Hawker to jet setter: Kennedy Rapudo rubbishes money laundering claims
Businessman Kennedy Rapudo has opened up about his journey from humble beginnings to building a successful business empire.
The 37-year-old entrepreneur, father of four, and private individual shared his early life experiences and the trials that shaped his path to success.
Born in Mombasa but raised in various places due to his mother’s work-related movements, Rapudo spoke about growing up in Migori County and the impact of being raised by his grandmother.
“It was the best life. I was the youngest grandchild and I was treated so nicely,” Rapudo told Oga Obinna.
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Rapudo revealed that he attended the same school as Babu Owino, the Member of Parliament for Embakasi East.
He shared anecdotes about their time together, describing Babu as cheeky yet funny.
“I was a chopii (clever) than him but Babu was very cheeky but very funny at the same time,” he said.
Rapudo lost both his parents during his second year of high school, leading him to drop out for two years.
With the help of a kind-hearted individual, he was able to resume his education at a school in Kawangware.
“I dropped out of school for nearly two years before I got a good Samaritan who paid my fees in a school in Kawangware. I had lost both parents. I was paying sh500 school fees per month.”
Despite facing challenges and limitations, Rapudo’s determination shone through as he attained a B+ grade in his studies.
“I got a B+ and the school did not have a library. That is why I did not get an A.”
Rapudo pursued higher education at the University of Nairobi, studying Bachelor of Arts before achieving a master’s degree in project planning management.
He revealed that he engaged in various odd jobs including hawking thermos and attempting entrepreneurial ventures in agriculture.
“I used to make like 500 bob. I went back in shags and also did bake bricks and tried keeping poultry. They died all of them.”
He then secured a job in an oil company and later ventured into the taxi business.
Recognizing the potential in tourism, he established his own company that continues to thrive, even amidst the challenges posed by the Covid-19 pandemic.
“Then I started a taxi business. I later worked in a tourism company and realized there is so much money and I got confused. I opened my own company and it still operates since the Covid period.”
Rapudo emphasized his desire for privacy as a private citizen, sharing only what he deems necessary for the public to know, especially if appointed by the government.
“I am a private citizen and that is why I don’t reveal too much about what I do. Any other thing I do, I can only present to the public if appointed by the government.”
Rapudo is currently dating Socialite Amber Ray and they have a daughter together.
He said that his most cherished role is that of a father.
He spoke fondly of his 12-year-old daughter, born while he was in his second year of university.
Despite the challenges, he stood by her and expressed gratitude for the entrepreneurship spirit she ignited in him.
Rapudo’s family expanded to include a seven-year-old son and his youngest child, Afrikanah.
Rapudo was interviewed by Oga Obinna on his YouTube live on Monday, 7 August.