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From Rags to Riches: The Inspiring Story of Mzee Jackson Kibor

Mzee Jackson Kibor was born in Kipkabus, Uasin Gishu County in 1934.

At the time, his mother had moved with him to Nandi County before her death but he went back to Kipkabus and began doing casual jobs at a tanning facility in the area.

Mzee Kibor’s Journey

His is a well-known rags-to-riches tale. Before independence, a young Kibor worked as a farm laborer for a settler white farmer.

In 1958, he was engaged to drive vehicles for local farmer Jonathan Kibogi (who is now deceased), where he was earning Sh75 a month.

How did this former cop amass so much money?

Would you believe it if I told you that Kibor made his wealth playing darts?

Kibor developed his darts abilities at the police college, and when a competition pitting contenders from Kenya, Uganda, and Tanzania came calling, he was at his best.

It was an East African event. My win was captured in the dailies to the surprise of my family and friends. The car was valued at Sh17, 600.

In an interview with The Nairobian Mzee Kibor narrated

“I used to take poles and firewood to school to pay fees, but when I was in Standard Five, they insisted on money — which I didn’t have.” I dropped out of school. My mother died when I was very young, and I never saw my father.”

He is described as a dedicated and astute investor by those who know him.

“From Press reports, people take him to be a very belligerent man, but he is only worried that those close to him might mismanage the property that he has accumulated over the years,” says Peter Rono, a farmer at Ziwa.

“He invested heavily in mechanised farming, buying tractors and harvesters. He later acquired heavy trucks to ferry goods from Mombasa to Kampala,” adds Rono.

ALSO READ: DP Ruto, Orengo lead Kenyans in mourning Mzee Kibor

Kibor says he saved enough money after driving over East Africa selling Kibogi’s agricultural supplies to buy his own piece of land, 836 acres at Kipkabus.

I used to drive lorries transporting maize and potatoes across East Africa, life was tough and I learnt the important lesson of saving my salary. After some time accumulated an amount I used to purchase my own potatoes that I sold in Kampala.

He added: “I used to buy a bag of potatoes at Sh6 per bag in Chepkorio and Metkei areas using Sh3 per bag for brokers and transport, while in Kampala I would sell a bag at Sh16. I saved the profits which I used to buy my own Canter lorry and got another lorry shortly after.

“I had saved about Sh40,000, which was a very large amount of money at the time, and also secured a bank loan that the government guaranteed local Kenyans to buy land from departing white setters.”


Kibor was elected head of the Wareng county council in 1981, which included the current Uasin Gishu county. He became one of the wealthiest persons in the country during his three-year reign.

“I was a no-nonsense man at the helm and during my tenure we became the only council with a cash surplus. We were the first council to buy our own road construction machinery,” he recalled.

He was a well-known farmer and politician who served as a Kanu chairman in Uasin Gishu under the administration of departed President Daniel Moi.

Later, he split with Moi and joined ODM.

Marriage, Family Life and Controversies

He settled with his first wife, Mary, on this initial property, which he used to establish his successful agricultural business, which now comprises the 1,543-acre Mafuta Farm at Kebenes, 357 acres in Moiben, and a 1,160-acre dairy farm in Kitale.

Kibor divorced both of his spouses in less than a year before turning his firearms on his four sons. Disputes between him and sons occasionally necessitated police action.

He divorced Jepkoech after 53 years of marriage two months before filing an application to dissolve his marriage to Jeptoo after 43 years of marriage.

Kibor then sued two of his sons, alleging that they trespassed on his 1,543-acre farm, causing him anguish and tarnishing his reputation.

Kibor told The Standard that he has no issues with his 25 children, with the exception of his four kids from his marriage with Naomi, whom he accuses of causing him sleepless nights.

“My first wife Mary had nine children on our farm in Kitale, but two died. The second one had eight, although I don’t think one was mine. Naomi has six but one died and now Yunita has four children,” he said.

Mzee Kibor’s death

Some years ago, Jackson Kiprotich Kibor stated that he was ready to die.

Kibor told the Star in an exclusive interview that he was ready to die after having the most chaotic and satisfying life he could. He claimed to have seen and done everything.

“I have done all that I could and in the best way possible. I guess no one can say I am a bad person and when God takes me away any time I will have no regrets,” Kibor said.


Jackson Kiprotich Kibor passed away yesterday at St Luke’s hospital in Eldoret, according to his family.

He passed away at the age of 89.



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