John Kimbuga Kimani hails from a humble background having been born into a squatter family at the Kakuzi farms neighborhood.
He attended his primary and secondary education in Murang’a County before joining Makerere University in Uganda for his undergraduate degree. He later attended Reading University in the United Kingdom where he pursued a Master’s of Science degree in agricultural economics.
He later undertook a PhD in development studies, economics and socio-anthropology at the University of Sussex which is also in the United Kingdom.
In a letter to Business Daily in 2018, Kibunga revealed that he started buying Kakuzi shares when the original colonial settlers were the majority shareholders.
Dr. John Kimbuga Kimani is also one of the single-largest investors in most blue-chip stocks at the Nairobi Securities Exchange (NSE), with his shares in different companies amounting up to Ksh 5 billion.
He holds 16.2 million shares in Safaricom PLC worth Ksh 631 million making him the second largest individual shareholder after billionaire Ramaben Patel.
He is the largest individual shareholder at Nation Media Group with a Ksh 348 million stake. He was the second largest shareholder at Total Energies Kenya but sold his over 3 million shares in December 2018, a process he started in early 2017.
The shares made him a total of Ksh 80 million which he used to invest in Kakuzi plc therein exiting the petroleum sector.
He also owns shares at East Africa Breweries Limited (EABL), Centum limited, Isuzu East Africa, Longhorn publishers, NAS Servair, Two Rivers mall, Platinum credit and the over 30 airlines in Kenya.
He is also behind the Kakuzi Neighborhoods Development Foundation which has since 2018 risen to be in the top 10 shareholders of Kakuzi farm.