Tuesday, April 23, 2024

Leah Wanjiku: From poultry farming to building Sh. 20 billion mall in Karen

It is said behind every successful man lies a woman. This is the story of Leah Wanjiku, wife to the late Nelson Muguku.

Leah Wanjiku was a teacher at the Kagaa Primary School in Githunguri, Kiambu County, when she met Muguku, who worked at a nearby college.

Muguku’s lecturing role did not sound well to him, which later forced him to quit his job. The decision shocked many people close to him, including his parents and boss.

After that, he set a path on Poultry farming while he was in his mid20s. With Ksh2,000, Muguku bought 2 hens and 1 cock and began his journey as a poultry farmer. Around this time, he asked Wanjiku for her hand in marriage, and she said ‘yes.’

Years later, the couple would be blessed with seven children.

In 1963, Wanjiku left her teaching job to help her late husband manage the Muguku Poultry farm grew into a multi-billion venture enterprise.

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Two years into the poultry business, they had saved up enough to buy a 2-acre farm they would later name Star Ltd. They started a hatchery with a 9,000-egg incubator.

The farm was later named Muguku Poultry Farm.

The farm supplied day-old chicks and eggs. Some of their high-profile clients at the time included the last Governor of the colonial era, Sir Malcolm MacDonald, and Kenya’s first Prime Minister, Mzee Jomo Kenyatta.

By the time he passed in October 2010, Muguku had acquired a 6.08 percent stake at a local bank before it was listed. He became the bank’s largest individual shareholder for years.

Further reports indicate that Wanjiku, who is listed as the representative of the late Muguku’s estate, holds a 0.9 percent stake in Equity worth more than Sh1.6 billion.

In her stable also is the Sh3 billion ultra-modern Waterfront Mall located in Karen, Nairobi County.

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