They say education is the key to success in life. However, some Kenyans have made it despite never attaining a primary certificate.
These entrepreneurs created multi-billion businesses from scratch, and with little education, they run successful companies.
Renowned tycoons whose education ended at primary school include Jackson Kibor, Andrew Ngirici and Narendra Raval.
1. Andrew Ngirici
Andrew Ngirici is a Kirinyaga based tycoon.
The billionaire is married to politician Purity Ngirici.
Ngirici reportedly dropped out of school while in Class Four at Kirigo Primary School.
In his early life, he was hired by a neighbour, Arthur Munyi, to drive a donkey cart. His mother later helped him purchase one which he used to transport crates of beer to local bars in the area.
Ngirici’s ventured into the transport business but his breakthrough came when he met former spy chief James Kanyotu.
The National Intelligence Service boss during the late Daniel Moi’s administration named him as his personal assistant (PA).
He used the opportunity to expand his network creating an empire in the transport, real estate, mining, agriculture and now the media industry where he owns Mt Kenya TV and Iganjo FM.
Together with his wife, they have a multi-million car collection, including a grand Cadillac Escalade SUV, Maserati Levante, a 2018 Land Rover Range Rover, and a Rolls Royce Phantom, which cost over KSh 45 million.
2. Jackson Kibor
Late Controversial Uasin Gishu tycoon Jackson Kibor accumulated wealth worth over KSh 6 billion despite his little educational background.
The businessman’s empire includes 836 acres of land in Kipkabus, 357 acres in Moiben, 1,543 acres in Kabenes and 1,160 acres in Kitale.
Kibor dropped out of school in Class Five due to lack of fees.
He did menial jobs in Nandi to make ends meet.
His breakthrough came when he joined the Kenya Police and won a darts competition that earned him a car and a prize worth KSh 35,000.
He acquired a loan and topped up to buy land. He started large scale farming and reaped profits leading to the expansion of his agribusiness.
3. Narendra Raval
Kenyan billionaire tycoon Narendra Raval is ranked among Africa’s wealthiest people according to a 2015 Forbes ranking.
He has an estimated net worth of $500 million (KSh 56 billion).
What many don’t know is that he never had any formal education but he received religious teachings at the Hindu temple.
4. Gerald Gikonyo Kanyuira
Gikonyo is a member of the legendary Rwathia Group of entrepreneurs who hailed from Murang’a county.
The 106-year-old was a coffee plantation worker in Rwathia.
He later moved to Nairobi and walked as a vegetable hawker in Marikiti market and formed a group with his fellow village men.
The group now owns several properties in Nairobi CBD.
Gikonyo who has diverse investments across different sectors owns Alfa Hotel on Ronald Ngala Street, Magomano, New Kinangop and Timboroa hotels.
He is also the founder and chairman of Rwathia Distributors.