Principled, unpretentious and a go-getter are just some of the conservative adjectives that define Samuel Kamau Macharia, popularly known as SK Macharia. For beginners, SK Macharia is the Founder and Chairman of Royal Media Services (RMS), the regions behemoth media house with several radio stations and television networks. Citizen TV- Kenyan market share is over 60% with its combined radio station wing gobbling 80% of Kenya’s audience. Even with the number of radio stations rising, Radio Citizen has remained steadfast with a market share of 43%, according to a 2016 survey by Ipsos.
What makes RMS a market leader? Citizen TV was the first television station to embrace local programming and bringing to our living rooms a heavy dose of Nollywood movies. Stations like the Kenya Television Network (KTN) and the Nation Media Group (NMG) gave such programs a wide berth. This strategy proved a master stroke to the Macharia owned media house whose dominance remains unrivaled. The station also invested heavily on the best talents in the media arena. Royal Media is always a step ahead as it was the first to introduce a menu of vernacular radio stations and one Kikuyu TV station.
Past business ventures by SK Macharia-
The media mogul business acumen is undeniable. In 1976 SK Macharia started Madhupaper International Company, a tissue production company. It was not until 1979 that Macharia left his public service job to fully run his company whose Rosy tissue had become a leading brand. His company was placed under receivership on 25 October 1985 by the Kenya Commercial Bank for what he claimed was a witch hunt by the Moi government.
SK Machari, variously described as arrogant and litigious, has tried his hand in other ventures little known to Kenyans.
Royal Card business
The flourishing business came tumbling down when Diners Club- which was affiliated to Royal card-crashed in the ‘90s. Macharia moved to his next venture-Royal Travel.
The travel agency is owned by the billionaire. According to a report appearing on the Daily Nation (11 May 2004) under the title ‘Who is this man, SK Macharia?’ ,the offices of Royal Travel in Longonot Place and Loita House have been closed for a while. It is not clear if Mr Macharia revived his travel agency.
SK Macharia owned the Ribshack restaurant on Kiambu road. The restaurant is no longer in operation.
Whispering Palms hotel
Just like Ribsack, the Whispering Palms hotel near Mombasa closed shop under unclear circumstances.
He was one of the three directors of the real estate company.
While he may have not flourished in some of his business adventures, it’s in the highly competitive media business that his Midas touch has been evident. RMS has grown to become the leading media company in the region. SK Macharia business acumen was recognized by the prestigious Forbes magazine as one of the African millionaires to watch in 2013.
Here are the SK Macharia’s TV and radio stations.
RMS has 14 radio stations (12 vehicular) and 2 TV stations. The radio stations are:
Ramogi FM, Inooro FM, Musyi FM, Chamgei FM, Muuga FM, Egesa FM, Bahari FM, Mulembe FM, Wimwaro FM, Sulwe FM, and Vuuka FM.
National radio stations
Radio Citizen and Hot 96
SK Macharia Education background
Joins Ndakaini Primary School-1954
Gituru Intermediate School-Kenya African Preliminary Examination (KAPE)-1958
Kahuhia Teachers Training College-1959
Seattle Technical College
Seattle Pacific University-Bachelors of Arts degree in political science
University of Washington-Bachelors of Science degree in Accounting
Masters of Science in Accounting/Finance
Masters of Arts in Accounting
Certified as a Certified Accountant
SK Macharia estimated net worth is around kes40 billion.