By Isaac Blessings
Riara Group of Schools has a rich history dating back to 1974. Dr Eddah Gachukia acquired Balmoral Kindergarten owned by an English lady who only enrolled children of expatriates. The institution was renamed Riara and has since grown to have two primary schools, a girl’s secondary school and a University in Nairobi. However, what most people don’t know is that apart from the school, Gachukias family members have excelled in their various spheres of life.
In this article WoK takes a look at the career paths taken by the Gachukia’s children.
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Ambassador Daniel Gachukia
Ambassador Daniel Gachukia is the Chief Executive Officer (CEO) and Chair of Riara Group of Schools. Daniel met his wife Eddah at the Nairobi Railway Station in 1953 when they were both heading to Makerere University in Uganda for their Diplomas in education. They struck up a conversation, became friends, started dating and later got married four years later. Daniel later got a scholarship to study in France and got an opportunity to become the Charge de Affairs at the Kenyan Embassy in France. He then served as Kenya’s longest serving Chief protocol holding the position for nine years. He then joined East Africa Industries (now Unilever) as a company secretary and head of personnel. He then left the company in 1973 to establish Riara Group of Schools.
Dr. Eddah Gachukia, MBS
Dr. Eddah Gachukia is the wife of Ambassador Daniel Gachukia and serves as the Academic Director of Riara Group of Schools. She attended Alliance High School for her secondary education before proceeding to Makerere University in Uganda to pursue a Diploma in Education. She later moved to the United Kingdom where she pursued a Degree in English literature and the University of Nairobi where she did her PhD in Literature and lectured for a while.
She then became the first woman Vice Chancellor of Moi University and later nominated as a Member of Parliament (MP) from 1974 to 1983. In 1987, she joined UNESCO as the national advisor on population and development. She founded Forum for African Women Educationists (FAWE) and saw it expand to 30 countries in Africa before leaving in 1998 after six years. In 2008, Kenyatta University awarded her a Doctor of Education (Honoris Causa) for her contribution to education development, gender and women rights. The University of Nairobi also launched the Dr. EddaH Gachukia science prize in her honor.
Suzanne Gachukia Opembe
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Suzanne Gachukia Opembe took a career in the music industry after studying music in the United States. She founded the all-girl band ‘Musikly Speaking’ which comprised Susan Matiba and Joy Mboya in 1985. She later formed Afro-pop band Zanaziki and music production through the now defunct Samawati studios and Serenade music. She is currently married to former Kenyan ambassador to Ireland, Richard Opembe. She now runs a music label known as ‘Sub-Saharan limited.’ Her son Marcus Kibukosya, famously known as Kcous was a member of Kenya’s music group Camp Mulla.
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Juju Gachukia Muthama
Juju Gachukia Muthama studied a Diploma in Education at Daystar University and later joined the prestigious Bridgeport University in the United States of America (USA) where she graduated with a Bachelor of Science Degree in Merchandising. She is currently a professional interior designer and works at Riara Group of Schools as an Operations Director as well as a Council member at Riara University.
Alan Gachukia studied Advanced Management at Strathmore Business School before proceeding to the University of Wisconsin where graduated with a degree in Political Science and Economics in 1982. He did banking for a while before joining Riara Group of Schools where he serves as the Executive Director. He is also a board member of the Nairobi hospital.
Tony is a graduate of business and journalism and worked as a TV Sports News Anchor and Voice Over artist for over ten years. He later quit the job in 2009 to join the business world where he operates Thamaru fish farm situated in Kahaine village, Murang’a County. The fish farm sits on a 13 acre piece of land with 14 ponds and is home to over 15,000 fish.
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