Billionaire Chris Kirubi ranked among the five richest Kenyans according to the latest Knight Frank Wealth Report .
He had a personal fortune running into tens of billions. The 2011 Forbes inaugural ranking of Africa’s 40 richest people ranked him as the 31st richest in Africa with a net worth of over $300 million.
Kirubi who died yesterday had interests spanning insurance, media, manufacturing and more.
His fortunes were a result of hard work and resilience. Kirubi who grew up poor made a decision at a young age that he was going to beat poverty no matter what price he had to pay.
Before his demise, he revealed that his childhood was not as privileged as many might be led to believe. He put his focus on being a great man in the future and never looked back since.
Kirubi was the chairman of Haco Industries and was recognised as one of Kenya’s first indigenous manufacturers having entered the sector in the 1970s.
In 1998, Kirubi acquired for an undisclosed sum 100 per cent of Haco Industries, a Kenyan subsidiary of a Dutch firm.
He expanded the company from a distributor of American and British brands to a leading indigenous manufacturer of consumer products, including TCB and Palmers, the bestselling hair and skin care products in the country.
In 2008, Haco formed a joint venture with Tiger Brands, one of South Africa’s largest food manufacturers. Revenues of Haco Tiger Industries were in excess of $33 million in 2010.
Billionaire businessman Kirubi was the majority shareholder in Centum, headed by James Mworia as the CEO.
Centum is a private equity firm listed both on the Nairobi and Uganda stock exchanges with a recent market capitalisation of $92 million.
The firm has one of the most attractive investment portfolios in the region, including substantial stakes in Coca-Cola, Safaricom and Kenya Commercial Bank.
Kirubi was chairman of Coca-Cola Nairobi Bottlers, DHL Worldwide Express, Capital Media Group, International House Limited, and Smart Applications International among others. He was deputy chairman of Bayer East Africa.
Kirubi was also associated with Two Rivers Mall, which was his last publicly known big project.
Kirubi was a passionate ambassador for Kenya and served as a chairperson of Brand Kenya Board from March 2016-December 2017.
He was passionate about making a difference in the lives of the poor and was involved in a number of social causes.