Chris Kirubi is Dead - Family Confirms

Respected billionaire businessman Chris Kirubi in the office
Respected billionaire businessman Chris Kirubi in the office.

Respected Kenyan businessman Christopher John Kirubi, popularly known as Chris Kirubi, on Monday, June 14 died at the age of 80 years. 

The family of the billionaire owner of Capital FM confirmed that Kirubi passed away after a long battle with cancer.

The businessman has been in and out of hospital receiving treatment for the disease including when he was flown to the US for specialised treatment in 2017.

"It is with great sadness that we announce the passing of Dr Christopher J. Kirubi (1941-2021) who passed away today, Monday June 14, 2021 at 1 p.m. at his home after a long battle with cancer fought with fortitude, grace and courage. He was surrounded by his family," read the statement.

Hours before his demise, Kirubi had shared an uplifting post on his official Twitter account encouraging Kenyans to endure to achieve success.

Former Prime Minister Raila Odinga (left) greets billionaire Chris Kirubi at his home.
Former Prime Minister Raila Odinga (left) greets billionaire Chris Kirubi at his home.

"Top of the morning to you, my dear friend. It doesn’t have to be a tiring Monday. Instead, I bring to you good tidings of favour, success, achievements and happiness in the new week.

"Give yourself a go towards your success plan. Enjoy today and the rest of your week," wrote Kirubi.

Former Prime Minister Raila Odinga mourned him as a mentor and dedicated entrepreneur.

"Chris Kirubi was my friend and one to many others and a mentor to even more. He was a dedicated entrepreneur and philanthropist who helped scores of Kenyans over time. My heartfelt condolences go to his family, friends and all those whose lives he touched," eulogised Raila.

"My condolences go to the family of late, Chris Kirubi. He was an illustrious businessman who spoke candidly on matters of national importance, and the economy. A true patriot who told you as it is; without blinking. Over and above that he was witty, humorous and an avid golfer," stated ANC leader Musalia Mudavadi.

"I join Kenyans in mourning the passing of one of the country's most visible business personalities. Chris Kirubi was an irrepressible boardroom operative, media personality, developer and investor whose interests traversed multiple sectors and enterprises," mourned Deputy President William Ruto.

In a past interview, Kirubi noted that he was diagnosed with the disease after he had had a normal working day characterised by a number of business meetings before retiring to his home in Kitisuru, Nairobi. 

While resting at home, the tycoon started experiencing fever and called his private doctor who tagged along with a pathologist.

“They took my blood and quickly ran checks only to return to tell me that I was very sick and needed to go with them to the hospital. They rushed me through the emergency section straight to the High Dependency Ward at Nairobi Hospital. 

"I’m told my eyes were yellow and my fever was shooting through the roof. From there it was a series of tests for the next few days as they observed my situation," Kirubi narrated.

The tycoon was later informed that he had stage two cancer, which was affecting his internal organs including the lungs and kidneys. The doctors also urged him to fly out of the country immediately for treatment.

Kirubi is a wealthy and influential entrepreneur with notable investments including Centum Real Estate that owns the Two Rivers Mall.

On Monday, September 16, 2019, the late tycoon made a heartfelt appeal to members of the public regarding the casual approach to cancer screening.

In a video, the tycoon asked his audience to go for cancer screening early enough stressing that, if discovered early, chances of survival would be much higher. 

Speaking from experience, Kirubi further noted that the disease was not as devastating as many people think but the best mitigation factor was to get tested early.

Short history

Kirubi was invested in the Manufacturing, Media, Real Estate, Insurance and Investment Sectors of our economy. He was the Chairman of Haco Industries, and is recognised as one of Kenya’s first indigenous manufacturers having entered the manufacturing sector in the 1970s and for his many years of service and additionally had served as Chairman of the Kenya Association of Manufacturers.

He was also Chairman of Coca-Cola Nairobi Bottlers, DHL Worldwide Express, Capital Media Group, International House Limited, and Smart Applications International among others. He was Deputy Chairman of Bayer East Africa Limited.

Aside from his personal work, Dr Kirubi had been involved extensively with several African Governments. He served on the National Economic and Social Council which was responsible for crafting Kenya’s current blue print for growth, Vision 2030, under President Kibaki’s regime. He worked with the Government of Ghana as a Board Member of the Investors’ Advisory Council and as Ghanaian Honorary Consul General in Kenya (2000 to 2008) and was the Honorary Counsel to the Republic of Mauritius in Kenya.

He was a passionate Ambassador for the Kenya Country Brand and served as Chairperson of Brand Kenya Board from March 2016 – December 2017. He was passionate about making a difference in the lives of disenfranchised groups and was involved in a number of social causes. At the time of his passing, he served on the Harvard Global Advisory Council (Massachusetts, USA) with a view to advising the institution on education matters of Africa. He also served on the Institution’s Africa Advisory Council honing in on specific needs of the continent and was a founder Council Member of the AU Foundation.

Kenyan business mogul Chris Kirubi strikes a pose.
Kenyan business mogul Chris Kirubi strikes a pose.
  • . .