The number of young Kenyans worth millions-and some claiming to have hit the billion mark-continues to grow by the day. While they flaunt their wealth with abandon, explaining how they acquired such sums remains a struggle. A section of these celebrities are increasingly crediting their wealth to forex trading.
WoK takes a look at the five young, rich Kenyans whose source of wealth has been a subject of debate.
KRG The Don
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He is arguably one of the richest artists in Kenya if he is to be gauged by what he owns. In a 2015 interview, the Don, real name Stephen Karuga Kimani, told Standard that he was worth a billion.
“I can’t say I am a millionaire. Maybe a billionaire, because of the land I own. The cars I have could be the equivalent of millions in value”, he responded when asked if he could classify himself a millionaire.
At the time he claimed to own Chrysler 300C, a 2008 model. “In total, I have about six cars that I drive including the Land Cruiser VX V8, the 2014 model” he stated.
The celebrity has gone to acquire other cars worth millions.
In the same interview, the celebrity said he co-owns Killions Group, a company involved in building roads. His other business is Taraja Safaris, a tour and travel business that does ticketing, safaris and car hire.
Taraja Safaris Ltd last posted on their Facebook page in 2016 and the company website does not exist. Information on Killions Group remains scanty.
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Speaking to Dr Ofweneke, the Don stated that he had made his first million when he was only 17 years. He further added that he was worth Ksh5 billion.
He had claimed that he owned Casa Vera during an interview with Youtuber Mungai Eve. The Don said he had spent Ksh200 million to put up the club.
“I have been working on this project for a longtime, since March (2021) nimekuwa niworkia chini ya maji. Biashara kama hii huwezi build na one day, so I consulted my partners, architect and people who have been in the club business for long. I haven’t invested in this project alone, I have my partners who have invested,” He told Eve
It later emerged that he did not own Casa Vera. “The club isn’t his, but the owners don’t mind him bragging,”
“Casa Vera is owned by a very good friend of mine not KRG. He is a former business journalist who worked for one of the leading media houses in the country before he ventured into business,” A source in the know told Nairobinews.
So how does he really make his money?
“I normally don’t sell my music locally, because people don’t do streams. The biggest consumers of my music are people in the US, Europe then Kenya. Out there is where the money is.
I am in so many businesses. I have business in almost every sector in this country. I’m in Real Estate ( own properties), transport business, I sell cars (several yards), and finally, I’m in the music business. I’m also a brand ambassador of several brands. And on top of that, I’m also a mini-partner in other businesses,” he told Mpasho.
His source of wealth became the subject of debate when a rather not pleasant video was leaked online. The forex trader owns a number of businesses on top of his forex trading hustle. He has been accused of running an elaborate scam, accusations he has vehemently denied.
The wealthy Samuel Ondieki has always been hard pressed to explain his source of wealth. Here is what he owns as compiled in a separate article by WoK.
Another artist who is best known for his wealth than his music. He drives fuel gûzzlers and claims to own a number of addresses in leafy suburbs of Nairobi. The gospel artist, for example, claimed in a past interview with Jalas and Kamene that he made his money from selling CDs and not land grabbing as has been alluded to in some quarters.
“You want to say the Government of Kenya is not working? That I would break the law and I am not arrested? Those are just jealous people who do not want to use their heads,” he told the duo.
“I am an artist who uses his brain. Jalas I met you 10 years ago when I used to tour 10 schools per week. Every school I would go [to] I got more than Sh500,000. Those are the people that gave me the money.”
When WoK told the story of JJ Titus, a section of the readers questioned how a watchman with no knowledge of IT would develop and start selling software. He told a leading online news outlet of his wealth,
I decided not to watch a movie but instead opened my laptop where I met a European who wanted to start a program for an institution and was looking for an IT technician.
I learnt how to create software and delivered it to him and I received a good pay. That’s how I started selling software even though I am not an IT developer. The least I made from selling those software was Sh5 million. That’s how I acquired a Lexus 570 2020 model at KS24 million during the pandemic,” he explained.