Today’s MCM is Steve Mbogo; a man known as one of East Africa’s Forbes richest men under 30 and through his extravagant spending.
Recently, he hired a private yatch for USD400,000 (Ksh 40 million), which hosted R’n’B singer and birthday boy Trey Songz and Big Sean, who staged a live performance. This was after spending Ksh 10 Million on his birthday party a few weeks before.
Mbogo owns shares and is the Chief Executive Officer of a luxury goods company known as Capital Flow Enterprises, a diversified conglomerate with approximately USD130 Million (Ksh 13 billion) in revenue.
The international commodities trading company, specializing in freight forwarding, is operational in four continents with offices in over 60 countries.
He owns twelve four star hotels across the country, thirty two apartment blocks in Nairobi, two insurance companies in Uganda, six night clubs in Nakuru, Kisumu and Nairobi.
Additionally, he jointly owns and manages two law firms and three stock brokerage companies.
Speaking to Citizen Digital, he defines himself as a businessman, youth leader and philanthropist.
He said: “I have never worked for anyone; I asked myself, why don’t I create jobs for people instead of being employed.”
Where does he really get his money?
“The business that makes a lot of money is commodities, petroleum products, from 3 to 4 million liters, barrels all over the world.” He said.
“Russian Mazout, supplying Swaziland and Nigeria, We have markets everywhere, even Kenya. We have very many clients and very many suppliers,” he added.
“We get petroleum and its products from Russia, Nigeria, Sudan, Iran and Arabic countries.”
Mbogo has a clearing and forwarding company both by air and sea and has partnered with various companies that own vessels for the petroleum transport.
However, the flamboyant Mbogo refused to disclose all the sources of his questionable wealth saying; “Of course, I can’t tell you how I make every coin, I cannot disclose all my sources of wealth.”
How did he achieve all this?
“I learnt the Warren Buffet style in business; You invest in more than 10,000 ideas but you have shares in the business.”
“Another thing is that most of my companies are international. This is because their structures and systems are more favorable. We need to change the by-laws in Kenya. Markets in Kenya are not favorable,” Mbogo said.
“A human being is a product of his thought and what you think, you become,” says Mbogo.
“In life, everything I’ve wanted I’ve gotten, and everything I want I will get simply because I synchronize my thinking with my goals and ambitions.”
Its not all about the money
Even though he has all these businesses and three homes in Karen, Lavington and Runda, he says that he does not value money.
“I don’t value money, and I will never, that’s why I can use up to USD1 million in 3 days. For me, the most important thing is success and I ensure that anything I do, I am successful.”
“If you only work for money, then it is not long-term and you can’t even enjoy it,” he said. “Anytime you are successful, you will make money, money is a by product of success.”
Where did it all start?
The entrepreneur went to Aquinas High School but dropped out in form three due to financial constraints.
“I started selling scrap metal, in Bahati estate when I was in form three.”
“Street children would collect metal and drop them at Bahati Primary and I became the middleman between the street families and the Indians who used to buy them,” he said.
After a month, the business-minded teenager was managing 2 to 3 tonnes a week, it was not a lot of money but he saved.
He then ventured into the mobile phones industry and sold numerous types of phones.
“I think I was one of the first people to sell Windows phones, sell them at Sarit Centre through advertising.”
“You don’t say that I can only do this one thing; you have capacities to do everything,” went philosopher Mbogo once again.
This is how he managed to garner school fees to pay for the remaining two high school years.
When he cleared high school, he was fortunate enough to acquire a scholarship and flew to Cairo, Egypt where he did his undergraduate and after, his postgraduate in Australia.
“I love education and I believe the only thing you can invest in yourself is quality education because information is power, knowledge is key,” he said.
One of his dreams up to date was to own one of the biggest airlines and this is what prompted him to go to flying school.
Has the education lover finished his studies? Contrary, he is doing his second degree right now on Business Law.
A typical day in the life of Steve Mbogo
The entrepreneur can go to bed at 4:00am and wake up by 6:30am to start the day.
He will then Work out by jogging or swimming.
Every morning at 9:00 am, the 29-year-old is made aware of everything to detail about his businesses.
“I know each and everything that works in all my businesses in the over 60 countries,” he said.
“I have very good systems, structures and family, loyal people who work for me.”
Meetings will take over through the day sometimes up to midnight.
He has several officers to manage his assets located Westlands, Lavington and Go Downs and Visions Company at Wilson Airport and another in JKIA.
Mbogo is single. He is looking for a genuine lady out there.
He has been seen in most parties with light-skins and has even captioned one of his pictures on Instagram “Ma light skin tu” but is this what he is looking for?
“I think maybe light skins like me, way back I used to date only light skins but as I grew up,” he said. “I only judge the content of the character of the lady.”
He also loves being around family, even though the relationship with his dad was salty, due to the split with his mum, they were able to come together and are stronger now.
His next move?
Mbogo is not stopping, he wants more; thin line between wanting it for himself or for the country.
He runs a political party, PONA which he says wants to ‘ponesha’ (heal) the country from the many undoings.
He is vying for presidency in 2017 and his running mate is Babu Owino.
“It is not about money, it is about articulating the issues the country is facing,” he said.
“I am not power hungry, I am only hungry for change. I want to either be the biggest, greatest politician or best biggest businessman and change this country.”