Nairobi school asks parents to pay KSh 560K per student for a trip to France

Makini Schools is one of the country’s most exquisite learning institutions, and the parents have deep pockets.

A recent circular shared with parents indicated that students would go on a foreign school trip later in the year, each paying good money.

The trip will see students visit England and France, taking nine days and eight nights.

Each parent will have to fork out over KSh 560,000, and some areas they will visit include Arsenal’s home grounds Emirates Stadium, a tour of London and Disneyworld Paris Theme Park.

According to reports, each interested student must have a passport, and the money will cover visa application, a return ticket and full board accommodation.

“The only thing not included is the students’ pocket money.”

The rise and rise of Makini Schools

Makini Schools is a leader in the Kenyan system of education and Cambridge curricula.

“We provide the Kenyan and Cambridge curricula drawing from global best practice with a child centered approach. We educate the whole child to be ready for life and work in the modern world while aiming to make Makini a world class school.”


Makini will actively encourage and facilitate: The formation of each student’s moral character, unique skills, capabilities and talents; the creation of a strong communal ethos of social responsibility; and the achievement of the highest possible academic results.


Makini’s vision is to provide quality education at affordable cost and to create centres of excellence in which each child will develop: the highest possible moral, academic, cultural and sporting standards; a wide range of interests, capacities and talents; a strong sense of social responsibility and carry these values into adult life.


The school was founded by Okello and her husband Pius Okello under the name Riara Gardens Academy, before it was changed to Makini Schools.

The mother of three noted that she saw a need to start the institution following a drop in the standards of education.

“A class would have 70 or 80 students per teacher so we felt there was something that we needed to do.”

The learning institution has since grown into a reputable institution with a number of schools including; Makini Cambridge, Makini Ngong Road Campus (Pre and Primary School), Makini Ngong Road Campus – High School, Makini Junior Academy, State House Avenue (Pre & Lower Primary), Makini Junior School Migosi, Makini School Kibos and Makini School Kisumu.

Mary Okello

Mary Okello’s rise to the Kenya’s billionaires’ club is a story of a woman who has realised her holy grail through blood, sweat and tears.

Mrs. Okello sold 71% stake in Makini Group of Schools in April at a price estimated to be a whooping Ksh1billion.

She sold the school to UK investor Scholé Limited and Advtech Limited, a South African company with interests in education.

“A 71 per cent interest in Makini School Limited (via Schole Mauritius Limited) was acquired on 1 May 2018 for a consideration of R130.8 million (an equivalent of Ksh930 million),” Advtech in a trading update two weeks ago.

The prestigious Makini group of schools was founded by Dr. Okello and her late husband Dr. Pius Okello under the name Riara Gardens Academy in 1978. At the time, it only had eight students and was located at a colonial bungalow where Dr. Okello and her late husband lived.

In 1996 the school was divided into three sections – junior, middle and upper sections. The same year, the Makini academy was created for secondary school and enrolled 27 boys in form 1. The following year, it began admitting girls.

Currently, the school has four campuses: the Ngong Road (mother) campus, the Makini Junior Academy on State House Avenue, the Migosi and the Kibos campus both in Kisumu. It is now a respected institution and is renowned for good academic performance in Africa with around 3,200 students from Kindergarten to Grade 12.

Makini additionally has a number of offshoots which include Makini College, Makini Training Consultancy, Boresha Limited which specializes in creating digital content.

Also within the family’s vast business empire is AFBE, the first association of Family Business Enterprises in Kenya.

In an interview with Parents Magazine in November 2017, Dr. Okello described herself as a Christian and a woman of strong faith which goes a long way in explaining how she has built an empire that many people can only dream about.

She is the daughter to Canon Jeremiah Awori, an Anglican clergyman and hails from a family of some of Kenya’s biggest names including former Vice President Moody Awori and Nelson Awori, the pioneer cardiologist in Kenya.

Dr. Akello went to Alliance Girls High School for her A-Levels after which she joined the Kenya Prisons briefly as a cadet.

The mother of three later proceeded to Makerere University where she acquired her Bachelor’s Degree in History.

After her undergraduate studies, Dr. Okello worked a short stint at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs before discovering that she did not have the diplomatic nous needed to last there

“I didn’t consider myself diplomatic enough for that career,” she said during the same interview.

She would later head to Barclays Bank for a graduate trainee job, a position she got after being thwarted countless times for being a woman.

Dr. Okello was sent to London for a management trainee program where she met her husband Pius in 1968. Shortly after, they got married in the British capital.

The latter died in a grissly road accident in 2004 which the former has described as the most painful occurence in her life.


Among awards that she has received is the Moran of the Order of Burning Spear (MBS) for her contribution to education in the country.

She attributes her success to her hardworking and God-fearing parents.

“My mother juggled several roles including teaching, midwifery and being a social worker, and my dad’s pioneering spirit in establishing churches, his courage and high principles in whatever he did remain admirable values to me.”

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