Mombasa County is home to some of the wealthiest individuals in the country. Some of them are well known to the general public while others shun the glitz and glamour in preference of a quiet life.
The port city habours wealthy businessmen with vast interests in logistics, real estate, and manufacturing.
These individuals often reside in the posh estates of Shanzu, Nyali, Bamburi, and Tudor.
In this segment, Whownskenya.com looks at some of the wealthiest Kenyans in Mombasa County.
Awadh “Swaleh Nguru” Sherman is a Kenyan business magnate, investor and philanthropist. He has earned his vast wealth through interests in Investments, Ranching, Real estate, and Sisal.
He is of Yemeni descent and comes from a humble background. He was a fishmonger and used to Kingfish “Nguru”, hence the nickname.
He was born and raised in Bondeni, Mombasa. His father, Saleh was a taxi driver, and often, Swaleh would help him out. He developed a love for cars and at an early age he set up a bicycle repair shop which later grew into Swaleh Nguru Garage.
The garage was very popular and attracted prominent figures such as Jomo Kenyatta and Tom Mboya who visited the establishment.
He owns some of the largest ranches in Kenya and has been recognised by the government and the United Nations for his philanthropic efforts.
Swaleh passed away in the mid-1970s and has since left a prolonged court battle between his siblings over the sharing of his wealth.
He married Dalila Juma on April 14, 1960 and they lived together in Mombasa. The couple led a simple life away from the public eye. He was extremely reclusive and wanted no part in politics. His family is known to be very philanthropic.
By the time of his death, Swaleh’s net worth was estimated to be well over Ksh2.5 billion. At one point he owned a third of Mombasa Island, mainly the town of Majengo. He later subdivided the land into sub-plots and sold them.
The Mombasa County Governor is one of the wealthiest individuals in Mombasa and in Kenya.
Joho is known to live a flashy life, but that is backed with a rich portfolio with investments cutting across shipping, logistics, retail and manufacturing.
He is associated with the following companies: Autoports Freight Terminals Limited, Portside Freight Terminals Limited, Prima Pest and Bins Limited, M-tech Kenya Limited, and East African Terminals.
During an interview with Citizen TV’s Lilian Muli in March 2019, the Mombasa governor reveals that he began his investment journey at a young age and made his first million at the age of 20.
“My first transaction that changed my life was when I was just 20 years old. I remember I got a clearing and forwarding job and I got a Sh6.6 million cheque. That is the first money that I saw and I was like ‘this is it’,” Joho recounted.
It was with the money that he invested into various businesses and has made his way up.
Joho owns a house in Nyali that is reported to be worth well over Ksh300 million.
His fleet of cars features some of the most expensive luxury cars in Kenya. Joho owns a Bentley Bentyaga approximated to be worth over Ksh20 million, a Porsche Cayenne worth about Ksh15 million and a Ferrari.
Tahir Sheikh Said (TSS)
TSS is one of the wealthiest men to have lived in Mombasa.
He was born in Moyale in 1942 but settled in Lamu in the 1960s, and rose to become a dominant figure within the political and religious circles in Mombasa.
Alongside his key allies and fellow tycoons, he controlled Mombasa politics, sponsoring and deciding who gets elected and who is left out.
According to a 2014 Wealth in Kenya report, TSS was listed as one of the largest land owners in the country. He owns the TSS Towers which is in the heart of Mombasa City.
The billionaire also owned Unga Millers, Transmara Logistics Ltd and TSS Pop In Service Stations.
Under the Kibaki government, TSS retreated to the shadows, only visible during religious functions. His wealth, however, began to take a hit under the Jubilee government as his old power brokers were replaced by new guns.
Banks seized some of his assets as the government revoked title deeds to some of the land that he had used to secure loans.
TSS died in 2017 while receiving treatment in a South African Hospital. At the time of his death, he was helpless as he watched his sons and family fight over the wealth he had built.
Rashid Sajjad Mohamed
Sajjad was a prominent figure during the KANU regime. He along with TSS, late former Cabinet Minister Sharrif Nassir had the ear of late former President Mzee Daniel Arap Moi.
He wielded a lot of influence in the region, whipping influence in KANU’s favour.
Sajjad amassed great wealth in the course, and he was nominated to parliament in 1998. In 2002, he retired with the KANU government and went into a quiet, low-key life.
Though he has since relinquished control of some of his assets, he is still a very wealthy man with businesses in Kenya, Dubai and London.
He is the owner of Milly Group which is associated with over eight companies. They include: Embakasi Management, Kimakia Estates, Masindeni Estates, Old Town Property Development, Pwani Warehousing, Saku Development, Siben Estates, Turuma Properties, and Airport Warehousing.
He is also the owner of Farm Africa Mills Investment Ltd, and is believed to have vast tracts of land.
The 2022 Mombasa County gubernatorial aspirant is among the richest individuals in Mombasa.
Shahbal is a significant shareholder at GulfCap Group and Gulf Investments Limited and has over 23 years experience in banking with large multinational and regional financial institutions.
He served in Citibank where his last assignment was as the Head of Private Banking for the Gulf and Yemen.
Before founding GulfCap Group (United Arab Emirates), he was the Deputy General Manager – International Operations at ankMuscat SAOG (Oman) where he was instrumental in setting up banks in India, Bahrain and Saudi Arabia
The Mombasa politician was on record conceding that he spent Ksh200 Million on campaigns leading up to the 2013 general elections elections.