Esther Passaris Biography and Profile

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Esther Passaris Early Life

Esther Passaris (Esther Muthoni Passaris) was born on 20th October, 1964. She was born Esther Muthoni Rossana Passaris to a Greek father, Elefterious Passaris, and a Kikuyu-Dutch mother, Mary Wanjiku Joubert, in the coastal city of Mombasa. Passaris attended Agha Khan Academies for her primary and secondary education before enrolling for the Advanced Management Program course at Strathmore Business School at Strathmore University.

Esther Muthoni Passaris launched another project in 2007- Be One in a Million- under her Driving Kenya Foundation where she was aiming at getting at least a million Kenyans to pledger Sh100 shillings monthly for a number of projects to help the poor. Boldly, the project’s board of directors and trustees were all women and she insisted that women were the first hand recipients of poverty and that they needed to set an example for the men. “Let me tell you why I put all women: because I think poverty affects a woman first and number two, I wanted the men to see that the women decided to do something about poverty.” She said in an interview.

Esther Muthoni Passaris Biography and Profile

Esther Passaris (Esther Muthoni Passaris) was born on 20th October, 1964. She was born Esther Muthoni Rossana Passaris to a Greek father, Elefterious Passaris, and a Kikuyu-Dutch mother, Mary Wanjiku Joubert, in the coastal city of Mombasa. Passaris attended Agha Khan Academies for her primary and secondary education before enrolling for the Advanced Management Program course at Strathmore Business School at Strathmore University.

She is She is a politician, philanthropist and an entreprenuer. She is the women representative for Nairobi county. Described as “one of Kenya’s best-known and controversial women, with a natural gift for publicity. A skilful television performer, who certainly is not lacking in self-confidence” by Barry Moody – one of Reuters longest serving journalists, Passaris is a renowned public figure in Kenya. Her path to limelight began when she contested the Miss Kenya beauty pageant and come out a runner-up in 1991. Her active involvement in campaigns championing for the rights of women in the country has seen her grow phenomenally as a women’s leader.

She is the founder and owner of Adopt A Light – an advertising company she started in 2002. The initiative aimed at raising finances through advertising to fund installation and maintenance of street lights within Nairobi; at a time when crime had increased in the city owing to the dark streets that were a haven of armed robbers and rapists. Adopt-A-Light system is credited with lighting up much of Nairobi and reducing crime by selling advertising on street light poles.

Esther Passaris in Politics

Esther M Passaris first made her shot in politics in 2008 when she vied for the Embakasi parliamentary by-election on an ODM ticket. Passaris, OGW is a Member of Parliament representing Nairobi County; the capital city in the Republic of Kenya. She made a re-entry in 2013 with a jab for the Nairobi Women Rep position and again lost. In 2017, she fixed her focus to the Nairobi County Women Rep position, in spite of hints she would be aiming for the county’s top seat, and won on an ODM ticket.

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.

Esther Passaris in Business

She is an accomplished social entrepreneur, business and political leader. 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 street poles in the city of Nairobi.

Esther Passaris Awards

In 2004, Esther Passaris was awarded the Eve Woman of the Year Award, Make a Difference Award and the Mayoral Achievement Award. In 2006, she was honored with the Mashiriki Innovations in Local Governance Award and National Human Settlement Award by UN-HABITAT, and was among a host of women entrepreneurs recognized in the report “Voices of Women Entrepreneurs”. In the same year, Adopt-A-Light won Company of the Year Awards (COYA) in recognition of its corporate citizenship management.

Esther Passaris Education

Esther Passaris holds a Diploma in Law from the University of London and in 2017 she graduated from United States International University Africa (USIU), Nairobi, with a Bachelor of Science degree in International Business Administration.

Esther Passaris Gained Popularity

Esther Passaris gained popularity among the women during her legal battle to win child maintenance from her former partner, a business tycoon, with whom she has two children, daughter Makena Maria and son Pierce. Her eldest, Makena, is a singer and model.

Esther Passaris Controversies

Esther Passaris on Tuesday admitted to being in a a polygamous set up which she is neither proud nor ashamed of. She said; “I am in a polygamous set up and it’s not something that I am proud of, neither is it something that am ashamed of; you kinda learn to balance the two, this is the situation that am in and I’ve got to accept it.”

Ms Passaris has two children with billionaire Pius Ngugi. The two had a court tussle in which Ms Passaris accused Mr Ngugi of breaching a promise to marry her. In the case, Ms Passaris sought monthly maintenance and a car. Mr Ngugi also took the businesswoman to court for continuously harassing him by asking for more money and mismanaging their children’s trust funds. Ms Passaris revealed that she has already talked to her teenage children about sex and is closest to her daughter.

She added that she had tried involving her (Esther’s) ‘husband’ to speak to their son in vain. She now plans to involve her elder brother, who was beside the young man during his circumcision under Kikuyu rites, in parenting her son.

Esther Passaris clapped back at a Twitter user who criticized Kenyan leaders for seeking medical treatment abroad. While commenting on one of Ms. Passaris’ tweets, Twitter user @ombchae1 lamented how he had lost two relatives to cancer in a span of one month, saying the family could not afford treatment in private hospitals and could not take their patients to public hospitals because they lack the required facilities.

“It is difficult to figure out. Within a span of 1 month I have [lost] 2 of my family members due to Cancer. We could not raise the cost of chemotherapy in these private hospitals since public hospitals have no facilities but our leaders are busy enjoy the world-class treatment abroad,” wrote @ombchae1.

Passaris, who in India had spinal surgery, responded to @ombchae1 by saying she has no apologies for seeking medication abroad. She stated that she could afford treatment out of the country before she was elected.

“I won’t apologize for seeking medical treatment abroad. I could afford it before I was elected & I will afford it after I leave office by the Grace of God. I know we need to do more for cancer/ terminal illnesses/ spinal etc. I assure you Health Committee will deliver,” Passaris stated.

Two weeks ago, Passaris, who is a member of the Parliament Health Committee, faced similar criticism from a section of Kenyans online after she announced through Twitter that she had undergone an operation in India.


Esther Passaris further revealed that she has Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD) and Dyslexia, which have made it hard for her to put her thoughts together on paper.

“It is a disadvantage when it comes to academic learning because we have a terrible handwriting. I cannot read my own handwriting, we think faster than we can write so you find that sometimes we miss certain adjectives automatically and I didn’t realize this until after I had my children,” Esther Passaris said.

Esther Passaris Family

Pius Mbugua is the father of Esther Passaris daughter Makenna. The two were formerly married under customary law and lived in Spring Valley, Nairobi, but later separated. The divorce came after Pius Mbugua sired a baby girl in 2001. Pius Mbugua is a multi-millionaire who is highly talented in the business sector. Esther Passaris, in close collaboration with other politicians, sued Pius Mbugua for allegedly giving little support to their daughter.

Esther Muthoni Passaris Biography and Profile

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