Millionaire George Wachiuri is a man who has gone through thick and thin to be among notable real estate investors.
Born in Nyeri, the Optiven Group founder and CEO was born in poverty and while he was young, he escaped death by whisker.
Optiven deals in real estate, selling land completed houses besides running a charity work under the name Optiven Foundation.
While he was young Wachiuri was first attacked by a snake and in another incident by a rooster.
In his book “Soaring High Like An Eagle”, Wachiuri narrates how a puff adder attacked him but luckily he was rushed to Nyeri District Hospital (Now Nyeri Provincial Hospital) in time.
Were it not for the prompt response he says he would have succumbed to the bite. He spent three weeks in hospital bed.
“I heard hissing sound of puff adder but I couldn’t locate where it emanated from. I didn’t have time to escape. The searing bite was like a needle forced through my skin” he recalls.
Months later he was back in this hospital after a cockerel nearly gouged out his eyes as he was cleaning utensils outside their house then he shoved away a chicken bothering him.
The cockerel he says “Couldn’t understand why I had to touch his girl”.
“Without a warning, he (cockerel) dashed from where he was and went for my face. I was only lucky that it was my side of the face left open to him; that fellow would have gouged my eyes”.
It was slaughtered two days later after he was discharged from hospital.
The University of Nairobi alumni established Optiven, his real estate company in 1997 but it took him 10 years to make profit.
Optiven scooped the best employer in East Africa 2019 by East Africa Best Employer Brand Awards.
In 2014/15 edition of Top 100 mid-sized companies Optiven was ranked top and also the best real estate company in the mid-sized category.
They also won the Best Company in Customer Orientation & Marketing in Kenya (COYA AWARDS) – 2015.
Wachiuri and his siblings lost their father in 1978 but with their widowed mother they struggled to live. At one time he aspired to become a priest.
While a teenager he sold onions for living and washed clothes for his fellow students for a fee.
The real estate tycoon lost his mother in September last year after a long illness.