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Prof Simon Gicharu - MKU billionaire appointed by Ruto to chair KICD [Biography]

Professor Simon Gicharu is also the brains behind Cape Media which houses TV47 and Radio 47

President William Ruto and Prof Simon Gicharu

Simon Gicharu, the founder of Mount Kenya University (MKU), has been appointed as the Chairperson of the Kenya Institute of Curriculum Development (KICD) by President William Ruto, effective immediately.

This significant appointment marks the continuation of a remarkable journey for Gicharu, who has consistently demonstrated resilience and determination in his career.

Gicharu's career has been marked by notable leadership positions, including his role as the Chairman of the Rural Electrification and Renewable Energy Corporation and the National Private Universities Owners Association of Kenya.

Behind this billionaire businessman lies a story of tenacity and unyielding determination that have propelled him to his current standing.


Born in 1964 in Gathiruini village, Kiambu County, Gicharu is the firstborn in a family of seven siblings.

His parents, Stephen Gicharu and Alice Wambui Gicharu, worked as peasant farmers, and the family's income was often insufficient. To supplement their earnings, Gicharu and his siblings worked on coffee farms.

Gicharu's educational journey began at Kiawairia Primary School, followed by Gathiruini Secondary School.


He later attended Murang'a High School, where he served as the captain in his final year. After completing high school, he pursued a Bachelor of Science degree in Mathematics and Chemistry at Kenyatta University.

In 1995, he received a scholarship to study Managing Enterprise Development at Cranfield University in Britain, further enhancing his academic and entrepreneurial skills.


Gicharu's career commenced as a secondary school teacher before he transitioned to teaching at Jomo Kenyatta University of Agriculture and Technology and Thika Technical Training Institute.

However, his entrepreneurial journey truly began when he was fired by the Teachers Service Commission.

Facing adversity, he initially started selling milk to support his family, even using an old pick-up for deliveries.

His determination to make the best of the situation prevailed despite the initial scepticism from his friends.

Upon returning to Kenya from Cranfield University, he established the Kenya Entrepreneurship Promotion Program (KEPP), which later evolved into Thika School of Management Studies (TSMS).


TSMS initially offered management courses before becoming Thika Institute of Technology in 2003.

In 2008, Thika Institute of Technology was granted permission to operate as a private university under the name Mount Kenya University (MKU).

Three years later, the institution received full charter status from the Commission of University Education, solidifying its position as a reputable higher education institution.


Today, MKU boasts a nationwide presence with an additional branch in Rwanda, extending its commitment to providing quality education.

Beyond education, Gicharu ventured into the media industry through Cape Media, the parent company of TV47 and Radio 47.

TV47, despite being just three years old, has established itself as one of Kenya's fastest-growing TV stations. Radio 47, which was launched in March 2023, has already garnered a significant following.



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