Esther Passaris

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Esther Passaris
Personal details
Esther Passaris

(1964-10-20) 20 October 1964 (age 56)
Mombasa, Kenya
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]

In 2013, she ran for member of parliament for women's representative for Nairobi County, on the Kenya National Congress political party ticket, but lost to Rachel Shebesh.[1] She is regarded as one of the most well-known female public figures in Kenyan business[5] and politics.[6][7]

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.[8] 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.[8] In October 2017, Passaris graduated from the United States International University Africa, in Nairobi, with a BSc International Business Administration.[3]

Public and political career[edit]

Esther Passaris is a known public figure in Kenya, who has sparked some controversy by her statements about other Kenyan politicians and businessmen.[9] She has been a runner-up in Miss Kenya contest and is actively campaigning for the rights of women in Kenya.[10]

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."[11]

Passaris ran for the women's representative for Nairobi County during the 2013 Kenyan general election,[12] and was also a candidate for the post of Mayor of Nairobi. She is currently the Nairobi Women's Representative.[13]

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.[14]

Personal life[edit]

Passaris has two children with Kenyan businessman Pius Ngugi. In 2003, she filed a lawsuit against Ngugi for a breach of promise to marry, demanding a monthly allowance of KSh 200,000 (US$2,000), and a car to take their children to and from school.[15] In August 2011, Passaris was sued by Ngugi, claiming she continued to demand more money despite agreeing to a truce in their previous case.[9] Passaris' daughter and eldest child, Makenna Ngugi, is a singer.[16]


  • 2016 Most influential women in business and government by CEO Global, South Africa
  • 2009 UN Habitat Business Awards by UN Habitat[17]
  • 2008 Order of Grand Warrior (OGW) by former President of Kenya, Mwai Kibaki.


  1. ^ a b c 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. ^ Ilako, Cynthia. "Women politicians feted for their role in business". The Star (Kenya). Nairobi. Retrieved 5 June 2018.
  6. ^ "Chapter 6: Access to Justice". Gender and Economic Growth in Kenya: Unleashing the Power of Women. World Bank Publications. 2007. ISBN 9780821369203. Retrieved 9 June 2016.
  7. ^ Cutura, Jozefina (2006). "Voices of Women Entrepreneurs in Kenya" (PDF). Washington DC: International Finance Corporation. Retrieved 5 June 2018.
  8. ^ a b SoftKenya (2012). "Esther Passaris Biography, Career, Husband and Children". Nairobi: Retrieved 5 June 2018.
  9. ^ a b Chepkemei, Pamela (6 August 2011). "Passaris' turn in the dock in new property battle with tycoon". Daily Nation. Nairobi. Retrieved 5 June 2018.
  10. ^ ArtMatters.Info (22 September 2008). "Women in Kenya Demand Respect and Recognition". ArtMatters.Info. Retrieved 5 June 2018.
  11. ^ Moody, Barry (2 July 2007). "Feisty woman challenges Kenya's male culture". Retrieved 5 June 2018.
  12. ^ Mayabi, Lordrick (1 February 2013). "Passaris cleared by IEBC for women's rep". Nairobi: 98.4 Capital FM. Retrieved 5 June 2018.
  13. ^ George Githinji (5 September 2019). "The Role of Women Representatives in Kenya". AfroCave. Nairobi: Retrieved 5 September 2019.
  14. ^ Okutoyi, Frankline (24 January 2010). "Interview With A Professional". The Standard (Kenya). Nairobi. Retrieved 5 June 2018.
  15. ^ Staff Reporter (28 July 2014). "Woman sues billionaire Ngugi for Sh 9 million upkeep". The Star (Kenya). Nairobi. Retrieved 5 June 2018.
  16. ^ Capital Lifestyle (26 October 2012). "Esther Passaris' daughter launches singing career". Nairobi: 98.4 Capital FM. Retrieved 6 June 2018.
  17. ^ Adopt A Light Limited (April 2009). "Submission For Habitat Business Award For Sustainable Urbanization" (PDF). Nairobi. Retrieved 6 June 2018.

External links[edit]