Billionaires Who Built Nakuru City

  • Photo Collage Between Lord Delamere, Nakuru City and Tabitha Karanja
    Photo Collage Between Lord Delamere, Nakuru City and Tabitha Karanja
  • The steady growth and development of Nakuru town to become the country's fourth city can be partly attributed to individuals who invested heavily in the metropolis for decades.

    Before President Uhuru Kenyatta officially conferred city status on Nakuru on Wednesday, December 1, it used to be Kenya's 4th largest urban center with modern state-of-the-art facilities.

    With its name derived from the Maasai speaking community, the city gives credit to the colonial masters who established the British White Highlands in the area.

    After their departure, other well connected individuals took up the task to continue building Nakuru to its latest status.

    File Photo of the Aerial View of Nakuru City
    File Photo of the Aerial View of Nakuru City

    The country's first Mzee President Jomo Kenyatta and his successor the late Daniel Arap Moi are among the first powerful individuals who maintained their semi official residences within the city.

    Nakuru has also produced a number of political bigwigs with their wealth contributing greatly to the growth of the town to become a city. They include Koigi Wamwere, Kihika Kimani, Mirugi Kariuki, Kariuki Chotara among others. has compiled a few business tycoons who contributed to the growth of Nakuru

    Lord Delamere

    Delamere is one of the first people to invest heavily in Nakuru. He owned Soysambu Conservancy that was sitting on a 48,000-acre piece of land. The land stretched between Lake Nakuru up to lake Elmentaita. 

    The Delamere family also owned a number of ranches in the area. The ranches had over 8,000 heads of cattle.

    The family also owned banks including the National Bank of India that was renamed Kenya Commercial Bank.

    Despite the family being among the richest in the region, their success was marred with controversies. But their legacy lives on.

    Said Abdallah Azubedi

    Despite dying as a pauper, Said Abdallah Azubedi takes much credit for contributing to the development of Nakuru. He was a real estate mogul who owned a number of high-end buildings in the Central Business District.

    Said who perished at the age of 79 was a household name in Nakuru as he helped many vulnerable people in the region. 

    In Nakuru, he had amassed wealth through building a number of maisonettes in the posh Milimani Estate, tens of rental houses in Freehold, Langa Langa, and Gikomba Complex, which houses hundreds of business stalls.

    He had also established a soft drink and cigarette distribution center that supplied the products to major companies in Nakuru, Baringo, Kericho, Nyandarua, and neighbouring urban centers before the distributorship was snatched from him in the early 2000s.

    Where he lived a destitute life, Bondeni Slum, a quarter of the houses in the area belonged to him.

    Richard Ingram Crawford

    He was a British tycoon on capitalised on the existence of the rich white highlands to create his own wealth through real estate and agriculture.

    Crawford's contribution to the development of Nakuru is immense. He was among the pioneers of horticulture farming and kept animals that included dogs and donkeys. 

    He also established a number of petrol stations and enterprises among the Blue Cross Kennels. His estate in Nakuru was valued at Ksh74 million when he passed away. 

    Several succession cases were filed regarding his estate with the court battles going on for years.

    Peter Mukuka Kago

    He is the founder of Naivas supermarket.  He started his business from the outskirts of Nakuru at a place called Rongai. It used to be just a small shop.

    Although he died in 2010, he had established a number of businesses including opening several Naivas branches within the city. It is from Nakuru where Naivas launched branches across the country.

    Eliakim Washington Olweny

    The reclusive billionaire contributed greatly to the growth of Nakuru to its current city status. Olweny was a wealthy surveyor and proprietor of Evans Sunrise Hospital, a popular private hospital in Nakuru town.

    He passed away on October 10, 2016, leaving behind an estate whose worth is in billions. For over 5 years, his wives have continued to jostle for a share of the wealth.

    Tabitha Karanja

    She is a celebrated businesswoman and founder of Keroche Breweries. The company is Kenya's first homegrown large-scale brewery.

    It accounts for over 20 per cent of the country's liquor. Keroche has contributed greatly to the growth of Nakuru. Despite earning the county a lot of revenue, it has also created thousands of job opportunities.

    Her success in the county has catapulted her to announce her interest in the Nakuru senatorial seat ahead of next year's polls.

    Other notable figures who have contributed to the development of Nakuru include, Stephen Kung'u who founded the famous Hotel, Kunste located in Nakuru Town.

    Emeritus Chief Justice David Maraga can also be credited to the development of the city. In his farewell speech, he described Nakuru as a place having a special place in his heart.

    "I plan to retire here in Nakuru where I practiced law for 25 years before I became a judge,” he explained during a function where he opened a Ksh347 million court building on Friday, December 4. 

    “Nakuru has a special place in my heart and that is why I decided to have this function today as the last major public engagement of my career as the CJ,” he added. 

    The city has continued to develop with other uprising business people investing in the newly established city.

    File Photo of Tycoon Richard Crawford Who Contributed to the Growth of Nakuru City
    File Photo of Tycoon Richard Crawford Who Contributed to the Growth of Nakuru City