Esther Passaris

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Esther Passaris
Esther M. Passaris.png
Personal details
Born (1964-10-20) 20 October 1964 (age 55)
Political partyOrange Democratic Movement
(Since 2017)[1]
ResidenceNairobi, Kenya[2]
Alma materStrathmore University
(Advanced Management Program)
University of London
(Diploma in Law)
United States International University Africa
(BSc International Business Administration)[3]

Esther Muthoni Passaris OGW (born 20 October 1964) is a Kenyan social entrepreneur, philanthropist and politician. She is the Nairobi County women representative in the bicameral Kenyan parliament,[4] and a member of the Orange Democratic Movement (ODM) Political Party.[1]

Early life[edit]

Passaris was born in the coastal city of Mombasa to a Greek father and a Kenyan Kikuyu mother. She attended the Aga Khan Academies for her primary and secondary education.[5] She enrolled in the Advanced Management Program course at Strathmore Business School, a program that was conducted in December 2006 between Strathmore University and the University of Navarra. She also has a Diploma in Law from the University of London.[5] In October 2017, Passaris graduated from the United States International University Africa, in Nairobi, with a BSc International Business Administration.[3]

Hon. Passaris now holds a bachelor's degree in International Business Administration from United States International University (USIU - Africa) and she is also a Vital Voices (VV) Fellow. In June 2019, she was appointed to the Political Bureau of the Africa Forum for Urban Safety (AFUS) as an Executive Member to develop and implement urban safety and crime prevention policies and programs in East Africa. In recognition of her dedication to poverty eradication through business incubation, Hon. Passaris was nominated to become Senator for Kenya to the World Business Angels Investments Forum (WBAF). Other notable international recognition include the “Exceptional Women of Excellence” Award conferred at the Women Economic Forum 2019 in India, New Delhi.

Public and political career[edit]

Honorable Esther M Passaris, OGW is a Member of Parliament representing Nairobi County at The National Assembly since August 2017. She is an accomplished social entrepreneur, business and political leader.

In the National Assembly, Hon. Passaris is an active member of the Committee on Health and the Special Funds Account Committee. She is also a founding member of the Kenya Parliamentary Caucus on Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) & Business and an active member of the Kenyan chapter of the African Parliamentarians Against Corruption (APNAC). Internationally, Hon Passaris is a member of the Global Tuberculous Caucus and the Global Equality Caucus.

Esther Passaris is a known public figure in Kenya, who has sparked some controversy by her statements about other Kenyan politicians and businessmen.[6] She has been a runner-up in Miss Kenya contest and is actively campaigning for the rights of women in Kenya.[7]

In 2002, Hon. Passaris established Adopt-A-Light Ltd; the pioneer lighting and outdoor advertising company through which she is credited with revolutionizing the outdoor advertising scene and successfully introducing the concept of Public Private Partnership (PPP) in Kenya by implementing a multi-million US dollars project to install lighting infrastructure in the streets of Nairobi and in informal settlements.

Through her Adopt a Light organization, Passaris has signed a deal with Nairobi city authorities in order to: "Restore decrepit street lighting in exchange for advertising rights on the lamp posts."[8]

Passaris ran for the women's representative for Nairobi County during the 2013 Kenyan general election,[9] and was also a candidate for the post of Mayor of Nairobi. She is currently the Nairobi Women's Representative.[10]

Esther is also very vocal about the community and human rights. This makes her spend a significant amount of time with the community doing mentorship programs and speaking engagements in social forums like Fatuma's Voice. She was also CEO and the founder of "One in a Million" campaign which was operating under Driving Kenya Forward, a non-profit charitable organization, aimed at fighting development challenges in Kenya, such as poverty and unemployment, and promoting urban and rural development.[11]

Personal life[edit]

Honorable Esther M Passaris is married to businessman Pius Ngugi. They have two children together; Makenna Maria (24) and Lefteris Pierce (20).


  • 2016 Most influential women in business and government by CEO Global, South Africa
  • 2009 UN Habitat Business Awards by UN Habitat[12]
  • 2008 Order of Grand Warrior (OGW) by former President of Kenya, Mwai Kibaki.
  • 2006, she was honored with the Mashiriki Innovations in Local Governance Award and National Human Settlement Award by UN-HABITAT. That same year, Adopt-A-Light won Company of the Year Awards (COYA) in recognition of its corporate citizenship management.
  • 2004, Hon Passaris was awarded the Eve Woman of the Year Award, Make a Difference Award and the Mayoral Achievement Award.


  1. ^ a b Isoe, Alex (2 April 2017). "Esther Passaris Officially Joins ODM". Nairobi: Retrieved 5 June 2018.
  2. ^ Wasuna, Brian (26 April 2015). "Passaris in legal battle to stop sale of Kitisuru home". Business Daily Africa. Nairobi. Retrieved 5 June 2018.
  3. ^ a b Kipng'enoh, Wesley (October 2017). "How Esther Passaris achieved her dream of graduating from USIU". Nairobi: Retrieved 5 June 2018.
  4. ^ Omulo, Collins (5 June 2018). "Passaris asks Sonko to name her as Nairobi deputy governor". Daily Nation. Nairobi. Retrieved 5 June 2018.
  5. ^ a b SoftKenya (2012). "Esther Passaris Biography, Career, Husband and Children". Nairobi: Retrieved 5 June 2018.
  6. ^ Chepkemei, Pamela (6 August 2011). "Passaris' turn in the dock in new property battle with tycoon". Daily Nation. Nairobi. Retrieved 5 June 2018.
  7. ^ ArtMatters.Info (22 September 2008). "Women in Kenya Demand Respect and Recognition". ArtMatters.Info. Retrieved 5 June 2018.
  8. ^ Moody, Barry (2 July 2007). "Feisty woman challenges Kenya's male culture". Retrieved 5 June 2018.
  9. ^ Mayabi, Lordrick (1 February 2013). "Passaris cleared by IEBC for women's rep". Nairobi: 98.4 Capital FM. Retrieved 5 June 2018.
  10. ^ George Githinji (5 September 2019). "The Role of Women Representatives in Kenya". AfroCave. Nairobi: Retrieved 5 September 2019.
  11. ^ Okutoyi, Frankline (24 January 2010). "Interview With A Professional". The Standard (Kenya). Nairobi. Retrieved 5 June 2018.
  12. ^ Adopt A Light Limited (April 2009). "Submission For Habitat Business Award For Sustainable Urbanization" (PDF). Nairobi. Retrieved 6 June 2018.

External links[edit]

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