Richest Kenyan tribes

Which is the richest Kenyan tribe? Here’s an in-depth guide to Kenya’s wealthiest communities. A detailed list of communities that control the Kenyan economy. SURPRISE: no. 1 is not who you’d expect!

The Guide Kenya

This post ranks the top ten most affluent communities, ethnic groups or tribes in Kenya. Kenya has 42 tribes, but the following ten communities control a large portion of the country’s wealth. In this article, you’ll find out what makes these ten communities the wealthiest tribes in Kenya.

Let’s be honest though: just because your tribe is presumed rich doesn’t mean you’ll be rich. Also, if it’s poor, you are not destined to be poor. Success is a personal story, and you have to work up the ladder courageously, alone.

Summary of the richest tribes in Kenya

Richest Kenyan tribes
Richest communities in Kenya

#10 Kamba

The Akamba is the tenth wealthiest community in Kenya. As far as the riches are concerned, the Akamba have a history of aggressive wealth creation. The Kamba people participated in long-distance trade with Arabs and early visitors to Kenya. That was long before ‘civilization’ hit Kenya.

Though they come from the dry Yatta and Nyika Plateau area, Kambas have been able to commit their energy in irrigation, mining, trade, and real estate. Some of them also participate in tourism, business, and agriculture.

#9th Luhya

The Abaluhya is blessed with athleticism, but they are also a wealthy community! The Luhya are Kenya’s number one producers of sugar. The Westerners practice maize farming too. They occupy a fertile agricultural land. Luhyas are mainly farmer, but they also participate in commercial activities.

#8th Somali

Though many people would contest, the Somali rightfully occupy the list of the wealthiest tribes in Kenya. In history, the Cushites were the first community in Kenya (and East Africa in General). They are the sixth most populous tribe in Kenya. Yes, a large number of them languish in the semi-arid and politically unstable Northern Eastern Kenya.

But, a bigger percentage has embraced trade. Kenyan Somali have now invested in sectors of the economy such as retail sales, cloth lines, real estate, mining, and construction. According to the New World Wealth magazine, Kenya’s richest man in the Cement business is a Somali!

#7th Richest Kenyan Tribe: Kisii

The Abagusii being the seventh most affluent ethnic group in Kenya is not be a surprise. They come from a land that supports agriculture. The Kisii tribe (and county) is Kenya’s number one producer for bananas and several other agricultural products.

They also have coffee and tea farms, which provide them with monthly and annual cash. Their aggression in entrepreneurship is only second to that of Indians and probably the Kikuyu.

#6 Embu and Mbeere

The Aembu is one of the Kenyan communities living on the windward side of Mt Kenya. This means they are strategically placed at Kenya’s most fertile agricultural soils. They are known for producing vegetables, market-based products, horticulture, and cash crops. Most of them are well learned, too.

#5 Ameru

The Ameru have a lot to thank nature for their wealth. Meru is one of Kenya’s top ten richest counties in Kenya. They are blessed with the adjacency to the fertile soils on the slopes of Mt Kenya.

Over the years, they have been one of the world’s leaders in producing tea, coffee, pyrethrum, Khat (Miraa) and other agricultural products. That’s how they become number five on the list!

#4 Kalenjin

Agriculture and government-involvement have transformed the Kalenjin community into wealthy people. Most Kalenjins (apart from the Pokot sub-tribe) live in arable land. Those in highlands- such as in Kericho, Iten, and Nandi- do tea and coffee farming.

Others are well known for their toil in cereal production. Without Kalenjins, Kenyans would probably starve. Actually, the Rift Valley is known as the ‘basket of Kenya.’ Eighty percent of the local maize sold in Kenya is from the Kalenjin-rich lands.

Also, Kalenjins dominate the list of the wealthiest politicians in Kenya. Moi, Biwott, and Joshua Kulei’s families are part of the top 5 most moneyed families in East Africa!

#3 Maasai 

The Maasai might not necessarily be as entrepreneurship as other Kenyans. But since history, they have held the helms of power in Kenya. Before colonization, they literally ruled the country. Their morans owned and named most of the land in the country, e.g., Nairobi, Nanyuki, Nakuru, etc.

World Bank ranks Kajiado-Maasai land- as the most productive county in Kenya, only second to Nairobi. The Maasai deserve the bronze for the wealthiest community in Kenya.

They are not too many and have large tracts of land and cattle. Their culture allows for communal ownership of property, though the government is issuing title deeds to these days.

Their per capita income is higher than nearly any other tribe in Kenya. On average, a Maasai can afford 100,000 annually as fees for their kids.

#2 Kikuyu

Forget the hype and fluff you get on the internet- the Agikuyu are not the most affluent in Kenya! In a short read, you’ll get to know who does!

Though many sources claim Kikuyu is the no. 1 wealthiest ethnic group in Kenya, they are factually second. But the Agikuyu are a fantastic group of people! Though their population is higher than any other Kenyan ethnic group, Kikuyu’s lower class is known for its involvement in farming and small-scale businesses. At least, Central Kenya, their cradle, is a rich fertile agricultural land for cash crops.

The Kikuyu middle class forms a large section of learned people in the country. The Kikuyu aristocrats control nearly all sectors of the Kenyan economy. The wealthy among them control the banking, mortgage, real estate, education, media, ICT, and, petroleum sectors. About 60% of all the top 100 Kenyans with self-made wealth are Kikuyus. If the Kikuyu are not the richest Kenyan tribe, then who is?

No. #1 Richest Kenyan Tribe: Kenyan Indians

After coming to Kenya towards the end of the 19th Century, Kenyan Indians have perpetually invested vigorously. They used the money received as wages for the construction of the Kenya-Uganda railway, to start businesses across the country.

The small population has extremely gifted entrepreneurs. Indians have invested in telecommunication, insurance, construction, education, and production of household goods. The two richest Kenyans, according to Forbes Magazine, are Indians.

That brings us to the end of our list. Do you agree with it? Is there a community you believe deserves to have been in this list? Let’s know in the comment section below.

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