Kenya-and Africa by extension-has largely been a patriarchal society. In some communities, women are not allowed to own or inherit anything. This dependency on men is being eroded by a new breed of women who are proving to be equally good in leadership, entrepreneurship and in their careers.
They are an inspiration to young women and this can be seen in national exams where the girl child outperforms their male counterparts. Now more women are creating wealth as we shall see in this article.
Below is a list of some of the richest Women in the country. Even before taking a look at the list, other notable mentions include:
- Esther Muchemi- The founder and CEO of Semchi Telecom
- Sadhna Thakrar- owner of Naiya Indian fashions and wife to CEO of WPP Scangroup Bhrat Thakrar
- Amarjeet Patel- co-owner of her husband’s investments valued at more than Ksh3 billion.
- Njeri Rionge- founder of Wananchi online
Jane Wanjiru Michuki
She is the largest female stakeholder at the Nairobi Stock Exchange and in 2014 her wealth was estimated at US$50 million. Jane graduated with a Bachelor of Law Degree and proceeded to earn a post graduate diploma in law in Kenya. She obtained her Master’s degree in the United Kingdom. Upon returning to Kenya, she began her career as a lawyer and founded Kimani and Michuki Advocates, a firm that has represented some of the biggest holdings in the country including Equity bank. Her 9.5% stake in Britam is worth Kes4.5 billion.
Mama Ngina Kenyatta
Mama Ngina Kenyatta is President of Kenya Uhuru Kenyatta’s mother and was wife to the first president of Kenya Mzee Jomo Kenyatta. It goes without saying that this makes her one of the most powerful women in the country, a position that has obviously come with lots of money. At one point, together with the late former cabinet minister Nicholas Biwott, she made it in the list of Africa’s top billionaires in a publication by Nigeria based Ventures financial magazine. Her wealth was estimated at $1 billion which is spread in real estate, banking, hospitality and other sectors.
Tabitha is a strong willed woman behind Keroche Breweries, a successful alcoholic beverages manufacturer and supplier. Upon completing her education, she worked at the Ministry of Tourism as an accounts clerk. In 1997, she met her husband and started a fortified wine company which went out of the market due to punitive taxes introduced by the government.
She instead began making ready to drink gin and vodka which are on the market to date. Her wealth is estimated at Ksh5.5 billion.
Dr Catherine Nyongesa
This is a woman who saw an opportunity and took a very huge risk and it paid off big time. She is the first female radiation oncologist in Kenya and is the current Chief Executive Officer of Texas Cancer Center in Nairobi.
Before starting the hospital, she took a loan of Ksh 100 million and sank it into the venture hoping it would be successful. Today, it is valued at over kes1 billion. She can also be found at Kenyatta National Hospital or lecturing students at the University of Nairobi.
She is the wife of the late George Saitoti, the longest serving vice president in the country. He had investments in real estate, horticulture, hotel industry and tourism and was considered one of the richest men not just in East Africa but to an extent in Central Africa as well. Upon his death, his wealth was shared between his wife and adopted son Zachary Saitoti.
Leah Wanjiku Muguku
Leah is the kin of the late business magnate and billionaire Nelson Muguku. Upon his death, the family sold shares worth billions but still she owns 0.9 stake in Equity bank which is valued for more than 1 billion Kenyan Shillings. Also in her staple is the Ksh3 billion ultra modern Waterfront mall in Nairobi’s Karen neighborhood.
Mary Okello was the first African woman to become a branch manager at Barclays Bank way back in 1977. She founded Makini group of schools alongside her late husband under the name Riara Gardens Academy. The school which started with only eight children grew in terms of numbers, facilities and outlets.
In April 2018, she sold a 71% stake of Makini group of Schools to a South African company with interest in education at more than 1 billion Shillings.
Jane Wangui Njuguna
Jane is the wife of Equity Bank CEO James Mwangi. They make up the single largest fortune at the bank. She owns Kes3.7 billion worth of shares at Equity bank and Britam. Together with the Bank’s founder, Peter Munga, she has shares in Fitimbi Ltd, an investment vehicle and one of the top shareholders in Britam Insurance.
Lucy Mwiti and faith Mwikali
In 2017 they took their seats at the millionaire club after Kenya Revenue Authority listed them among the top tax payers, with an annual income that lies between Ksh350 million and Ksh1 billion. Knight Frank classified them among Kenya’s high net worth individuals (HNWIs).
She is the wife of former Nairobi mayor, the late Dick Wathika. She has a 21% stake in Sportpesa, which was at some point the biggest betting company in Kenya with annual revenues of more than a hundred million. She is also a commercial finance professional who manages high value assets and develops bespoke financial and commercial options and alternatives for clients.