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The Michael Joseph family: Wife Sian, Ex-Wives, Children & Breaking A Marathon Record

Kenya Airways Chairman and former Safaricom PLC Chief Executive Officer (CEO) Michael Joseph is a man who needs no introduction. His resume at the helm of the telecommunication giant speaks for itself.

However, just like several other men out there, the former Safaricom boss has had his fair share of relationship struggles. The astute businessman has been married four times. In a past interview with Citizen, he said he has no regrets for all of his marriages as he learnt something from them.

“Divorce is always a difficult, sad and tragic thing to do but if I look back, I think I had an extraordinary life,” he said.

In this article, WoK profiles his four marriages, children, and legacy plays.

Sian

Sian is Michael Joseph’s fourth wife. The couple met after he moved to Kenya. In a past interview with the Standard, the former Safaricom CEO stated that he intended on it being the last.

Safaricom PLC Chairman Michael Joseph Salary & Bonuses
Michael Joseph Image/Courtesy

“Along the way I married a couple of times, I married four times… this is my fourth and last marriage,” he said.

The couple resides in their home in Lewa.

During a past interview with Business Daily, Joseph revealed that though he is well respected in the corporate world, Sian does not shy away from “telling the emperor that he’s naked”.

She grabbed headlines last week after she asked Joseph to resign from his job at Kenya Airways. According to him, she is worried that the failures of KQ, currently surviving on multi-billion shilling taxpayer bailouts, will tarnish his brand.

Sian noted that Joseph’s global profile is to die for, especially for his role as the founding CEO of Safaricom and steering it to being one of the most profitable companies in Africa.

Joseph took on the role of Board Chairman at KQ in 2016, soon after the company posted some of its worst ever results. KQ last made a profit in 2013.

There, he faces arguably the biggest challenge of his career. The company most recently announced a Ksh15.8 billion net loss for the year ended December 2021 down from from Ksh32.6 billion in 2020.

“It’s a tough business. My wife tells me all the time, just give up.

“The risk in me being chairman of KQ is that Kenyans expect that I, Michael Joseph, can save and reproduce the financial success at Safaricom,” he told Sunday Standard.

He, however, stated that he is intent on defying her plea and working to ensure he returns KQ to profitability.

“I have a legacy to live up to. Looking at the situation at KQ and how hard it was, it would have been very easy for me to walk away and say ‘I don’t want my legacy destroyed by what I can or can’t do at KQ’” he said.

Ex-Wives

Joseph has three ex-wives. In a 2017 interview with Citizen Digital, he revealed that one of his former wives had died and it affected him.

He however noted that despite being divorced three times, he learnt from all his previous marriages, and does not consider any of them as mistakes.

“Divorce is always a difficult, sad and tragic thing to do but if I look back, I think I had an extraordinary life,” he said.

Daughters

The Safaricom board Chairman has two daughters from his previous marriages and has another daughter from his current marriage with Sian.

“I have two children from my first marriage both daughters; they are both in marriage and live in Atlanta America. My wife has a daughter from her marriage and she lives with us but she’s at university in London,” he told Capital in previous interview.

He is also a grandfather.

Brother

Joseph lost his brother in a tragic road accident. Speaking to Citizen Digital, the KQ chairman narrated how his brother died when he was only 20.

“These are the kind of tragedies that come around, that everybody goes through, but that is what makes you who you are, it determines your character going forward.”

Marathon record

The 75-year-old revealed in a past interview that he wants to be the oldest person to ever finish the Lewa marathon. While admitting at how tough the marathon is, he says that is one thing he needs to tick off his bucket list.

“It’s a tough race, because it’s up and down hills and it’s very hot. I’ve done the half-marathon a number of times and I’m training for it again. I want to be the oldest guy to finish the marathon!”

Dying in Kenya

Asked what he would do if it were his last day on earth, Michael Joseph says he would, “go home, listen to some music, call my kids.” He further adds that if he were to die, he would prefer to die here in Kenya, at his home in Lewa.