Esther Passaris Biography and Profile
Esther Passaris (Esther Muthoni Passaris) was born on 20th October, 1964. She is She is a politician, philanthropist and an entreprenuer. She is the women representative for Nairobi county.
Esther Passaris Early Life
She was born and bred in Mombasa, she has four sisters and one brother. She has been a runners up in Miss Kenya contest and she is actively campaigning for womens right in Kenya.
She attended the Aga Khan Academies throughout her primary and secondary education after which 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.
Esther Passaris Politician Career
- She is currently the women representative for Nairobi county.
- Prior to declaring her interest on women rep post she was vying for a gubernatorial seat for Nairobi county on a ODM ticket.
- In 2013, she vied for the Nairobi Women Rep but she lost.
- She vied for member of parliament for Embakasi constituency on a Kenya National Congress party
- She was also a candidate for the post of Mayor of Nairobi.
- She is a member of ODM Party.
Esther Passaris Business
Passaris is the CEO in her businesses which include Adopt A light, and One In a Million. In 2002, Passaris started the ‘Adopt a light limited company’, whose vision was “to light up East Africa when the sun sets”. She signed a deal with Nairobi city authorities in order to: “Restore decrepit street lighting in exchange for advertising rights on the lamposts
This project as she affirms, led her to witness the lives of many Nairobi residents that badly needed improvement. It was on that note that she chose to bring about change, and be part of the leadership. She is also the CEO and founder of ‘One in a Million’ campaign which was operating under Driving Kenya Foundation, a non-profit charitable organization, aimed at fighting problems in Kenya, such as poverty and unemployment, and promoting urban and rural development.
Esther Passaris Awards
- 2016 Most influential women in business and government by CEO Global, South Africa
- 2009 UN Habitat Business Awards by UN Habitat
- 2008 Order of Grand Warrior (OGW) by former President of Kenya, Mwai Kibaki
Esther Passaris Husband, Family and Children
Pius Mbugua Ngugi is the father to Esther Passaris’s two children ,a boy and a girl. Her daughter Makenna Maria is pursuing her studies and music career and her son Lefteris Ngugi plays tennis.
Esther Passaris Daughter – Makenna Maria
Esther Passaris Daughter Makenna Maria is pursuing her studies and music career.
Esther Passaris Landlord Scandal
Esther Passaris took her landlord,Alka Roshanlal, to court after realising that she had sold her palatial Kitisuru home to a third party (Charles and Grace Kanyuga). She accused the landlord of reneging on terms of their lease agreement in refusing to sell her the house she moved into in September 2006.
In 2009’after her lease expired, the landlord issued passarus with a notice to vacate she and filed a suit seeking to evict her.
Esther Passaris in response asked the court to compel Ms Hanspal to sell the house to her. She says that the lease was only to last until the late businessman had reclaimed the land title from Oriental Commercial Bank. She said she was to purchase it after expirely of the lease for Kshs. 35 million. She said taht Ms Hanspal had transfered the title to herself and wants to illegally sell the land.
She wants Ms. Hanspal to sell the house to her or compensate her for the rent she had paid since 2009, alongside land rates and damages which amounted to shs. 77m
She also filled another suit seeking to revoke the sale to Mr and Mrs Kanyuga.
10 Things to Know About Esther Passaris
- Esther Passaris is the CEO in her businesses which include Adopt A light, and One In a Million.With her interests delving around reading and writing, she loves to read motivational books, and often listens to classic and urban music.
- In 2002, Esther Passaris started the ‘Adopt a light limited company’, whose vision was “to light up East Africa when the sun sets”.
- To date, Esther Passaris has been quite consistent in her quest and some of her street light stands can prominently be spotted along major towns in Kenya.
- This project as she affirms, led her to witness the lives of many Nairobi residents that badly needed improvement. It was on that note that she chose to bring about change, and be part of the leadership.
- Despite the scandals and issues that seem to face Esther Passaris, she has mastered the art of brushing them off. Case in point was her recent online exchange with blogger Robert Alai who came out guns blazing against her.
- Pius Mbugua Ngugi is the father to Esther Passaris’s two children, a boy and a girl.
- Esther Passaris daughter Makenna Maria is pursuing her studies and music career and her son Lefteris Ngugi plays tennis.
- Born and raised in Kenya, Esther Passaris attended the Aga Khan schools, for her O-levels education,
- Esther Passaris went ahead to the University of Nairobi to pursue her Bachelors in Law.
Esther Passaris Interview
Question: How old are you?
Esther Passaris: I am 48 years old, born October 20, 1964.
Question: What is your parentage?
Esther Passaris: Kikuyu mother, Greek father.
Question: What is the make up of your family?
Esther Passaris: I have four sisters and one brother, two children, a boy aged 13 and daughter aged 16 I have one living grandmother.
Question: Are you in a relationship?
Esther Passaris: I never really know how to answer this because what I have and how I define relationships don’t match. So let’s leave it as Yes and No.
Question: Why did you run for mayor?
Esther Passaris: Many reasons, but the main one was to bring accountability and services to the people, by addressing corruption and inefficiency through structures and laying down a vision. If I could bring light where there was darkness, I could definitely do this job well.
Question: Why did you run for MP of Embakasi?
Esther Passaris: It was an opportunity to serve a big section of Nairobi and address the challenges of poverty and accountability. The dumping site in the constituency also gave me a challenge and I just did not want to see another bad leader sworn into our parliament.
Question: Why are you back in politics and why the Women’s Representative?
Esther Passaris: I could have run for MP of Embakasi again but it has now been split into 5 constituencies: I did not want to choose because I consider all of Embakasi home. The Women’s Representative position gives me a chance to not only address the important issues that women face in Nairobi but to serve all Nairobians as well.
Question: Is the Woman’s Rep. post a beauty contest?
Esther Passaris: I am grateful for my looks but I believe it’s a race on issues and who is best placed to address them. Beauty is a fading cloud.
Question: What will come first: family or politics?
Esther Passaris: Family. Always. I am a single mum in most instances and my children and family are a reflection of my ability as a leader.
Question: What has been your biggest challenge on the campaign trail so far?
Esther Passaris: Everywhere I go, people expect a handout from me: a T-shirt here and some money there. My challenge is convincing them that the campaign is not about what they can get now but what they can get in the future through good and visionary leadership. While I recognise the challenges that most Kenyans face, getting a small handout for immediate needs is not the solution.
Secondly, reaching all the voters in the 17 constituencies is also a challenge. This is not like the last time when I was contesting for the Embakasi seat. This time, I have to reach all of Nairobi and given obvious financial and logistical constraints, the challenge is a lot greater.
Question: Do you see a bright future for Kenya?
Esther Passaris: Yes, but only if we get fully involved in that future as a people and ensure that we establish strong institutions that serve all of us without fear or favour.
Question: Why Peter Kenneth?
Esther Passaris: I believe in his leadership and he unites where others divide.
Question: Do you think it is time for a woman president?
Esther Passaris: No. I think its time for a visionary, no nonsense, sincere, hardworking, focused leader who will say only what he means and do what has to be done without favour. Its not about a woman or a man, it’s about a promised leadership delivered by the people, to the people and for the people.
Question: Can Kenya be saved – from bad leadership, corruption, impunity, tribalism etc?
Esther Passaris: All that you consider negative – crime, drugs abuse. The answer is yes. It’s a long journey that has yet to begin. It needs commitment and absolute unity. I liken Kenyan to the second independence, as Martha Karua said, its either we sink or swim.
Question: Is there a leader that you respect?
Esther Passaris: Yes. We have many good leaders; the question is not whether I or you respect them. It’s a question of if they can hold that respect throughout their elective term. I have often sadly heard; “ he was so good until we gave him a position and he became like all of them”. That needs to change. That has to change. Let us also remember that our leaders are human and when that leads to negative performance, we have to fire them quickly before damage is done. Checks and balances will raise the bar of respect.
Question: Are you a fighter?
Esther Passaris: No am a defender of what is right. I am a woman with the “balls” to stand up for what I believe in. Lucky for me, I have been consistent. I think it has gotten me where I am. Kenya is a male dominated society, so if a woman stands up when she is not told to, talks when she is not asked to, and knows her right and is bold enough to stand on her feet, she gets branded a “fighter”, so be it.
Question: Do you think we are a one-stop-shop for local and foreign investors?
Esther Passaris: I think we are a one stop shop for deals, big deals ; deals that make big money all you got to do is show the way and all will be facilitated with such impunity. The genuine foreign and local investors are alone struggling to make it and if we not careful we will lose even the ones that we perceive are successful and well grounded in Kenya. It is time to serve and stop deal cutting. It is in human to eat eat and eat, Kenya is bleeding.
Question: What is the worst things you have ever done?
Esther Passaris: At one point I succumbed to extortion when the state, anti corruption, judiciary, police and media failed me. But that was short lived as corrupt institutions attempt to suck one dry. I had no more to give…I was drained financially, physically and emotionally and regret ever thinking negotiating with the corrupt was an option.
Question: What do you hate most about the Kenyan worker?
Esther Passaris: I hate the fact that he is not service oriented. I look at the service in Kenya – say you go into any coffee joint and you have to wait. You literary have to call for your bill and for every other service, and there will be six or seven waiters standing around. Then you go to a Starbucks in Europe, and you find two people who do everything and so efficiently.
I think here we don’t have the speed for work. It’s almost like we feel we are doing the owner a favour to work for him, rather than realizing it as a job. Whether it’s a toilet cleaner, a restaurant waiter, CEO of a company – whatever the job – you have got to do it with passion and drive. I hate the fact that we lack continuous drive.
Question: Who is your greatest role model and why?
Esther Passaris: Locally I looked up to the late Wangari Maathai as her vision was clear even though we haven’t got it yet. She was humble and always returned mycalls. I am proud of her and I wish Kenyans would embrace her like the world did. She had a message that we had to hear because the environment is a matter of life and death. She was also very spiritual and like me she was at home with the very rich and powerful and the poor and general worker.
Question: Given one role to accomplish on earth, what would it be?
Esther Passaris: To stop the speed train called greed and get a few people into the speed train called caring and sharing. Greed is evil.
Question: What do you love most about Kenya?
Esther Passaris: The people were always on the top of the list until we started killing each other; taking drugs and alcohol like nonsense. Let me now say I love the innocent children of tomorrow and the climate.
Question: Your favorite holiday destination?
Esther Passaris: Mombasa my home town where I was born and bred.
Question: Your preferred choice of food African or European dishes? Why?
Esther Passaris: Kenyan, ugali with sukuma or cabbage, it is very tasty and healthy.
Esther Passaris News
How Esther Passaris caught her husband with ‘mpango wa kando’
Esther Passaris, the 53-year-old mother of two, who is the Nairobi Woman Rep once walked into a city restaurant for a lunch meeting with a business associate, only to bump into her husband having lunch with another woman.
The outspoken politician could clearly tell that her hubby and his guest were not having a business meeting. Anyway, she gracefully walked to their table, a smile on her face, mixed emotions in her heart and stretched her hand and said “hello darling”.
“I walked in, I greeted him and went back to my table,” Passaris recalled that day with a chuckle of satisfaction.
They both finished their respective lunch dates and later met at home in the evening. The husband, according to Passaris, walked into their matrimonial home and asked: “What (was that)? Why didn’t you react?”
Passaris looked at him and calmly responded. “I told him: ‘Darling, what did you want me to do? You wanted me to fight with you in public? I had a business lunch there, you had another woman… was it something I needed to fight for? Because a man is not my God, my God is only one. I cannot fight over a man.”
Passaris recalled this episode in a tell-all, hour-long interview on KBC during which she stated she has no ill fillings. During the show held in April, she told the host Serfine Achieng’ whenever she travels outside the country, she buys gifts for her co-wife and her stepchildren.
“I have been in situations where the other woman who probably has children with my husband is in a fix, and step forward to help. I tell my husband, ‘Excuse me, can you sort this out, sort out her maintenance, sort out what she need’,” Passaris confessed.
In 2007, the businesswoman-cum-politician who is part Kenyan, part Greek and part Dutch, stunned the late Maasai political supremo William ole Ntimama with her beauty, to an extent that Ntimama branded her Mama Supuu at a campaign rally for the Embakasi parliamentary seat.
“When I travel with my husband, I buy presents for the other women’s children, because we are in this situation already. We are many. I know love is emotive. You know what? My first husband is God. I am not going to fight over this man to the point that I destroy other women or their children. I think every woman should be like that,” she said on national television.
She went on: “Ashazaa huko nje, are you going to let the other women’s children suffer? I fight for all women; I fight for all children, okay? Even if it is my husband with another woman out there! At the end of the day, ni mtoto wa bwanangu, ni ndugu ya watoto wangu.”