Richard Kioko Kiundi, famously recognized as ‘The Duke of Emali,’ had once been a wealthy individual relishing an opulent existence with his family in Canada. However, he made a conscious decision to return to Kenya and reconnect with his roots.
His educational journey was shaped by the privilege of attending prestigious schools, a gift from his parents. Following his university graduation, he dedicated several years of his life to the civil service in his homeland.
A pivotal moment in Kioko Kiundi’s life occurred during a visit to Nairobi, the capital city of Kenya. While sipping a drink at a popular bar, he encountered a fellow accountant. During their conversation, he candidly expressed his reservations about the high cost of living in Nairobi and his disinterest in working there.
This candid conversation would prove to be life-altering. The stranger posed a straightforward question, inquiring how much it would take to entice Kioko Kiundi to relocate to Nairobi for work. Without hesitation, he mentioned a salary quadruple his existing 4,500 shillings.
To his astonishment, the stranger promptly invited him to visit his office, which marked the beginning of a new chapter in Kioko Kiundi’s career as he secured a higher-paying job at Toyota Kenya.
Kioko Kiundi’s professional journey continued, and after several years at Toyota Kenya, he made a move to Kenya Pipeline, ostensibly enticed by the promise of better working conditions. Again, fate intervened as he found this opportunity through a conversation with a stranger in a bar.
In February 2013, Kioko Kiundi’s life took an unexpected turn when he experienced severe chest pain while strolling through the streets of Nairobi. Extensive medical examinations revealed that he had suffered a mild stroke.
Recognizing that he could not find a definitive solution to his health predicament in Kenya, he made the difficult decision to seek treatment in India. Unfortunately, his insurance providers declined to cover the expenses, citing the condition as chronic. As a result, he was left to shoulder the substantial financial burden on his own, which eventually drained his resources.
At a certain juncture, he was compelled to sell his company to raise funds for his healthcare. Nevertheless, he remained indebted to some individuals, ultimately leading to the seizure and auction of his vehicles by creditors.
Kioko Kiundi’s life took a continuous downward trajectory, resulting in the depletion of his wealth. Although he managed to overcome stomach cancer, he emerged from the ordeal a mere shadow of his former self.
Yet, he refuses to succumb to his misfortunes. He has encapsulated the wealth of his life experiences in a book titled “Through The Wilderness Of Life,” which he tirelessly promotes by selling on the streets to make ends meet. His primary obstacle lies in the fact that those who could benefit from the life lessons in his book often lack the means to acquire it. Despite the financial strain it imposes, he has generously donated numerous copies to schools in his endeavor to impart invaluable wisdom to others.