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HomeNewsLizzie Wanyoike's Biography: Early life, marriage & divorce, NIBS College & other...

Lizzie Wanyoike’s Biography: Early life, marriage & divorce, NIBS College & other ventures

Lizzie Wanyoike’s Biography: Early life, marriage & divorce NIBS College & other ventures

Lizzie Wanyoike is widely recognized for her achievements, having founded the Nairobi Institute of Business Studies and various other successful enterprises.

Nevertheless, the course of her life was characterized by difficulties, as her family encountered hardships following her father’s association with the Mau Mau movement.

This piece documents her journey, tracing her experiences from the challenges of her youth to the significant impact she made in the fields of education and business. Her lasting legacy extends well beyond the boundaries of the institutions she established.

Early life and education

NIBS founder the late Lizzie Wanyoike

Lizzie Wanyoike came into the world on November 28, 1951, in Murang’a County. Her father initially worked as a teacher before assuming the role of a chief under the precolonial government. Conversely, her mother was engaged in farming.

Lizzie encountered difficulties during her childhood when her father, who had been appointed as chief, was revealed to be associated with the Mau Mau. Consequently, he was incarcerated, leaving her mother to take on the responsibility of caring for Lizzie and her seven siblings.


Wanyoike and her family were confined to a concentration camp by the colonial government. During her time there, she enrolled in primary school. To ease her mother’s responsibilities, she subsequently enrolled at Gathukini Primary School and later attended Kahuhia Girls High School.

After completing a secretarial course in Nakuru, she enrolled at Nakuru High School before pursuing further education at Kenyatta University College, where she obtained a diploma. Eventually, Wanyoike realized her aspiration of becoming a high school teacher.


After finishing her college education, Wanyoike got married and deviated from her initial plan to return home. In 1972, she realized she was expecting a child and established a life with her husband. Concurrently, she embarked on her teaching journey at State House Girls’ School in Nairobi, earning a monthly salary of Sh961.

Nevertheless, she resigned after three years and, together with her husband and associates, established the Temple College of Secretarial Studies in Nairobi. The venture thrived, enabling her to amass savings and make investments in real estate.

Broken marriage

Wanyoike encountered difficulties in her marriage because of a 16-year age gap and divergent interests. The conflict arose from the disparity between her husband’s political pursuits and her preferences, prompting her to decide to leave and begin a fresh chapter in her life.

Venturing into business and establishing NIBS

NIBS College Thika Road Campus

Commencing with her savings, Wanyoike set out to mentor young girls and offer educational opportunities. By 1999, she had accumulated savings amounting to Sh6 million, enabling her to secure a Sh4 million loan to establish the Nairobi Institute of Business Studies (NIBS). Despite facing initial challenges, the business eventually thrived and expanded.

The educational institution, initially commencing with 25 students and two educators, has grown significantly to accommodate more than 6000 students. Wanyoike purchased a 10-acre plot in Ruiru to establish the main campus for NIBS, along with additional satellite campuses situated in Thika Town, Ongata Rongai, Ruiru Kimbo, and Nairobi CBD.

Venturing into hospitality and junior education

Wanyoike founded the Emory Hotel located in Kileleshwa and also established the Lizzie Wanyoike Preparatory School in Ruiru Kiambu County. Internship opportunities are offered to NIBS students at the hotel.

Lizzie Wanyoike’s children

NIBS founder the late Lizzie Wanyoike and her daughter Stella Wanjiru

Lizzie Wanyoike is the parent of Wanyoike Mburu, Stella Wanjiru, and Eric Kariuki, all of whom are presently overseeing and leading the family enterprises.

Illness and death

Lizzie Wanyoike, who fought against cancer, passed away on January 14, 2024. She is commemorated as an influential individual whose influence reached beyond the organization she established.

Lizzie Wanyoike’s Biography: Early life, marriage & divorce NIBS College & other ventures