By Prudence Minayo
Mahiga Homes is a Kenyan real estate company known for building affordable yet decent housing units. According to their website, they aim at delivering houses in safe environments at an affordable price within a period of 15 months. Joseph Ruhio is one of the directors of Mahiga Homes (MH). His journey to where he is today came with challenges which he managed to overcome through sheer hard work, luck and business acumen. MH is now a leading real estate company in the country with a number of awards attached to its name.
Background and Family
He was born in Kiambu county, Limuru- Ndeiya (Thigio in Gichugu). He comes from a close knit family and his grandfather had two wives. He is the first born in a family of four children. His siblings are: James, Mary and Mburu. Life was not easy as the family lived in a dry place where water was scarce. They also incurred debts which would force them to sell their goats to settle them.
His father moved to Murang’a with the hope of changing the fortunes of his family. Young Joseph joined his father after completing primary school and later the whole family moved in with them. his dad opened a kiosk for their mother.
In 2003, he got married and relocated to Thika with his wife in 2005.
The realtor attended Thigio Primary School from Grade 1 to 4. He then transferred to Makutano Primary where he completed his primary school education.
After primary school, he went to Ndutumi High School in Murang’a. In order to pay his way through school, he raised chicken alongside his agriculture teacher.
In college, he studied accounting for two years and trained as a teacher at Eregi TTC.
Also Read: Top Ten Real Estate Companies in Kenya
After completing high school, he opened a grocery store called Warohio. He sold potatoes and onions.
Joseph then became a teacher at Ndura primary where he earned a monthly salary of Ksh 5,000 monthly. He worked at the institution for only three months. He also opened a grocery store and a butchery. At one point, they were robbed and their bike destroyed in the process.
Through the help of an NGO Center for British Teachers and a woman named Mary Gishuru, he participated in an organization named Peer Support to help those living with HIV.
In 2007, he joined British American Insurance (Britam) as a sales person.
In 2010, he resigned from the Insurance job and ventured into the real estate industry. He started a company named Capital Home Solutions alongside his friend Patrick Muchoki. Their major focus was selling land to clients. The business later dissolved to Mahiga Homes in 2018.
Mahiga Homes has won a number of awards since its inception in 2018. They include:
- 2019 Global Leading Real Estate Developer Brand by Global Brands Awards (a UK based firm).
- Best Low Cost Low Rise Residential Developer 2019
- Most Promising Residential Developer and No. 1 Rookie of the Year in 2018
- Most Trusted Low Cost Housing Developer 2020
- Best Developer of the Year 2020 for Leadership and Excellence in Real Estate
Daily Nation published a critical story on Mahiga Homes for allegedly failing to finish its off-plan housing projects in Kiambu. They also cited how some projects such as Cornerstone Estate were poorly done. Owing to this story, the two directors, Joseph Ruhio and Patrick Muchoki together with their lawyer are said to have paid a visit to the editorial desk demanding they pull down their story. They said the story was false and it should be pulled down or they would proceed with legal action.
The letter from MH read:
“The Daily Nation being a newspaper with a nationwide circulation has adversely tainted the company’s image. The words in the article are in their ordinary meaning and understood to mean by right thinking members of the public that Mahiga Homes Ltd is indeed dubbed as fraudulent and lacks integrity” reads part of the letter published on Business Today.
On 16th June 2020, the DN ran another story that had a positive tone titled “How real estate firm is navigating virus crisis”.
MH continues to receive positive reviews from their clients.Joseph Ruhio