Nairobi Institute of Business Studies Founder Lizzie Wanyoike Dies

Wanyoike, credited with significant contributions to Kenya's education sector first-hand, died on Sunday, January 14

Nairobi Institute of Business Studies Founder Lizzie Wanyoike Dies
The late Lizzie Wanyoike who founded NIBS college. /STANDARD DIGITAL

Elizabeth Muthoni Wanyoike, known to many as Lizzie Wanyoike, who was the founder of the iconic Nairobi Institute of Business Studies (NIBS), is dead.

Wanyoike, credited with significant contributions to Kenya's education sector first-hand, died on Sunday, January 14, according to a family member who revealed to the press.

"In loving memory of a remarkable educator. Her passion ignited minds, her kindness touched hearts. A beacon of wisdom, she left an indelible mark on countless lives, shaping futures with grace," read her eulogy.

The late Lizzie Wanyoike who founded NIBS College. /FILE

A source close to the family member revealed to the press that Wanyoike had battled an illness since 2023.

Plans for her funeral and burial are currently underway. Wanyoike was also the founder of the Emory Hotel and Lizzie Preparatory Schools.

Former Inooro TV News anchor Winrose Wangui was among Kenyans who condoled with Wanyoike's family noting that her death was 'very devastating.'

The businesswoman, educator, entrepreneur and philanthropist has been through a lot of challenges throughout her life but she persevered and overcame them to become a leader in the industry.

She rose from being a humble teacher earning Ksh961 per month, to an epitome of success and a role model to all young girls, women and society alike. Viral Tea takes a look at her biography:

Lizzie Wanyoike Early Life

Wanyoike was born in 1951 in Murang’a County to a Village chief (father and a peasant farmer (mother). The sixth born in a family of 10 attended Gathuki-ini Primary School, in Wathenge and then joined Kahuhia Girls High School, in Karuri, both in Muranga County.

After High School, she joined Kenyatta University College (present-day Kenyatta University) and graduated with a Diploma in Education.


The Wanyoike's humble beginnings in her career began in 1970 when she worked as a tutor and principal at a city college.

She was poached by the government and posted to State House Girls Nairobi as a teacher in 1972, earning a monthly salary of Ksh961. Later on, she realised that she was bound to be something better than being employed.

Together with her husband and other partners, they founded Temple College of Secretarial Studies where she taught secretarial courses.

Wanyoike later felt a desire for expansion by introducing newer courses into the school's curriculum. She approached management with new ideas regarding new courses and curriculums they were to implement but the proposals were rejected.

“I was pushing for the introduction of more courses other than secretarial units, to meet the growing demand for education, but the management would not listen. And even though the institution was making a profit, I was concerned about the growing demand for training in other areas.

“By 1999 I was sure that the realities of a moving global economy required more challenging ventures to tap into the immense benefits of a globalised economy. I quit that partnership,” she stated in a past interview.


With a loan of Ksh6 million and a loan of Ksh4 million from a local bank, Wanyoike founded NIBS in 1999 by renting a building where she kicked off the institution with just 25 students and two teachers.

The institution got to a rocky start but gathered momentum in later years. By 2010, she had raised Ksh134 million with which she built the college’s main campus on a 10-acre piece of land in Ruiru-Kimbo, Kiambu County.

By 2018, the College had grown to a population of over 6,000 students, and 250 tutors spread across four campuses which included Ongata Rongai, Thika Town, Nairobi Central Business District and Ruiru-Kimbo.

An image of NIBS College along Moi Avenue in Nairobi. /FILE

Other investments

Other than education, the late Wanyoike constructed a Ksh400 million hotel in Kileleshwa in 2018 and christened it the NIBS Hotel. This was with a view of establishing a five-star hotel that would attract revenue for the school while also providing an attachment and internship environment for NIBS' hospitality students.

She has also diversified her investment portfolio to include sectors such as real estate and the financial markets.


Before her demise, Wanyoike was married to her husband for 25 years before they parted ways. He was 16 years older than her.

Differences in marriage starting from preferences in interests and interactions due to their age differences, resulted in quarrels.

He was into politics, and she had her interests, so on some occasions, they differed on what should be done and how.