Court battle reveals billionaire behind Jade Collection empire

Mzee Samuel Mburu is said to be worth at least Sh7 billion with investments in property.

Jade Collections founder Banice Mburu

A court battle has revealed the billionaire behind the Jade Collection apparel empire which has stores in Nairobi, Eldoret, Thika, and Nakuru.

Mzee Samuel Mburu is said to be worth at least Sh7 billion with investments in property.

One of the biggest banks in Kenya has rented out his entire building,” an insider told Pulse Live.

According to those in the know, Mzee likes to keep to himself and despite being one of the wealthiest people in Eldoret, not much is known about him and his family.

The billionaire who is in his 80s also owns large tracts of prime land in Rift Valley and major towns across the country.

Though he is the financial muscle behind the apparel stores, the business is a brainchild of his daughter Banice Mburu.

Having decided to follow my dream, I started my journey into business in 2000 by opening my first exhibition table in Nakuru which soon became too small to contain my dreams. I later opened my own exhibition called Millennium and set aside half of it for my own products which I sourced from Dubai.

I leased the remaining half to other exhibitors. Within no time the ambitious me, needed a bigger challenge, so in 2004 I got a shop in Embassy house Nairobi which soon led to the expansion of a second shop. It was during this same period that I ventured into supplying fashion items to supermarkets,” Banice shared in a past interview.

She opted to concentrate on business in Nairobi, leaving the Nakuru Shops under the trusted care of her sister.

By 2005 most of her time was spent traveling to the Far East and Turkey, and it was during this period that Banice made the decision to close down the two shops at Embassy House and fully concentrate in the supply business.

This went well until 2007 when her biggest customer ordered a 40-foot container of assorted supplies.

Unfortunately the client would later call to cancel the order. Unfortunately, the shipment was already in transit to Mombasa.

I was taken aback because I did not have a warehouse or a shop. I had apparently zeroed in on that one major customer whose consignments I used to deliver directly to their warehouse.

I later came to learn that my client had, without alerting me, started bringing in their own goods. This unexpected turn of events marked the birth of Jade Collection retail,” she added.

The first store was opened along Tom Mboya Street in 2008 and as business improved she expanded to other towns.

Inheritance Row

The family patriarch Mzee Mburu is battling a case against his grandsons, Kevin Wakaimba and Ivan Wakaimba, who have accused him of locking them out of their father's property.

Kevin and Ivan want the court to compel their grandfather to include them in the share of their late father’s empire so that they can use part of the wealth to complete their university and college studies.

The two have accused Mburu of selling their father's land at Sh100 million after he died in a vehicle accident.

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