The late Samwel Ng’etich was an astute businessman and a reputable leader who rose to become a multimillionaire despite lacking formal education.
He succumbed to a liver ailment in September 2022 aged 73.
By the time he passed away, he ran several companies with interests in tea processing and farming sectors as well as the retail sector.
Under Kipchimchim group of companies, Ng’etich ran Mbogo Valley, the Sangalo Tet and Kuresoi tea factories, Kipchimatt supermarkets, SABS Mining and Construction company, ABSS Warehouses Limited and West Valley Sugar company.
Here is his story as told by WoK.
Mzee Ng’etich was born in Chepsetyon, Ainamoi Constituency in Kericho county in 1949.
Come 1956, he joined Keongo Primary School but only to drop out while in class three.
With no survival means, he turned to menial jobs where he would dig pit latrines, act as a broker on market days and weed people’s farms in a bid to provide for his siblings.
Ng’etich later worked as a waiter before opening a small eatery where he sold tea and mandazi, shortly before he ventured into the transport business.
He invested in the matatu industry, and from proceeds of the business, he set up a restaurant and bar in Kapsoit.
He also invested in other sectors such as real estate and the wholesale business, and at some point, he travelled to China to broaden his entrepreneurial skills.
After the successful trip, Ng’etich later ventured into the mining and construction industry.
According to Daily Nation, his breakthrough is said to have been in the tea sector, where he started purchasing green leaves from farmers and selling them to multinational companies.
Samwel Ng’etich ventured into politics in 1996 when he was elected as the KANU chairman for Kericho Town ward.
In 1997 and 2002, he won the Kapkugerwet ward seat, and in 2013 he became the first Member of County Assembly (MCA) for Kapkugerwet ward.
He had also served as the deputy mayor of the previous Kericho Municipality.
West Valley Sugar company
In November 2021, West Valley Sugar Company Limited made an application seeking to set up a Ksh 800 million sugar factory in Kericho County.
The firm said it intended to install a mill with a capacity of 1,250 tonnes of canes per day which will be expandable to 2,500 tonnes of canes per day.
In their proposal to the National Environment Management Authority (NEMA), the company said sugar production will be about 138 metric tonnes per day.
It identified 50 acres for the factory while another 100-acre adjacent to the site was available for future expansion.
The sugar firm also stated that they will improve amenities such as roads, water, health care and social facilities in the surrounding area.
The firm was given a go ahead to construct the multimillion factory, and it is currently near completion.