Kenyan Somalis are the sixth most populous community in Kenya with an approximate population of 2,780,502, according to the 2019 Kenya National Bureau of Statistics (KNBS). The community is known for their entrepreneurial spirit and their presence is now being felt in other fields like medicine and the legal field.
In this article, WoK takes a look at some of the lucrative businesses owned by Kenyans Somalis.
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This is a popular chain of restaurants operating four branches in Nairobi and one in Meru town. It was founded by the late Haji Yassin Jama who established the first branch in the Eastleigh. The restaurant would then become popular in the area which prompted the owner to open another branch in Upper Hill in 2010. In 2016, he launched the now famous branch in Nairobi Central Business District (CBD) along Kimathi Street. He later opened the fourth branch along Banda Street and another one in Meru town.
The restaurant is popular for its sumptuous Somali and Coastal cuisines served at pocket-friendly prices. It has employed over 300 people and serves up to 1,000 clients every day. The founder passed away in 2021 leaving the business empire in the hands of his family members. Aside from the restaurant, the family owns several apartments in Namanga, Nairobi and Nairobi.
I-fly Air Ltd
Captain Abdullahi Hassan is the founder of this airline. He started as a herds boy in Wajir before he found his footing in the aviation industry.
Skyward Express Airline
This is a premier charter company in the East African aviation industry. The company was established in 2013 by Captain Mohamed Abdi and Captain Issack Somow. Skyward Express Airline operated with a single aircraft – a Fokker 50 and initially handled ad hoc charters into and out of Kenya, Uganda, Tanzania, Ethiopia, Somalia and South Sudan. It has experienced a steady growth over the years and currently operates daily scheduled passenger services to Mombasa, Lamu, Eldoret, Lodwar, Diani and Malindi from Wilson Airport Nairobi. Mohamed Abdi serves as the Chairman of the company while Issack Somow is the former Managing Director.
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The company was established in 1992 by Captain Hussein Farrah who is a former Kenya Air force VIP Squadron commander and presidential pilot. The company offers executive air transport services to humanitarian organizations, private clients and government institutions. It is licensed by the Kenya Civil Aviation Authority and is a leading provider for scheduled, non-scheduled and ad-hoc air charter services in the East African region. The company owns several aircrafts including a De Havillsand Canada Dash 8-Q400, Fokker 50. Beechcraft 1900D, Let L-410 Turbolet and Beechcraft Kingair B200 among others. It has Captain Hussein Farrah as the CEO and Captain Hussein Mohammed as the general manager.
The company was established in 1994 by tycoon Ahmed Rashid Jibril who is the brother to the outgoing Cabinet Secretary of Sports Amina Mohamed. The airline was established as part of an initiative to supply aid to Sudan when the country was in the middle of a civil war. It has since diversified to include passenger travels and cargo transportation. It is an Air Charter Company that holds an Air Operator Certificate and an embedded Aircraft Maintenance Organization; both authorized by the Kenya Civil Aviation Authority. It caters to the humanitarian sector, natural sector and government institutions offering VIP passenger services and transportation of cargo to remote areas. Apart from the airline, the tycoon also owns Paddock Investment Limited.
The Miraa business is dominated by Kenyan Somalis. Musa Gurian is a renowned miraa farmer who is involved in the business of exporting the stimulant to overseas countries where demand is high. This business alone has seen him own 12 private planes that he uses to fly his miraa products abroad as reported by Business Daily. Other Somalis involved in the miraa business include Yusuf Abdi Adan and Mohamed Abdikadir.
The Somali community has been blessed with brilliant legal minds. Law in Kenya is bereft without the likes of Ahmednasir Abdullahi who has been in the field for over three decades. The senior counsel has served as the President of the Law Society of Kenya (LSK) from 2003 to 2005. He has also served in different positions including the Judicial Service Commission (JSC) and the Kenya Anti-Corruption Commission Advisory Board. He owns a law firm company dubbed Ahmednasir Abdullahi Advocates LLP. He is also the Chairman of Al-Nur Media Africa and the owner of the Nairobi Law Monthly Magazine.
Other renowned Somali lawyers include Senior Counsel Abdikadir Hussein Mohamed who runs the law firm Abdikadir and Abdikadir Advocates, Mohat Somane of the law firm Garane and Somane Advocates and Abdihakim Abdi of the Abdulhakim & Company Advocates law firm.
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