Said Abdallah Azubedi: The Tycoon Who Lived In A Slum Despite Owning Half Of Nakuru CBD

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Said Abdallah Azubedi: The Tycoon Who Lived In A Slum Despite Owning Half Of Nakuru CBD
Said Abdalla Azubedi During His Burial At The Islamic Cemetery in Nakuru On February 26,2019. [Photo: Harun Wathari/Standard]

The name Said Abdallah Azubedi is not new among Nakuru residents. The real estate tycoon owned a lot of property with reports indicating that he owned half of Nakuru’s Central Business District. Despite his immense wealth, he remained humble-driving a 1971 Peugeot 504 and living among the poor in Bondeni slums.

Here is his story as told by WoK.

Background

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Said Abdallah Azubedi was born in 1940. His father was known as Abdalla Azubedi while his mother and younger brother were known as Sheha and Ali Azubedi respectively. His parents relocated to Nakuru in 1943 when he was three years old and that’s where he spent the better part of his life. After completing his secondary school education at Menengai High School, Said began his journey in the business world-establishing a wholesale business. The venture quickly took off which led him to expand the business. He started distributing cigarettes and soft drinks to Nakuru, Baringo, Nyandarua, Kericho and other neighboring urban centers.

The soft drink and cigarette distribution would then get snatched from him in the early 2000s which led him to move to Nakuru CBD where he established Tabaruk Café situated next to the Shabaab Matatu terminal. It is during this time that he discovered he could join the real estate industry which was picking up in the area.

Real Estate Portfolio

Said began investing in the Real Estate sector and slowly grew his portfolio to the point where he owned almost half of Nakuru CBD as reported by Standard Media. He owned several commercial buildings in Nakuru City Center, several mansions in the suburbs of Milimani estate and dozens of rental houses in Freehold and Langa Langa areas. He owned the Gikomba Complex building which houses hundreds of business stalls.

At Bondeni slums, where he lived all his life, he owned a quarter of the houses in the slum. At some point he was engaged in a long-standing court battle over a prime property located next to Nakuru wholesale market. The piece of land was used for years by small-scale traders thinking it was owned by the now defunct municipal council. In 2003, Said came out to claim that he owned the land which had been used by traders for over 15 years. His claims were then supported by the then Assistant Minister for Internal Security the late Orwa Ojode.

“The current owner of plot No LR Nakuru Municipality Block 10/197 is Mr. Said Abdallah Azubedi,” he said.

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Humble Life

Despite being successful and arguably one of the richest men in Nakuru, he chose to live a modest lifestyle. He had no expensive vehicles even though he could afford opting to drive a 1971 Peugeot 504 all his life. He had no bodyguard or security and was only accompanied by one or two handlers everywhere he went as reported by the Standard. Most of the time, you would find him at his Tabarruk Café where he worked as a cashier, waiter and supervisor.

The small café doubled up as his office where hundreds of tenants flocked to pay their rent directly to him. He was easily accessible to anyone including street children whom he often fed and took care of. He always wore a shirt despite the weather conditions, flip flops and a Muslim kanzu with his hair unkempt. He lived in Bondeni slums and often declined interviews. While speaking to the Standard Media, his brother, Ali Azubedi, described him as an introvert and a down-to-earth person.

“He was who he was. No one, not even his wife and children, could change him. He lived as he wanted…we cannot fault him for that. He was generally an introvert but if he trusted you, he could do anything for you,” he said.

Death.

Said Abdallah Azubedi would then die in February 2019 while aged 79 years old. He was survived by seven children and wife Washuka Samira, who is the daughter of Nakuru businessman Jeremiah Mbaria. His first wife died.

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