A handful of small towns and villages have gained recognition for producing world class leaders and influential people who have ultimately impacted the country in one way or another.
Unbeknown to many, the likes of Rwathia village prides itself for producing top notch businessmen, whose combined net worth amounts to billions.
What is it about Rwathia and its self made billionaires? Everybody wants to have money someday,dream big if you may,but you and I were never born in Rwathia,something special happens there we all tend to think so.we the outsiders of this small Moneyed village in Murang’a county can only wish but live to fight another day and wish,someday your name if not your village will rank somewhere,someday.
Muranganewspaper.co.ke takes a look at this famous but small Rwathia village.
A little known village situated in Kangema, Murang’a County, is regarded as one of the richest towns for producing a great number of self-made billionaires.The who and who’s of Kenya.
The famed businessmen include Equity Bank CEO James Mwangi, former Equity Bank Chairman Peter Munga, investment banker Jimnah Mbaru, and immediate former Britam CEO Benson Wairegi.
Others include Gerald Gikonyo, Gerishon Kirima and the late business mogul Chris Kirubi. The businessmen succeeded in taking their business beyond Rwathia into other countries within Africa- hence creating a fortune in the process.
Some have made the controvesial Muranga county have a mark in the global map,the likes of Equity Bank CEO James Mwangi, former Equity Bank Chairman Peter Munga and the late kirubi have gone global investing as far as France and Germany.Not only making muranga rank but kenya as a whole.
Richest Kikuyus’ In Murang’a 2023
He was born in 1943. Munga founded Equity Building Society (EBS) in his hometown of Kangema in 1984 before it became Equity Bank in August 2014.
The 73-year-old worked as an assistant secretary at the Ministry of Water before he resigned in 1993.
Munga who is currently Equity’s chairman hired CEO Mwangi as the director of finance to bring changes to EBS that was losing Sh5 Million annually.
He was born in 1962. He is a husband and a father to four children.
Mr Mwangi is the current Group Managing Director and Group Chief Executive Officer of the Equity Group Holdings Limited.
At the age of 31, he was employed by the Chairman and the CEO of Equity Building Society (EBS), to wind up the insolvent organisation which was losing Sh5 Million yearly.
He went to the University of Nairobi and graduated with a Bachelor of Commerce degree (BCom).
He was born in 1953. Mr Wairegi is the current Group Managing Director and Group Chief Executive Officer of British-American Investments Company (Britam).
When he was 24 years he joined British-American as the Chief Accountant.
He holds a Bachelor of Commerce degree (BCom) and a Master of Business Administration (MBA), specializing in Accounting and Finance from the University of Nairobi. He is also a Certified Public Accountant (CPA).
Mr Mbaru is currently the chairman and chief executive at the Dyer and Blair Investment bank, where he owns a majority stake.
The 69-year-old holds a Bachelor’s degree in Commerce (BCom) from the University of Nairobi.
Mbaru served as a civil servant in various capacities before leaving for the private sector in 1980.
After this, he set up several banks – Jimba Credit Corporation Limited, Union Bank Of Kenya Limited and the Kenya Savings & Mortgages Limited, all of which were taken over by former president Daniel arap Moi’s regime as a way to regulate the banking industry.
Gerald Gikonyo and Gerishon Kirima
The two co-founded Rwathia Distributors influencing Mr Munga, Mwangi and Wairegi to work together as men from the same village, Rwathia.
According to a 2014 article by Dr Bitange Ndemo titled: The Mystery of Success, he highlights that Rwathia controls almost 20% of GDP and nearly half of stock market in the country.
“This village arguably controls almost 20 per cent of Kenya’s Gross Domestic Product (GDP) and almost 40% of the stock market in Kenya.
“Their forebearers like Gerishon Kirima and Gerald Gikonyo, one of the co-founders of Rwathia Distributors, were successful in spite of the fact that they had limited education. Rwathia’s third generation is succeeding, not just here in Kenya, but in far-flung areas like the United States, ” Ndemo noted.
The two apparently control the Rwathia groups of businesses which include prime properties in Nairobi, especially within areas on the east side of lower Tom Mboya Street, Ronald Ngara Street, River Road, among others.