By Evelyne Syombua
Billionaire businessman Chris Kirubi, who was also the chairman of Capital Group Limited, died of cancer in his home on Monday at 1pm.
“It is with great sadness that we announce the passing of Dr. Christopher J. Kirubi who passed away today at 1 pm at his home after a long battle with cancer fought with fortitude, grace and courage,” his family said in a statement, adding, “he was surrounded by his family.”
Kirubi who has been fighting cancer since 2016, leaves behind two children. Before the call of death, he tweeted.
“Top of the morning to you, my dear friend. It doesn’t have to be a tiring Monday. Instead, I bring to you good tidings of favour, success, achievements and happiness in the new week.” Said Kirubi. “Give yourself a go towards your success plan. Enjoy today and the rest of your week.”
“I have received the shocking news of the passing away of my friend Chris Kirubi with a lot of sadness. The cruel hand of death has robbed our nation of a patriot whose entrepreneurial spirit, hard work and determination saw him create some of our county’s largest enterprises which offer employment to thousands of our people,” mourned President Kenyatta.
Kirubi was diagnosed with colon cancer in November 2017 and he was taken to the US for treatment. At that time, he said the cancer was detected early enough to be managed successfully.
In an interview with BDLife in January 2020, Kirubi shared about his battle with cancer and his thoughts on death.
“One thing I have come to discover is that in the end, you’re alone. Your friends may love you, but eventually, you have to deal with your sickness personally. You think about the past, the things that you could have done, the things that you have not done and what you can do to compensate for things you ignored. It is a time of reflection. And prayers from friends do help a lot,” said Kirubi.
Kirubi was a director of Centum Investment Company, one of the largest investors in the group. Business seems to have ran though his blood vessels as he was the chairman of DHL Express Kenya Limited, Haco Industries Kenya Limited, Kiruma International Limited, International House Limited, Nairobi Bottlers Limited, Sandvik East Africa Limited and 98.4 Capital FM.
In addition, he was the Deputy Chairman of Bayer East Africa Limited and a non-executive director UAP Provincial Insurance Company Limited and Beverage Services of Kenya Limited.
In 2011, Forbes ranked Kirubi as the second richest Kenyan and the 31st richest man in Africa with a net worth of USD300million. However, in 2012, he was dropped from the list of the continent’s 40 richest people.
Kirubi was born in a poor family and at a young age. He worked during school holidays to support himself and his siblings after the death of his parents. He defied the rule of fate and circumstances by becoming prosperous despite his background.