Just a year ago, Kirubi finished building his dream house at age 79, 30 years after he constructed his first home on the same land.
According to a past interview, he bought the land when the area had only white settlers. The parents to Roger Whittaker, who sang “My Land is Kenya”, lived across the bottom of Kirubi’s plot.
In terms of property and real estate, Kirubi’s investments included Two Rivers Mall and billions worth of shares in Centum Investments.
“I’m very proud that people think I’m a billionaire. It comes with perks, people answer my calls. Why? Because that is Dr Kirubi calling. But it’s important to continue developing yourself so that you do not let down the press that has accorded you that title,” he said in a past interview.
Kirubi ate life with a big spoon, and prided himself in being able to afford anything he desired, adding that he was careful not to be wasteful.
His fleet of cars included a Maybach Mercedes Benz, a Bentley Bentyga, Mercedes M class and every billionaire’s choice, a Range Rover sport.
Kirubi told The Scoop that he acquired the radio station because his firm was spending a lot of money on radio advertising.
However, money was not all that the businessman was looking for when he bought the station, but he also understood the media industry.
He stated in a 2011 interview with Forbes Magazine, the same year he was ranked among Africa’s wealthiest, that he wanted to study and understand how the media sector works as much as he wanted to get into it.
Kirubi founded Haco in 1974 in Mombasa and steered the company from its humble beginnings as a single product manufacturer to a leading player in the Fast-Moving Consumer Goods (FMCG) industry in East Africa.
Some of the products manufactured by Haco include personal care products, homecare products, toys and other plastic items.
His daughter Ann Musangi took over as MD of the company in 2019. In June that same year, he sold a section of Haco Industries to French multinational Société BIC.
In the deal, the tycoon got more than Sh1 billion in exchange for the arm of the company that had dealt directly with Société BIC.
International House Building
Kirubi described how he began his career as a salesperson for an insurance firm called International House Limited before eventually purchasing the firm’s headquarters.
“With International House, I worked for (the insurance company that was headquartered there). I used to sell policies and when they decided to close down their offices in Kenya, they offered me the opportunity to buy the building and supported me in talking to the banks and off we went. So the property was always the foundation,” he revealed in a past interview.
Smart Applications International
Smart Applications International is a leading ICT solutions provider delivering a wide range of world class technological solutions.
In Kenya, the firm is known for operating the health cover insurance system. It helps Kenyans pay for hospital visits by swiping their insurance cards.
At the time of his death, Kirubi was listed as the chairman of a number of firms. Unlike the firms listed above, the true extent of his investment in some other firms is still very confidential.
He also chaired Coca-Cola Nairobi Bottlers, DHL Kenya Express, Sandvik East Africa Limited among others. He was Deputy Chairman of Bayer East Africa Limited