Kenyan Billionaires' Children Who Created Success Away From Family Empires

  • From left to right: Rita Field Marsham, Robert Kirubi and Ngina Kenyatta.
    From left to right: Rita Field Marsham, Robert Kirubi and Ngina Kenyatta.
    canva
  • For Kenyan tycoons, their storied careers have been widely documented, with some building their companies from the ground up and others inheriting fortunes. 

    However, their children tend to live a reclusive lifestyle. Just like their fathers, some are supported to venture into different businesses and career paths while others inherit family businesses. 

    Robert Kirubi

    Robert Kirubi made headlines after he declined to work at the family's multi-billion empire, instead opting to build his own career in Europe.

    Robert Kirubi smiling as a picture is taken of him.
    Robert Kirubi smiles for the camera.
    Nairobi Wire

    Chris Kirubi's son has amassed ten years working at DHL. He is currently the Head of Global Customer Programs at the company.

    He schooled with other elites such as President Uhuru Kenyatta and media personality Jeff Koinange. 

    Despite rejecting the opportunity to work in the family business, Robert and his sister, Mary-Anne Kirubi (Kirubi's first daughter) inherited 80 per cent of their father's estate. 

    "My daughter is here in Kenya is [sic] the MD of my factory, Haco Industries. My son is in Brussels, he works for DHL.

    "I think they pay him so much money he refused to work for me but it's good he has also accumulated a lot of experience," Robert's father, Chris Kirubi stated in a past interview. 

    Alyana and Alyssa Popat Founders of Nairobi Street Kitchen
    Alyana and Alyssa Popat Founders of Nairobi Street Kitchen
    File

    Alyana and Alyssa Popat

    Alyana and Alyssa Popat own the famous Nairobi Street Kitchen in Westlands.  The two are daughters of business mogul Adil Popat. Adil, the founder and Chief Executive of Simba Corp Hospitality- which manages the Ole Mara Kempinski in the Maasai Mara game reserve and the prestigious Villa Rosa Kempinski in Nairobi. 

    The street kitchen joint is renowned for its art- whereby local artists were contracted to do the artwork. The establishment has attracted a lot of notable figures within the musical and political realm such as Sauti Sol, President Kenyatta among others.

    "Returning home as an architecture graduate (Alyssa), I was looking for something to do and was thrown into the deep end at the age of 23 with an incomplete design project and spent four years. I thought I knew everything, but after the first meeting I went home and broke down.

    "I suddenly realized how serious this project was. I decided to learn everything from plumbing to building construction to repairing and modifying containers and vehicles right away. Without doing everything myself, I wouldn’t have this awe of people in this industry," Alyssa recalled. 

     James David Kimoi Moi speaking during the 2017 LAC Africa International Business Summit in Argentina.
    James David Kimoi Moi speaking during the 2017 LAC Africa International Business Summit in Argentina.
    LAC Africa

    Kimoi Moi

    The Moi family has been in the public limelight for years and owns businesses in multiple sectors. 

    Baringo Senator Gideon Moi's son, Kimoi Moi, set his own path by venturing into potato farming. Having studied Civil engineering at the University of Exeter, United Kingdom, Kimoi deviated from the norm and ditched the famed career to join the agricultural sector.

    He is the current director of Agrico East Africa Company- one of the top seed companies in Kenya. 

    Rita Field-Marsham, one of the daughter's of the late Cabinet Minister Nicolas Biwott, speaking during his burial in 2017.
    Rita Field-Marsham, one of the daughter's of the late Cabinet Minister Nicolas Biwott, speaking during his burial in 2017.
    (Courtesy)

    Rita Field Marsham

    After the demise of former Cabinet Minister, Nicholas Biwott, Rita Field Marsham made headlines after declining to take shares of her father's wealth. 

    Marsham is a renowned lawyer and philanthropist. 

    She has steered a number of successful charitable organisations such as Knowledge Empowering Youth, Glorious and Free Foundation, Rita also serves as a board member at Andre De Grasse Family Foundation and director of the Scholar-Athlete Program (KenSAP) which has placed over 130 disadvantaged Kenyan students to prestigious universities abroad.

    Nero Company Ltd. Founder and CEO, Anerlisa Muigai.
    Nero Company Ltd. Founder and CEO, Anerlisa Muigai.
    Instagram

    Anerlisa Muigai

    Daughter to Keroche Billionaire Tabitha Karanja, Anerlisa Muigai set herself apart from the family business in order to venture into her own company, Nero Company Limited. 

    She revealed in a past interview that she was denied a marketing job position at her mother's company due to inadequate experience which led her to establish her own company that sells top executive beverages across the country.

    The company has been in operation for 11 years- priding itself in offering quality beverages that exude class and style. 

    Ngina Kenyatta follows proceedings at the African Women of Excellence Awards dinner party held in South Africa. June 2015.
    Ngina Kenyatta follows proceedings at the African Women of Excellence Awards dinner party held in South Africa. June 2015.
    File

    Ngina Kenyatta

    President Uhuru Kenyatta's only daughter, Ngina Kenyatta, is no stranger to the limelight despite her ability to live a reclusive lifestyle. Ngina has deviated from the family's political history. She is the owner of Green Experience restaurant in Kiambu county. 

    The restaurant has an open space with tents that consists of comfy sofas, state-of-the-art food, and exquisite furniture. 

    President Kenyatta's son, Muhoho Kenyatta, is, however, likely to join the political scene after he accompanied Deputy President William Ruto to a campaign rally in Nandi county in 2017.