Kenya’s Real Estate Mogul, Chris Kirubi Dies at 80
Kenya's real estate mogul, Dr. Christopher Kirubi is dead. According to the family, the businessman succumbed after his long battle with cancer on Monday, 14 th June 2021.
Mr. Kirubi built his empire on establishing himself as an authority in real estate, manufacturing, and on several investments.
Over the years, Mr. Kirubi was a sought-after real estate figure in the country and beyond. Previously, he mentioned that he acquired his first dilapidated property in the early 1970s. He mentioned that that was the beginning of his journey as a successful businessman in property development even before he ventured into other businesses.
During his popular radio series #AskKirubi on his station, Capital FM, Kirubi revealed that he worked for an insurance company International House Limited as a salesperson when he bought the property that was owned by the company.
The late Chris Kirubi. (Photo / Courtesy)
He used to sell policies for the company and when the company closed down its offices in Kenya, they offered to sell him the building. Generally, they supported um spearhead talks with banks to help him buy the property.
According to him, during his days, real estate properties were cheap and easily accessible. This exponentially helped him to establish himself as an industry player in the real estate business.
Kirubi used to buy neglected properties, renovate them then put them on the market. A business that pushed him into the world of success.
Mr. Kirubi is mentioned to have been worth $ 300 million dollars, which once placed him at number 31 on Forbes' inaugural list of Africa's 40 richest individuals.
Whereas, Mr. Kirubi remained modest about his success, all his companies including, International House, Tiger Haco Industries, Capital FM, and DHL Kenya, employ close to 1,000 people.
“People say I am one of the richest people in Kenya, but that's not my concern. I mean, they say I am a god of sorts, but I don't agree. When I look around at my companies and see the number of people we have employed, it gives me joy. It is more satisfying than having all the money in the world, ”he once mentioned.
Chris Kirubi was not only a real estate mogul but also a shrewd investor. He held the largest individual stake in Centum Investments. Which is a private equity firm listed both on the Nairobi and Uganda stock exchange with a recent market capitalization of $ 92 million. Centum is one of the most attractive investment portfolios in the region, including substantial states in Coca - Cola, Safaricom (Kenya's leading telecoms company), and Kenya Commercial Bank. Through Centum Investments, he owned East Africa’s most ambitious property developments including Two Rivers in Gigiri and the Pearl Marina Project in Uganda.
He was also the largest individual shareholder in UAP Insurance, east Africa's third-largest insurance company.