Lizzie Wanyoike's name is synonymous with success having established Nairobi Institute of Business Studies and other thriving ventures.
Lizzie Wanyoike's Biography: Early life, marriage & divorce NIBS College & other ventures
Wanyoike also established the Emory Hotel in Kileleshwa and Lizzie Wanyoike Preparatory School in Ruiru Kiambu County
However, her journey through life was marked by challenges, with her family facing adversity after her father's involvement with the Mau Mau movement.
This article chronicles her life, from the hardships of her early years to her impactful contributions in education and business, leaving an enduring legacy that reaches far beyond the confines of the institutions she founded.
Early life and education
Lizzie Wanyoike was born in November 28, 1951 in Murang'a County to a father who was a teacher before he was appointed as a chief by the precolonial government. Her mother, on the other hand, was a farmer.
Lizzie, however, faced hardships growing up after her father was discovered to be working for the Mau Mau following his appointment as chief. He was thrown into jail, leaving her mother to care for her and her seven siblings.
Wanyoike and her family were placed in a concentration camp by the colonial government, where she attended primary school. She joined Gathukini Primary School and later Kahuhia Girls High School to relieve her mother of other duties.
She later pursued a secretarial course in Nakuru and joined Nakuru High School before attending Kenyatta University College, where she earned a diploma. Wanyoike fulfilled her dream of becoming a high school teacher.
After completing college, Wanyoike got married and did not return home as planned. In 1972, she discovered she was pregnant and settled down with her husband while starting her teaching career at State House Girls' School in Nairobi, earning Sh961 a month.
However, she quit after three years and, along with her husband and partners, opened the Temple College of Secretarial Studies in Nairobi. The business prospered, allowing her to accumulate savings and invest in land.
Wanyoike's marriage faced challenges due to a 16-year age difference and differing interests. Her husband's political focus clashed with her own interests, leading her to leave and start anew.
Venturing into business and establishing NIBS
Starting with savings, Wanyoike aimed to mentor young girls and provide education. By 1999, she had Sh6 million in savings, securing a Sh4 million loan to establish the Nairobi Institute of Business Studies (NIBS). Although the business initially struggled, it grew over time.
The school, which began with 25 students and 2 teachers, expanded to over 6000 students. Wanyoike acquired a 10-acre piece of land in Ruiru for the NIBS main campus, with satellite campuses in Thika Town, Ongata Rongai, Ruiru Kimbo, and Nairobi CBD.
Venturing into hospitality and junior education
Wanyoike established the Emory Hotel in Kileleshwa and Lizzie Wanyoike Preparatory School in Ruiru Kiambu County. The hotel provides NIBS students with internship opportunities.
Lizzie Wanyoike's children
Lizzie Wanyoike has three children, Wanyoike Mburu, Stella Wanjiru, and Eric Kariuki, who currently manage and direct their family businesses.
Illness and death
Lizzie Wanyoike passed away on January 14, 2024, after battling cancer. She is remembered as a transformative figure whose impact extended beyond the institute she founded.
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