Kenya Women Billionaires: The Story of Zipporah Gathuya

  • A file image of Zipporah Gathuya, a consultant anesthesiologist
    A file image of Zipporah Gathuya, a consultant anesthesiologist
  • The Kenyan corporate scene has in the past been dominated by members of the male gender - mirroring many other sectors of the society. 

    However, the proverbial glass ceiling is slowly but steadily being shattered by trailblazing women who have worked hard to beat societal stereotypes and make a mark for themselves as respected entrepreneurs - and of course, they have made a fortune along the way. tells these stories to inspire and celebrate entrepreneurship and innovation. 

    A file image of Zipporah Gathuya, a consultant anesthesiologist
    A file image of Zipporah Gathuya, a consultant anesthesiologist

    In 2017, Zipporah Gathuya was among three doctors and women in the High Net Worth Individuals (HNWI) list with annual incomes of between Ksh350 million and Ksh1 billion.

    Gathuya, a consultant anesthesiologist, was listed among owners of some of Kenya's top hotels and lodges such as Tribe Hotel, Sankara, Ol Pejeta Ranch and Ashnil.


    The anesthesiologist was born in the 1970's and attended local schools including the University of Nairobi where she studied human medicine and later graduated with a Bachelor of Medicine and Bachelor of Surgery (MBChB) degree.

    For her internship, Gathuya went to Chogoria Mission Hospital in Meru County where she would earn Ksh11,430 per month.


    After her internship at Chogoria Mission Hospital, Gathuya was employed at the Kenyatta National Hospital (KNH) as a medical officer.

    She would soon pick interest in critical care which largely involves anesthesia.

    At the hospital, she met two pediatric anesthesiologists from the United States. The duo invited her to accompany them back to Minneapolis / St. Paul, Minnesota.

    There, she attended a short course in pediatric anesthesia at the Children’s Hospitals and Clinics of Minnesota.

    When she came back to the country, she found a sponsor who funded her studies in South Africa.

    "I decided I was going to specialise in pediatric anesthesia,” she stated in a previous interview.

    After her studies, she graduated with a Master of Medicine (MMed) degree in Anesthesiology.

    Her career has seen her volunteer on surgical missions around the world including countries such as Peru, Ethiopia, Bangladesh, US, and South Africa.

    She has also volunteered at the St. John Ambulance for over 20 years and managed to rise up the ranks to a principal surgeon.

    Her work has been accorded National and International service awards from the Queen of England and the Kenyan government.

    Additionally, she has served in key leadership positions in her professional and a number of non-governmental organizations.


    Other than her medical career, Gathuya is a board member at Suntra Investment Bank as well as a farmer.

    In addition, she is a director at the Global Initiative for Children’s Surgery, a non-profit organisation in the United States.


    Gathuya is married and a mother of four.

    Kenyatta National Hospital.
    Kenyatta National Hospital.