Reading the list of the richest families in Kenya, it becomes clear why politics is so attractive. Kenya’s richest one percent holds more money in investments than the total wealth of some small countries. It is always a good thing to have a good percentage of the total wealth in the country in private hands; creating jobs and competing with other private institutions to provide better services at cheaper rates are famous hallmarks of capitalism.
The wealthiest families in Kenya have their fortunes laid out for them by some fortunate and savvy ancestor who has laid the foundations for the wealth and riches which his generations unborn will benefit from. Real estate usually plays a big part in the assessment of wealth in Kenya; lands and buildings are a great way to shore up wealth for the future- a thing that is consistent all over the world.
Not all the wealth is put into land and real estate; some of the biggest families are actively involved in the economy; in production, in manufacturing, and in agriculture.
Top 10 Richest Families In Kenya
1. The Moi Family – $3 billion
The Moi family was established by late Arap Moi who was president of Kenya for 24 years. His family inherited control of several stakes in a diverse range of interests including; agriculture, insurance, banking, manufacturing, and so on. The Moi family also has a list of ventures directly under their control such as Kenya Television Network, Vybezz radio, Standard News Paper, Radio Maisha, and Spice FM, all of which are controlled via the holding company Standard Group.
Therefore you can see that the Moi family has a controlling interest in Kenya’s media industry. Much of their revenue is therefore generated from advertising and publicity.
2. Kenyatta Family – $2.5 billion
The Kenyatta Family is one of the richest families in Kenya; they are worth at least $2 billion and have land estimated to be equivalent to a whole province. Jomo Kenyatta; the founding president of the country. Most analysts usually list the Matriarch Mama Ngina Kenyatta and her son President Uhuru Kenyatta separately, but since we are looking at family wealth in Kenya, the Kenyattas could possibly top the list.
Mama Kenyatta holds lands amounting to around 115,000 hectares. She also holds two tea plantations at Matu and Mangu, and other farms near the Tanzanian border.
Mama Kenyatta also controls several companies including Brookside Dairy, Media Max Ltd, and Heritage Group of Hotels. Her son Uhuru Kenyatta, who is incidentally President of Kenya is worth around 500 to 700 million dollars, and he has several interests in real estate, banking, hospitality, and technology. d so on
3. Manu Chandaria Family – $1.7 Billion
Manu Chandaria is a Kenyan businessman who hails from India. He is known as the chairman and CEO of the Kenyan steel and aluminum production company Comcraft. Comcraft does not only smelt raw steel and aluminum; they also produce finished goods as well, which are shipped to various locations.
Comcraft is a mega-company; it has more than 2 billion dollars in annual revenue and over 30,000 people on its payroll. Comcraft now operates in about 11 countries and is the largest steel manufacturer in Africa. To buttress the Chandaria Family’s position as one of the richest and most powerful in the continent, the company has also ventured into the manufacture of plastics – a venture that will further deepen their pockets.
4. The Biwott Family-$1.1 Billion
The Biwott Family is a rich and comfortable family; one of the most recognizable in Kenya. The family was established by Late Nicholas Biwott, a businessman, politician, and philanthropist who styled himself as the total man. He served in various capacities in various agencies of the government and made several business investments during his lifetime, and so when he died in 2017, he left everything to his family.
Some of his investments include; Premier Group of Companies, Barisim Investment, and Yaya Center. He also has a large stake in the national milling corporation. He committed a lot of money towards philanthropy, and his family continues to honour that commitment.
5. Bhimji Depar Shah Family-$700 Million
Bhimji Depar Shah is a Kenyan businessman with origins in India. His family owns and controls the biggest manufacturing conglomerate not only in Kenya but also in the whole of East Africa. Bhimji Depar Shah is the Chairman of Bidco Group Of Companies; which produces fast-moving consumer goods (FMCG). His son, Vimal Shah serves as the CEO of the company.
Bidco is a family-owned establishment that operates in 13 countries, and which has a stronghold of the market for such goods as soap, detergent, edible oils, and so on. To further cement their position they recently launched a 200 million dollar industrial park.
6. Naushad Merali Family – $600 Million
Nashad Merali is another Kenyan multi-millionaire businessman with roots in Asia. His family controls extensive investments in several industries including construction, agriculture, finance, and information technology. Most of his business interests are held through the holding company Sameer group, but he is also known as the Founder of Kencell – a Kenyan mobile service provider.
The Merali family is well connected inside and outside Kenya; they maintain family relations with other top industrialist families in Asia.
7. Joshua Kulei And Family $500 million
Joshua Kulei is an aggressive and visionary investor. He has been in and around the political spheres of the country for a long time. Thanks to his astute business mind, his family has its share of the wealth that is flowing in and around Kenya.
He has investments in Agriculture, Banking, Petroleum Marketing, and so many other sectors. He owns Trade World Kenya, Kenya Television Network, Bamburi Cement, CFC Bank, CMC Holdings, Kenyan Aerotech, and Signon Freight and National Milling Corporation.
8. Chris Kirubi Family – $400 Million
The family of Chris Kirubi; the late businessman, entrepreneur, and industrialist inherited significant wealth at his death which occurred on 14th June 2021. The family owns or controls several companies including 98.4 Capital FM, Nairobi Bottlers Limited, DHL Express Kenya Limited, Kiruna International Limited, Haco Industries Kenya Limited, Sandvik East Africa Limited, and International House Limited.
Having inherited these businesses ad interests; it is interesting to see what the family can do with them; how they can grow their wealth so as to retain their position.
9. S K Macharia -$365 Million
Samuel Kamau Macharia and their family are estimated to be worth about $365 million but some sources quote much higher figures. S K Mancharia has been an aggressive businessman; a good part of his investments are in the area of media and communications. He owns the majority stake in the Royal Media Company which also controls vernacular radio and TV stations.
S K Mancharia and Family also have interests in other sectors of the economy such as agriculture, real estate, banking, and so o.
10. Atul Shah Family- $290 Million
Atul Shah and Family are one of the most powerful families in Kenya. The family controls Nakumatt holdings limited, and Atul Shah serves as the CEO of the company. Nakumatt Holdings Limited is a huge retail business that has a chain of supermarkets not only in Kenya but also in other countries around the region. The business was founded in 1987 and now employs over 7,000 people.
The richest families in Kenya have made extensive investments in several areas of the economy; these investments provide jobs for the people and ensure the future of the families in the coming economic structure not just in Kenya; but also in the whole of the region.