Walking along the streets of all major towns in Kenya, one can spot attractive billboards showcasing different products and messages for public consumption.
Arguably the most prolific force behind the billboards is identified as Magnate Ventures, a company ran by a highly reclusive billionaire Stanley Kinyanjui, who started it in 1998.
The entrepreneur is among President Uhuru Kenyatta's close friends, whom he hangs out with in private and was a part of the clique that came together in 2017 to sponsor his reelection bid that saw over Ksh1 billion raised in one sitting, according to a report by The Standard.
He was one of the conveners of the Friends of Jubilee Foundation that was was bent on coming up with funds to oil the Jubilee Party's bid to retain power.
Magnate Ventures describes itself as the pioneer of outdoor advertising; billboards, street signs, hoardings and event branding in East Africa, with operations based in Nairobi Kenya.
According to its website, it commands a 50% market share in Nairobi, 40% in Mombasa, 60% in Kisumu, 63% in Eldoret and 57% in Nakuru, and boasts over 1,200 billboards.
Kinyanjui runs the company alongside his younger brother, Robert Kinyanjui, as reported by How We Made it In Africa Magazine in 2013.
"I run this business with my younger brother and co-founder Robert and when decisions need to be made we do not have a lot of bureaucracy," he stated.
At the moment, the company has branches all over East and Central Africa with a reach in Ethiopia, Rwanda, Uganda, Burundi, and the DRC.
According to its website, they have directly and indirectly worked with, among many, the NATO, the European Union, Manchester Airport Group, UK Customs, Hong Kong International Airport, US Department of Homeland Security (TSA, CBP), US Department of Defence.
The advertising industry in Nairobi is a highly lucrative industry, with outdoor companies required to pay Ksh1.3 million for each large billboard and between Ksh20,000 and Ksh50,000 for the small ones per year.
The Nairobi City County Outdoor Advertising and Signage Control and Regulation Board in 2018 indicated that the county was looking to make Ksh2 billion in revenue from the outdoor advertising industry.
The company has also ventured into the online advertising platform, which is projected to be running into trillions of shillings.
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