Forget those you see flossing at social scenes or in music videos, these are the Kenyans living a life on the fabulous lane. DAVID ODONGO reveals some of Kenya’s young self-made tycoons.
They claim to have come a long way. They all hail from humble backgrounds and claim to be involved in legitimate businesses. These relatively unknown but wealthy Kenyans under 40 are going places. Whoever said that life begins at 40 might have not considered about these daredevils who a living large under 40 and own a fortune. We look at entrepreneurs who have made it against all odds.
In showbiz circles, the story of Homeboyz Entertainment is well documented. The company owned by the Rabar brothers is a now a conglomerate which rakes in good cash from events, radios, animations et al. Then there are the likes of DJ Stylez-led Code Red, Blackstar Entertainment and Kevin Ombajo’s Trublaq, which are making a kill.
Individual musicians like Nameless and Jaguar are also laughing all the way to the bank.
Away from entertainment there are young men and women doing well. Lawyers like Don Kipkorir are living large. Well, are these Kenyans the richest under 40?
Age: 27 years
Title: Managing Partner at Property Reality and Cape Gardens, a real estate firm.
Background: At 23 years, was the regional director for Tetra Pak, West Africa. Ventured in timber business, before eventually branching into real estate. Currently building a 120 units estate along Mombasa Road valued at Sh800 million. Also building luxury apartments in Kiambu and Nakuru. Gacara has also spread his wings to Rwanda where he is building a hotel. He is also involved in commodity importation. His other businesses include packaging and selling locally produced rice as well as large-scale farming.
First business venture: Selling timber.
Advice to the youth: As a young person you bubble with energy and ideas and it is the best time to get into business.
Holiday destinations: Any place in Kenya does it for me.
Residence: A penthouse in Keleleshwa.
Ride: A Mercedes Kompressor
Marital status: Single and not searching. I am too busy. It will be unfair to have a girlfriend whom I never get time to spend with. But definitely, I plan to get married and raise a family. However, I must be able to provide for them.
Most expensive habit: Treating friends and clients. I once spent 1,000 dollars (Sh82,000) a night.
Net worth: Below Sh600 million.
Contacts: My contacts are at http://www.propertyreality.co.ke
Title: Group Chief Executive Officer of several companies with interests in construction, transport, real estate, import and export of cereals, large scale farming in Sudan and Angola. Dealing with Petroleum Products.
Background: As a high school pupil he started buying cows and selling them to Kenya Meat Commission. He made his first million at 20 years. He bought his first car at 21 and it was a Mercedes S Class. At 23 years he bought his first house in South B.
First business venture: Selling cows.
Advice to youth: Nothing comes easy. Dreams can only be true if you wake up and work on them. I am a staunch Catholic and prayers work miracles. I thank God for all I have. And as Steve Jobs said, why should I be the richest man in the cemetery? I give back to the society as well.
Holiday destinations: Two holidays per year to Bahamas, Dubai, Turkey or Mombasa. This Easter he plans to travel to Israel with his family.
Residences: Several homes in Kenya but currently moving to a Sh270 million house with expansive gardens in Westlands area.
Ride: Owns a cargo Boeing 767 and a 10,000 tonnes ocean liner. His collection of cars includes BMW 3 Series, BMW X5, Range Rover Sports, two Ford Off Road, a H2 Hummer and convertible Mustang.
Marital status: Married.
Most expensive habit: When young, I used to hire choppers every weekend to fly me out of Nairobi with a few friends. I am now too old for that. I would rather spend the money on charity.
Net worth: My war chest to campaign for Nairobi Governor is Sh2 billion, so you can guess my net worth.
Age: 34 years
Company: Humora Holdings with interest in real estate, green energy, construction, stocks and securities and hospitality.
Background: I come from a humble background, grew up in the slums. I know what hard life is.
First business venture: Designing and selling uniforms while still in high school. There after, I got employed. At 25, I was the national head of sales for Safaricom. I resigned a year later to focus on my business and I have no regrets.
Advice to the youth: Believe in yourself. Never give up. I have failed so many times than I have succeeded, but the successes have been astounding! It’s never too late or too early to start a business.
Holiday destinations: Two holidays a year. We love Cape Town, Thailand, or the United States.
Residence: Own house, a four-bedroom home in Westlands.
Ride: Prado TX and Mercedes E-Class
Marital Status: I am married with two lovely kids.
Most expensive habit: CSR, as a company, we have spent more than Sh50 million on Xtreme Sports, which is the charity venture for my businesses.
Net worth: Below Sh600 million.
Age: 27 years
Title: Managing Director
Company: Lace Group, which has interest in luxury beauty products, chain of salons, Real estate, supply of electricity poles in Uganda and South Sudan and Car hire.
Background: Marketing degree for Methodist University. Worked at Barclays for five years before venturing into business.
First business venture: Hair salon along Ngong Road.
Advice to youth: You can have all the money in the world but no peace of mind, so do what you enjoy.
Holiday destinations: Dubai. I love desert safaris. Locally, Mombasa does it for me.
Residence: Sh12 million house in Riara.
Ride: Toyota Prado TX and 2010 Range Rover Sports
Marital status: Married with one daughter.
Most expensive habit: Clothes, hosting parties, and membership to private and exclusive golf and leisure clubs.
Age: 36 years
Title: Managing Director at Huddersfield Group, with interests in Aviation, Agriculture, Transport, Farm machinery and equipment
Background: Business Administration degree from a US university. Started business in early 20s.
First business venture: Farming
Advice to youth: Since the youth constitute 70 per cent of the population we have the power to change Kenya. Work hard. Holiday destinations: Turkey, where I usually shop