Leah Wanjiku, the visionary owner of the Waterfront Mall in Karen, Nairobi County, embodies the epitome of a rags-to-riches tale, where determination, hard work, and strategic vision have propelled her from modest beginnings to the pinnacle of success.
Here is ther story as told by Kenyan Report
Wanjiku’s story began in Githunguri, Kiambu County, where she worked as a teacher at Kagaa Primary School.
It was here that she met Nelson Muguku, a man with a bold vision and an entrepreneurial zeal. Muguku, discontented with his job, made a daring decision to leave his position at a nearby college and venture into poultry farming.
With a mere Ksh2,000, he initiated his poultry farming endeavor by purchasing two hens and one cock. Around the same time, he and Wanjiku tied the knot, embarking on a shared journey of dreams and aspirations.
In 1963, Wanjiku made a pivotal decision to leave her teaching career and join Muguku in the world of poultry farming. Together, they worked tirelessly, saving enough money to acquire a 2-acre piece of land.
On this land, they founded Star Ltd., their poultry farming enterprise, and introduced a hatchery equipped with a 9,000-egg incubator.
The farm thrived, supplying day-old chicks and eggs to a diverse clientele, including prominent figures such as Sir Malcolm MacDonald, the last colonial-era Governor, and Mzee Jomo Kenyatta, Kenya’s first Prime Minister.
Muguku’s strategic investments eventually led him to acquire a substantial 6.08% stake in a local bank before its listing, making him the bank’s largest individual shareholder for years.
Even after Muguku’s passing in October 2010, Wanjiku continued to carry their shared vision forward with unwavering determination.
Wanjiku’s astuteness in the business world did not stop at poultry farming. She ventured into stock trading, earning her a position as the second-highest trading woman on the Nairobi Stock Exchange market.
Her investments and financial acumen further solidified her position as one of the most influential women in Kenya’s business landscape.
The pinnacle of Wanjiku’s success manifests in the Waterfront Mall, a sprawling multibillion-dollar project nestled in Karen on a vast 50-acre property.
This magnificent mall boasts a man-made lake spanning five acres, adding a touch of grandeur to its already impressive architecture. The Waterfront Mall stands as a testament to Wanjiku’s vision, ambition, and unwavering determination.
In recognition of her accomplishments, Wanjiku was acknowledged in a 2018 Knight Frank report, which featured her among the esteemed list of 23 women billionaires in Kenya.
Additionally, she holds a significant 0.92% stake in a local bank, valued at Ksh1.2 billion, showcasing her influence in the country’s financial sector.
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