to do with his father’s health.
Here is his story as told by WoK.
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Jimmy Kibaki is 58-years-old as of 2021.
He was a student at St Mary’s School-popularly known as Saints-in Nairobi. He was to later join Salve Regina University where he studied political science and administration.
Wife & Children
Jimmy married his Saint’s schoolmate Sherly Anne. They have three children-Mwai Kibaki Jr, Sean Andrew and Emma Ngini.
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When he returned to Kenya in 1988 after completing his studies in Canada, Jimmy was keen on starting a business and he thought it wise to ask his dad for a loan. Kibaki listened to his son’s business vision and why he needed a loan from him before he retorted that he was “neither a director nor shareholder of any company….get the loan from a bank!”
In 2009, he made a decision to launch an initiative called Simama Kenya, meaning Stand up Kenya. Some saw this as a political move. The national youth convention released a statement saying the initiative was a cheap political outfit trying to steal their agenda.
In 2018, he ventured into sports betting through a company known as Odibets, where he sits as the chairman. His involvement with the company has seen it grow immensely. The firm has invested in promoting talent among the youths. They sponsored Ferdinand Omanyala as a sprinter and secured a Ksh60 million deal for Mathare United in 2018. The CEO of Mathare United said the sponsorship came at the right time since the team was struggling financially. Ferdinand Omanyala even received a brand new car thanks to the betting firm. According to the management, Odibets is there to support grassroots talent among the youths.
Many have thought that Jimmy would be interested in following his father’s political steps. However, he has never vied for any political seat but was at one time heavily involved in the presidential campaigns of his father.
Speaking to the media, he revealed that his father was a very close friend to the Kenyattas. Mwai Kibaki is the godfather of the current president of Kenya and at some point Jimmy went to school with Uhuru Kenyatta. Jimmy also said it was Kibaki who suggested the name Uhuru to Mzee Jomo Kenyatta.
In an interview with the Daily Nation, Jimmy said his father wanted Uhuru to become the next president of Kenya. And their relationship with Uhuru was that of father son as Kibaki went ballistic when he heard that some government officials had attempted to block Uhuru from reaching the president. This was during the height of the Kibaki succession in 2012.
“Those supporting Musalia even managed to block Uhuru from reaching the president. When it reached my ears, I went and told the president and the State House controller was almost fired on that day. That was one of the few times I saw my father shouting. He was very angry,” said Jimmy.
In 2021, Jimmy joined The Democrats Party as a deputy party leader.
The businessman was born to Emilio Stanley Mwai Kibaki and Lucy Muthoni Kibaki. He has four siblings namely, David Kibaki, June Kibaki, Tonny Kibaki and Winnie Wangui Mwai. Winnie is reported to be Mwai Kibaki’s daughter with his alleged earlier wife Mary Wambui. The family lost the matron of their home, Lucy Kibaki, in 2016. The former first lady passed away after ailing for a while.