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11 Prestigious Schools in Kenya And Their Billionaire Founders

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11 Prestigious Schools in Kenya And Their Billionaire Founders

11 Prestigious Schools in Kenya And Their Billionaire Founders
The adage “education is the key to success” has never been more true than in the case of the billionaires who fund some of the country’s most prestigious schools.
The billionaires have built some of the most iconic and envied prestigious education institutions that are attended by the children of the rich and privileged in society, from the Kenyatta family to little-known individuals like Mary Okelo.
The institutions are so luxurious that school fees can sometimes exceed Ksh1 million per learning term.

11 Prestigious Schools in Kenya And Their Billionaire Founders

Here are the eleven billionaires and wealthy families behind some of Kenya’s most prestigious schools.
Riara Group of SchoolsDaniel and Eddah Gachukia
Riara Group of Schools is one of the most respected institutions in the country, and its founders, Daniel Gachukia and his wife Eddah Gachukia, have earned national recognition and respect over the years.
Gachukia grew up during a period of conflict in the country, as well as the peak of the Mau Mau uprising. Many families and individuals did not prioritize education at the time.
After enduring the unrest and changing of homes, he finally enrolled in a school, and after finishing his education, he sought to pass on his knowledge to the next generation by establishing the Riara kindergarten in 1974. Since then, the school has grown to include tertiary education.

11 Prestigious Schools in Kenya And Their Billionaire Founders

Riara Group of Schools founder Daniel Gachukia and his wife Eddah Gachukia at Sarit Center in 2016. PHOTO; DAILY NATION – Prestigious Schools in Kenya
Prior to establishing the institution, the billionaire taught at several secondary schools in Uganda, including Kagumo High School, Thika High School, and Namilyango High School.
He also worked as the Charge d’Affaires at the Kenya office in Paris for the Ministry of Foreign Affairs.
His wife, Eddah, on the other hand, began teaching in 1960 and continued her education, eventually earning a PhD in Literature in 1981. She was also a Member of Parliament from 1974 to 1983.
2. Braeburn SchoolsTerry Childs
Braeburn is a well-known education brand across the country, and it is set to grow further following the acquisition of another academic behemoth, Hillcrest International Schools.
Many people are unaware of how the academic behemoth came to be after an intervention by Terry Childs and five other partners.
Childs noted in a brief history that the institution had only 78 students in 1978, and he approached Bill Martin, Peter Moll, Aaron Kandie, Lucas Matu, and Ralph Diaper to acquire the institution.
There were few books or other resources available. There were 20 people on the staff, six of whom were teachers according to Childs who notde that school fees at the time were only Ksh3,000.
He mentioned that the team expanded the school by acquiring plots, and that there was soon a demand for them to build a secondary school on the property.
The school, which began in Gatanga, Murang’a County, now has branches in Nairobi, Kisumu, Nanyuki, and Mombasa, as well as in Dar es Salaam, Tanzania.
3. HillcrestDorothy Noad (Prestigious Schools in Kenya)
Hillcrest’s management is set to walk away with a tidy sum after completing the sale of the school to the founders of the Braeburn Group of Schools.
Hillcrest, one of Kenya’s most prestigious schools, was founded in 1965 by Dorothy Noad and grew to international standards in 1972.
The institution’s High School was founded in 1975, with 54 students enrolled in three classrooms at the time. School fees at the institution range from Ksh850,000 to Ksh1.1 million per term.
4. Peponi SchoolsKenyatta Family
The Kenyatta family, led by President Uhuru Kenyatta and his mother Mama Ngina Kenyatta, is well known for its extensive investments, including in education.
Among the investments is the Peponi Group of Schools, which is one of Kenya’s most expensive schools.
It is located along the Thika Superhighway in Ruiru, at the Kenyatta family-owned Gicheha farm, which has now been renamed Northlands City.
A parent who chooses to send their child to Peponi School will pay Ksh3.3 million per year for a full border, or Ksh1.1 million per term.
According to a 2019 fee structure on the school’s official website, weekly boarders pay Ksh1.05 million per term and day scholars pay Ksh731,510.
5. Makini Schools – Mary Okelo
Billionaire Mary Okelo is a country heavyweight who has made her mark in the prestigious category of the country’s education sector.
According to historical records, the billionaire established Makini Group of Schools in 1978 as Riara Gardens Academy. It had only eight students and was run from her home.
Since then, the institution has grown to accommodate over 2,000 students and has raised the country’s educational standards, as she had hoped.
Makini Cambridge, Makini Ngong Road Campus (Pre and Primary School), Makini Ngong Road Campus – High School, Makini Junior Academy, State House Avenue (Pre and Lower Primary), Makini Junior School Migosi, Makini School Kibos, and Makini School Kisumu are among the schools that have grown into reputable institutions.
6. Kabarak SchoolsDaniel Moi (Prestigious Schools in Kenya)
The Moi family, led by the late President Daniel Moi, is a well-known name in the country, with a presence in a variety of businesses.
Moi established Moi High School – Kabarak, a private mixed-boarding school, as well as Moi Primary School – Kabarak on his expansive Kabarak farm in 1979 as part of his expansion plan.

11 Prestigious Schools in Kenya And Their Billionaire Founders

Former President Daniel Moi holding his baton
The former Head of State continued his expansion plan in 2002 by establishing Kabarak University. All of the institutions are well-known for adhering strictly to Christian teachings.

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7. Pioneer SchoolsPeter Munga

Former Equity Bank Chairman Peter Munga’s rise from handyman to former Minister John Michuki is a typical grass-to-grace story.
He was one of the bank’s founders, and in 1996, he also founded Pioneer Group of Schools, where he later served as Chairman of the Board of Management.
The high-quality education institution was founded on a former colonial sisal farm and factory along the ridges of the Maragua River in the then-Murang’a District.
It began with around 100 students in primary school under the 8-4-4 system (Standard 4 to Standard 8) and has since expanded to include high school education.
Munga also owns Pioneer Girls School in Thika, St Paul’s Thomas Academy, and Pioneer International University, as well as serving on the board of Pioneer International University.
8. St Andrew’s School, Turi – Lavers Family 
Peter and Jean Lavers established St Andrew’s School in Turi in 1931. The school is spread across 500 acres of land. When it first opened, it drew children from white settler families all over Molo and its surroundings. Initially, 15 students were accepted into the school.
It was destroyed by fire in 1944 and rebuilt by Italian war prisoners. They began admitting Africans in the 1970s before instituting the IGCSE system for students aged 13 to 18.
It is now regarded as one of the largest international schools in East Africa. According to Business Daily, their fees range from 304,000 to over 800,000.
9. Brookhouse – Mehta Family 
Piyush Mehta, one of the school’s founders, founded Brookhouse in 1981. It is well-known for hosting the presidential debate in 2013.
The cost of attending school ranges from Sh220,000 to over a million. Mehta reportedly made hundreds of millions of dollars from the sale of the school to a UK-based firm called Educas.
10. Hillcrest – Dorothy Noad (Prestigious Schools in Kenya)
Dorothy Noad established Hillcrest as a pre-school in 1965. In 1972, it expanded into an international primary school, and in 1975, it added a high school.
From pre-primary to high school, the school follows the British Curriculum. Since its inception, the institution’s ownership has changed several times.
According to reports, the late Kenneth Matiba purchased the school in 1974. According to a 2019 pulse article, GEMS Education, a Dubai-based firm, purchased the school for Sh2.6 billion. Braeburn Schools purchased it in January 2022.
 11. Woodcreek School – Peter Karoki 
After witnessing his daughter’s educational journey, Peter Karoki founded Woodcreek School.
The school was lied on 11 acres of land set aside for real estate by the accountant by profession.
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The school opened in January 2018 after spending more than Sh200 million. It started with nine students in January 2018 and will have grown to 270 by March 2021.
The British education curriculum is available at the school.
11 Prestigious Schools in Kenya And Their Billionaire Founders

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