NAIROBI, Kenya, Jun 14 – Renowned industrialist and one of Africa’s richest businessperson, Dr Chris Kirubi, is dead.
Dr Kirubi who is also the Chairperson of Capital Group Limited under whose banner Capital FM operates passed away on Monday aged 80, the family confirmed.
“It is with great sadness that we announce the passing of Dr. Christopher J. Kirubi who passed away today at 1 pm at his home after a long battle with cancer fought with fortitude, grace and courage,” his family said in a statement, adding, “he was surrounded by his family.”
Dr Kirubi had been battling cancer since 2016.
Popularly known on the airwaves as DJ CK, Kirubi was named the second richest Kenyan by Forbes in 2011 in a list topped by the family of the country’s founding leader, the late President Jomo Kenyatta.
He also made it to the top 40 ranking of African richest having listed at position 31 with an estimated net worth of $300 million.
Dr Kirubi also chaired Haco Industries Limited, Kiruma International Limited, International House Limited, Nairobi Bottlers Limited, Sandvik East Africa Limited and DHL Kenya.
The industrialist was also director at Centum Investment: East Africa’s leading investment company listed on the Nairobi and Uganda Securities Exchange.
He established a number of initiatives including a mentorship program through which he visited a number of schools in the country to encourage young people to pursue academic excellence.
In May 2017, during one such visit at the Limuru Girls School, Dr Kirubi challenged young girls to take their education seriously in order overcome male dominance and contribute to raising up families.
“The education you’re getting here is the only tool without using guns, cooking sticks and pangas that will liberate women from the dominance of men,” he told hundreds of students gathered at the school hall to listen to his address.
“If you’re educated enough you will be independent, you will get your own job, you will marry a man because you have to marry, you will contribute to the family’s well-being and you will not seat at home waiting to be given money to buy milk or take the child to the hospital,” he added.
Dr Kirubi challenged young people to take requisite steps in preparation for the country’s leadership adding that they must became better leaders than those they succeed.
“We’re preparing you to take over from all of us and as we hand over the mantle to you, we’d like to know that you’ll run faster in this relay than we did in making a nation a better place.”
Dr sponsored the completion of four new classrooms whose construction had stalled.
He often urged young people to believe in themselves regardless of their family backgrounds saying he too had to rise above life challenges, having lost his parents at a tender age.
“It doesn’t matter where you came from. Whether you live in a shanty. Your future is in your own hands,” he said.
According to Dr Kirubi, the secret to achieving the best in life is having a resilient spirit which propels one to keep thirsting for success despite the numerous hurdles in pursuit of success.
In most of his tweets targeting the younger generation, Kirubi often challenged young people to keep off friends likely to derail them from achieving their dreams and aspirations saying a person is measured for who they are when alone and not the appearance they fake when in the eyes of the public.
“There’re people with a split image. They’re something else in school but you meet them outside school they’re behaving in a manner contrary to what you see when they’re in school.”