The latest wealth report by Knight Frank revealed that Kenya has 23 women with a net worth of over Ksh3 billion. These women hold interests in various sectors of the economy through shares in various companies.
These strong-willed women have steered their careers and companies into success in their fields. In this article, WoK takes a look at where the richest women in Kenya have invested their billions.
Jane Wanjiru Michuki
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She is the largest female stakeholder at the Nairobi Stock Exchange and in 2014 her wealth was estimated at USD50 million.
Wanjiru 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.
As of 2018, her 9.5 per cent stake in Britam was reported to be worth Ksh5.4 billion. She owns the stake through an investment vehicle where she has a 44.4 per cent stake.
Jane Wangui Njuguna
Jane Wangui Njuguna, the wife of Equity Group CEO James Mwangi, owns a 1.71 per cent stake in the bank worth $31.08 million (approximately Ksh3.3 billion).
In 2021, a wealth report by Knight Frank placed Wangui among the 23 Kenyan women billionaires worth over Ksh3 billion.
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Together with businessman Peter Munga, she founded Filimbi Limited – an investment vehicle, in 2011. The company has 1 subsidiary.
Wangui also has interests in real estate and hospitality.
Tabitha is a strong-willed woman behind Keroche Breweries, a successful alcoholic beverages manufacturer and supplier.
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.
Mama Ngina Kenyatta
The Former First Lady is among the wealthiest individuals in the country. She holds interests in various sectors of the Kenyan economy through holdings in various companies.
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, agriculture, hospitality and other sectors.
Dr Catherine Nyongesa
She saw an opportunity, 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.
Dr Nyongesa graduated in 1995 and worked in several hospitals until 2002 when she left the Country. She went to South Africa, where she pursued a Masters in Oncology from the University of Witwatersrand and graduated in 2006.
After returning to Kenya, she noted a gap in the provision of healthcare to cancer patients and she seized the opportunity. According to her, cancer patients could not access specialised treatment due to a lack of knowledge of the disease, the right doctors or where to find the services with ease.
She took out a Ksh100 million loan in 2010 and established Texas Cancer Centre.
Dr Nyongesa’s endeavours paid off and the cancer centre is now valued at over Ksh1 billion.
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 in Makini group of Schools to a South African company with interest in education at more than Ksh1 billion.
Zipporah Gathuya is not a famous name among many Kenyans. She is a Kenyan consultant anesthesiologist, whose sub-speciality is pediatric anaesthesia.
In 2017, Zipporah was among the list released by the Kenya Revenue Authority (KRA) of High Net worth individuals with an annual income of up to Ksh1 billion. Apart from her career in the medical field, she is among the owners of top hotels and lodges such as Tribe Hotel, Sankara, Ol Pejeta Ranch and Ashnil.
She is also a board member at Suntra Investment Bank. She is a farmer as well.
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 a 0.9 per cent stake in Equity bank which is valued at more than Ksh1 billion.
Also in her staple is the Ksh3 billion ultra-modern Waterfront mall in Nairobi’s Karen neighbourhood.
Lucy Mwiti and Faith Mwikali
In 2017 they took their seats at the millionaire club after Kenya Revenue Authority listed them among the top taxpayers, 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. According to a previous report by Business Daily, she held a 21 per cent stake in online sports gambling giants, Sportpesa, which was at some point the biggest betting company in Kenya with annual revenues of more than Ksh1 billion.
She is also a commercial finance professional who manages high value assets and develops bespoke financial and commercial options and alternatives for clients.