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The Kenyan Billionaires Who Were Top Students In School

‘Education is the key to success’ so goes a popular saying in Kenya. This statement is true to the students who seriously chewed books in school, emerged top and eventually made it big time in life.

In this article, WoK takes a look at the individuals who were top students in school and ended up joining the billionaire’s club.

Josephat Mwaura

Josephat Mwaura is the former Klynveld Peat Marwick Goerdeler (KPMG) East Africa Chief Executive Officer (CEO) and Senior Partner. Mwaura attended Starehe Boys Centre where he was among the top students before proceeding to Strathmore University school of Accountancy where he studied CPA. In 2002 he joined the Kennedy School of Government at Harvard University where he underwent a macro economic program on management.

He started his career in 1984 at Coopers & Lybrand as an Assistant Business Service before joining Oxford University Press, Eastern Africa as a Financial Controller. He later joined KPMG in 1999 as a partner and rose through the ranks to become the CEO in 2008. He steered the company for a decade before calling it quits in 2019. He is currently volunteering as the Director of Starehe Boys Centre.

Also Read: Kenyan Billionaires Who Never Studied Past Primary School

Chris Kirubi

The late Chris Kirubi was a renowned billionaire in the field of investment and business majorly in the media, fast-moving consumer goods and real estate. He attended Friends School Kamusinga in the western region of Kenya where he was among the top students. After clearing his secondary education, he joined the prestigious Harvard Business School in the United Kingdom and then Handel’s University in Sweden.

He later joined INSEAD –a non-profit business school with campuses in Europe, where he pursued a Masters in Business Administration (MBA). The billionaire was the director of Centum Investment Company, a business conglomerate in which he was the largest individual shareholder.

James Mwangi

James Mwangi is a renowned businessman and the current Group Managing Director (MD) and Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of Equity Group Holdings Plc. Mwangi attended Nyagatugu Primary School in Kangema village before proceeding to Ichagaki Secondary School and later Kagumo High School for his A-level education.

He emerged as one of the top students in the school and joined the University of Nairobi where he pursued a Bachelor’s Degree in Commerce. He later went to IESE Business School in Barcelona, Spain where he underwent an advanced management program. Mwangi is currently one of the largest majority shareholders and is at the helm of one of the most successful companies in Africa.

Philip Ndegwa

The late Philip Ndegwa was a former and the second Central Bank of Kenya governor to serve in the lucrative position after Kenya gained independence. He attended Alliance High School before proceeding to Makerere University in Uganda and later Harvard University.

In 1974, he founded First Chartered Securities – a company with interests in Insurance, Banking, Real Estate, Logistics and agriculture. He is considered as one of the wealthiest individuals in Kenya and was the first Kenyan to bank Ksh 1 billion. He served as Chairman of different boards including Kenya Pipeline Company, Kenya Airways, Kenya Revenue Authority (KRA) and Kenya Commercial Bank (KCB).

His sons inherited his wealth.

Jaswinder Bedi, MBS

Jaswinder Bedi is a Kenyan industrialist who serves as the board member of Industrial and Commercial Development Corporation (ICDC) and Chairman of Kenya Export Promotion and Branding Agency. He attended Bradford College in the United Kingdom where he studied Textile Technology and later proceeded to Harvard University Business School in 2009.

He previously served as Managing Director of Orbit Chemical Industries Limited, Board Member of Federation of Kenya Employers, Director of Export Promotion Council, Chairman of Kenya Association of Manufacturers and Vice Chairman of East African Business Council.