The Gecagas rank among the wealthiest families in Kenya. The family traces its roots to John Mareka Gecaga who was a teacher and politician. He was the father of B.M Gecaga who was the father-in-law to former President Uhuru Kenyatta’s Sister Jeni Wambui Gecaga. He passed away in 2016 leaving behind a financially stable family who hold powerful positions in the government and the corporate sector.
Here is the story of the family as told by WoK.
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The teacher by profession doubled up as a politician at the African Native Commission in the 60s. He was married to the late Mary Waruguru and together they bore five children – the late Kerago Gecaga, the late Wanjiku Gakure, the late BM Gecaga, the late Ngondo Gecaga and the late Njeri Gecaga. He passed away 1979 while aged 100 years old. Of his five children, one lineage that has found its name in powerful positions in the government and corporate sector – through his son BM Gecaga.
Bethuel Mareka Gecaga alias BM Gecaga was born in 1924. He attended Alliance High School in 1937 before proceeding to Makerere University in Uganda and later Middle Temple College where he graduated with honours in law, Class of 56. He began his career with stints at the government immediately after Kenya gained independence in 1963. He served in various positions including as a Barrister-at-law, Registrar General Department, Ministry of Legal Affairs and director of East African Tobacco Company.
He served as General Manager and chairman of BAT Kenya for 28 years and also at the helm of Nation Media Group, Commercial Bank of Africa, Industrial Development Bank and the national carrier, Kenya Airways. He served as the Chairman of the University of Nairobi and as a trustee of the National Fund for the Disabled and the National Famine Relief Fund. He was the director of Paper House of Kenya and served at some point as a nominated Member of Parliament. He was the father-in-law to retired President Uhuru Kenyatta’s sister Jeni Wambui Gecaga. He was married to Jemimah Gecaga and together they had two children – Udi Gecaga and Noni Gecaga. He passed away on December 15th 2016 while aged 92 years old.
The wife to BM Gecaga, Jemimah, was a sister to one-time Foreign Affairs minister Dr Njoroge Mungai. She was the first woman to be nominated to the Legislative Council and assistant probation officer at independence. She also had stints as the Kenyan President of YWCA, lecturer of home economics at Jeanes School (now Kenya School of Government) and director of Skyline Advertising. She was the founder of Maendeleo Ya Wanawake foundation. She would then pass away in 1979 while aged 59 years old.
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Udi Gecaga attended Alliance High School before proceeding to Princeton University in the 60s. Udi took a career in the corporate world serving as chair of blue chip companies such as The Standard Group, Panafrica Insurance, Motor Mart and Lonrho East Africa. He was recently involved in a court battle with his stepmother Margaret Gacigi over Sh3.28 million shares at Gateway Insurance owned by the late BM Gecaga. High Court judge Alfred Mabeya directed that the Ksh55.9 million to be transferred to Udi’s account bringing to an end the court battle. Udi is married to Jeni Wambui Gecaga who is President Uhuru’s sister and together they have three children – Soiya, Jomo and Nana Gecaga.
Soiya Gecaga is the founder of ‘We the Change Foundation’ – a charitable organization. She specializes in corporate law and worked at some point with the United Nations Human Rights Commission (UNHCR) in Geneva, Switzerland. She is also the founder and Managing Director of the Vale School in Muthaiga. She is a graduate of Phillips Academy, Andover (Massachusetts) and holds a MA Honours degree in Modern History from the University of St. Andrews in Scotland.
He previously served as a First Officer at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs. He served as the personal assistant to Uhuru Kenyatta. He is an alumni of the prestigious Eton College in Windsor Berkshire.
She is the most popular amongst the three children. She serves as the Chief Executive Officer of the Kenyatta International Convention Centre (KICC). She holds a bachelor’s degree in marketing from the American InterContinental University in London, United Kingdom.
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