10 Kenyan Billionaires Who Built Nairobi's Biggest Malls

  • A photo collage of shopping malls in Nairobi, Kenya.
    A photo collage of shopping malls in Nairobi, Kenya.
  • The number of shopping malls in Nairobi has grown exponentially over the past few years and this is largely attributed to the rising demand for space by retailers.

    If you reside in Nairobi, there is a good chance that you have visited a shopping mall. Even if you haven't, you have probably heard of one but have you ever wondered who funded their construction?

    Kenyans.co.ke takes a look at some of the biggest malls in Nairobi and the billionaires behind them.

    Two Rivers Mall

    This is the largest shopping centre in East and Central Africa.

    Two Rivers Mall, which opened its doors to the public on February 14, 2017, covers 65,000sqm and is located in Ruaka, within the Gigiri, Runda, and Muthaiga neighbourhood.

    The mall boasts a variety of international brands such as; Carrefour Supermarket, Burger King, LC Waikiki, Nike, Adidas, Woolworths and Hugo Boss just to name a few.

    Two Rivers Mall is part of a Ksh25.1 billion development by Centum Group, which is majority-owned by the late billionaire Chris Kirubi.

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

    The Hub 

    The mall is located in the beautiful leafy suburbs of Karen, Nairobi. 

    It was opened on February 4, 2016, and covers 35,077sqm.

    The mall offers a mix of local and global retail outlets including french retail giant, Carrefour. Other retailers and brands that occupy space at the mall are; Artcaffe, Subway, Miniso, Vivo, Woolworths, LC Waikiki and Absa among others.

    The Hub is owned by billionaire Humphrey Kariuki, who is also behind  Africa Spirits, Great Lakes Africa Energy, Fairmont Mount Kenya Safari Club, and Mount Kenya Wildlife Conservancy and Animal Orphanage.

    African Spirits Limited Billionaire Humphrey Kariuki during a court proceeding in 2019.
    African Spirits Limited Billionaire Humphrey Kariuki during a court proceeding in 2019.
    Twitter

    The Waterfront Mall

    The mall is located within the Karen Triangle, which is the intersection between Lang'ata Road, Karen Road and Ngong' Road.

    The Waterfront Mall covers 25,000sqm and boasts of local and international stores such as; CJ's restaurant, Naivas, Dr Mattress, Game, Goodlife Pharmacy, Optica, Pattori Leather Goods Et cetera.

    It is owned by the family of the late businessman Nelson Muguku.

    File image of the late Nelson Muguku.
    File image of the late Nelson Muguku.

    Sarit Centre

    This is the oldest shopping mall in Kenya and it is located in the affluent Westlands suburbs, off Waiyaki Way.

    It covers 45,000sqm and houses brands such as; Carrefour, Nairobi Java House, Bata, 4U2 and Nokia.

    The mall is owned by the family of the late Vidhu Shah, who also founded Text Book Centre.

    File image of Sarit Center founder the late Vidhu Shah.
    File image of Sarit Center founder the late Vidhu Shah.

    Yaya Centre

    The mall is located along Argwings Kodhek Road in Hurlingham, Nairobi.

    Yaya Centre is home to brands such as; 2NU, Amari, Artcaffe, Avane, Chandarana Supermarket, Chinese Kitchen and Cold Stone Creamery.

    It is owned by the family of the late Cabinet Minister Nicholas Biwott who passed away in July 2017.

    The late Cabinet Minister Nicholas Biwott
    The late Cabinet Minister Nicholas Biwott.
    Twitter

    Village Market

    It is located on Limuru Road and is adjacent to The Tribe Hotel.

    The mall covers 46,451sqm and houses brands such as; Adidas, Airtel Kenya, Anisuma Traders, Bata, CJ's restaurant, Chapa Copy, Healthy U, M.A.C and Kingsway Tyres.

    Village Market is owned by the families of Hamed and Mehraz Ehsani who built the mall in 1992.

    File image of Hamed Ehsani.
    File image of Hamed Ehsani.

    Diamond Plaza

    The mall is located in Parklands. It has 18,580sqm of retail and office space. 

    It is owned by KANU era billionaire Madatali Chatur.

    File image of Madatali Chatur.
    File image of Madatali Chatur.

    Lavington Mall

    It is located along James Gichuru Road in Nairobi. 

    The mall is owned by the family of the late self-made billionaire John Kinuthia Makumi, who died in December 2019.

    Other properties he owned include; a 200-acre farm in Loitoktok, Zada Building in Wangige, a building hosting Fountain Church near Fig Tree in Ngara and the Wangige Mall.

    File image of the late John Kinuthia Makumi.
    File image of the late John Kinuthia Makumi.

    Galleria

    It is located at the junction of Magadi and Langata Road in Nairobi. It houses several stores including; Carrefour, Bata, The Nairobi Hospital, Java, ArtCaffe and KFC among others.

    It has approximately 550 parking bays.

    The Ksh2 billion mall is owned by Trevor Kanja, whose family runs Nairobi Homes, a real estate firm.

    An image showing the entrance to Galleria Mall.
    An image showing the entrance to Galleria Mall.

    Kamukunji Gateway Mall

    The 8-storey mall is located in Kamukunji. 

    It is owned by businesswoman Nancy Wamaitha, a former mitumba seller, who worked hard to build the mall.

    An undated image of Kamukunji Gateway Mall.
    An undated image of Kamukunji Gateway Mall.
    died