Meet Ngina Kenyatta, Richest Woman in Kenya, worth $1.65 billion

Ngina Muhoho who is fondly called Mama Ngina, born to Chief Muhoho wa Gathecha and Anne Nyokabi Muhoho at Ngenda, Kiambu District, Central Province in 1933. 


She married Jomo Kenyatta as his fourth wife in 1951, a union characterised as a “gift” to Kenyatta from his ethnic group, the Kikuyu.

This became her reference as the “mother of the nation”, becoming Mama Ngina Kenyatta, independent Kenya’s glamorous First Lady when Kenyatta became President in 1963. She often accompanied him in public, and had some streets in Nairobi and Mombasa, as well as a Children’s Home, named after her. In 1965, she became patron of Kenyan Guiding.


In the 1970s, she and other high-level government officials were allegedly involved in an ivory-smuggling ring which transported tusks out of the country in the state private airliner. A May 1975 edition of New Scientist cited her as one of Kenya’s “ivory queens” but also asserted they could not be completely certain that these claims were true. However, New Scientist claimed that there was now documentary proof that at least one member of Kenya’s royal family had shipped over six tons of ivory to Red China.


Mama Ngina became a Roman Catholic, and known to attend Mass every Sunday in the Catholic mission with some of their children. se also became one of the richest individuals in Kenya, owning plantations, ranches, and hotels. She currently leads a quiet life in Kenya as a wealthy widow.                


WEALTH


Ngina Kenyatta, popularly known as “Mama Ngina”, is also the  former First Lady of Kenya.

She is the widow of the country’s first president, Jomo Kenyatta, and also the mother of President Uhuru Kenyatta.


Her Source of wealth include imports and exports, banking,real estates. She holds a vast collection of prime real estate her husband acquired in the 1960s and the 1970s during a British colonial government and world-bank sponsored settlement transfer scheme, which allowed government officials and rich Kenyans to acquire land from British colonialists at cheap prices.


Mama Ngina Kenyatta and her family owns stakes in Kenya’s largest dairy company Brookside Dairies, media company Mediamax, Heritage Hotels, Commercial Bank of Africa and hundreds of thousands of prime Kenyan land. 


Mama Ngina Kenyatta and former powerful Cabinet minister Nicholas Biwott have made it to the list of Africa’s top billionaires, Nigeria-based Ventures financial magazine says.


They are among the 55 Africa’s dollar billionaires in a list that includes other two Kenyans, Naushad Merali and Manu Chandaria, whom the magazine tips as the wealthiest in the country and 25th richest on the continent with a fortune of $1.65 billion (Sh142 billion).


Mama Ngina, the mother of Kenya’s fourth President, Uhuru Kenyatta, with a net worth of $1 billion (Sh86 billion) spread in real estate, banking and hospitality sectors is among the three women that made it to the Africa’s billionaire club.


Ventures magazine, which published the list of rich Africans for the first time, placed the fortunes of Mr Biwott and Mr Merali, who both made their money during the era of President Moi, at about $1 billion (Sh86 billion).


President Kenyatta is missing from the list despite being named position 26 by Forbes Africa’s rich list in 2011— a pointer that some of the investments put under his name by the US firm could have been transferred to the family by the Nigerian publication.


The other women that join Mama Ngina Kenyatta in roll are a daughter of Angola’s president Isabel Dos Santos and a Nigerian oil tycoon Folorunsho Alakija and fashion designer.


TOTAL ASSETS


As the matriarch in charge of the Kenyatta family’s vast business empire, Mama Ngina presides over an enterprise that is associated with well-known commercial brands and blue chip companies.


This includes Commercial Bank of Africa (CBA), which is Kenya’s largest non-listed lender with total assets of Sh100 billion that last year posted a net profit of Sh2.6 billion. The bank is ranked Kenya’s ninth largest with a market size index of 4.08 per cent.


Others are Brookside Dairy—where the President’s younger brother, Muhoho, sits as executive chairman, and the upmarket and chic hotel chain, Heritage Hotels East Africa.


The family is also linked to Media Max Company, which owns K24 TV, Kameme Radio and The People newspaper.


It also owns thousands of acres of prime land across Kenya that was acquired by the late President Kenyatta in the ‘60s and ‘70s under a settlement transfer fund scheme that allowed government officials acquire land from the British cheap prices.


But the wealth of Kenya’s billionaires is small compared to that of Africa’s richest man: Nigeria’s Aliko Dangote, with a fortune of $20.2 billion (Sh1.7 trillion).


The Africa’s list is likely to reignite debate about inequality between the rich and poor.
Ventures editor-in-chief Uzo Iweala told the BBC’s Focus on Africa radio programme that its estimate of 50 billionaires was probably conservative.


“There is this culture of you don’t necessarily want to show your wealth, considering the gap between rich and poor,” he said.