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Keroche Heiress Anerlisa Muigai’s Boyfriend Joe Kariuki’s Fake Lifestyle Exposed

Kariuki has been in the limelight for the last month after his company, SBL Innovate Limited, was exposed by African Uncensored for selling fake fertilizer to farmers across the country.

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It is now emerging that Keroche Heiress Anerlisa Muigai got engaged to shady businessman and fraudster, Joe Kariuki, one of the masterminds of the multi-billion fake fertilizer scandal.

By Vincent Achuka

The businessman at the centre of the fake fertiliser scandal, Josiah Kariuki Kimani popularly known as Joe Kariuki, spent at least two years in a Tanzanian jail for fraud and at one time pushed a narrative in the media that he owned an airline that did not exist.

Kariuki has been in the limelight for the last month after his company, Silica Booster Limited, popularly known as SBL Innovate Limited, was exposed by African Uncensored for selling fake fertilizer to farmers across the country.

Last month, Kariuki appeared at a church service in Nakuru with area senator Tabitha Karanja where they claimed that the businessman is being fought by unnamed people for political reasons.

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“He was implicated as the one bringing fake fertilizer. As a senator whose business has been fought on the basis of politics previously, I saw from a distance that this is a campaign being done by John Alan Namu who has been paid,” said Senator Tabitha at Shabaab Catholic Church.

For now, it is unclear whether Kariuki’s attempt to use the tried and tested technique of blaming politics by businessmen whenever caught in a scandal will save him.

What many people do not know, however, is that this is not the first time that Kariuki is finding himself in controversy, even as he puts up a spirited fight to defend himself.

The businessman who rose within the entertainment circles in Nairobi was first thrust into the limelight as a boisterous music promoter in 2012. He loved selling a larger-than-life persona in the blogs and entertainment sections of the newspapers.

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If faking it until making it refers to a person; Joe Kariuki has been there and done that for years until he became mentioned in what could easily be the Kenya Kwanza government’s first major scandal.

Before he started selling fake fertilizer in the government scheme under controversial circumstances, Kariuki faked his image as a ‘billionaire music mogul’ between 2012 and 2015.

Operating from Vision Plaza along Mombasa Road, Kariuki initially sold himself as the owner of Candy n Candy Records, a music label and artist management company.

At that time, he had just moved back to Kenya from the United Kingdom under controversial circumstances when he was 34. No one knows why he decided to come back to Kenya or what he was doing in the UK.

However, the official narrative, pushed by Kariuki when he joined the local music business was that he has worked with big record labels like Virgin Records and he wanted to transfer the skills he had learned abroad to assist Kenyan artists.

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Candy n Candy began in Mombasa in 2013 before moving to Nairobi a year later. During its entire existence, the record label never produced any musical hits but pure air.

Kariuki was however a master salesman who knew how to entice journalists to write fictitious tales showering him with praises. These stories were interestingly, rarely challenged by editors or fact-checked for that matter.

Like in one article run by popular entertainment website Ghafla in 2016, Kariuki had apparently been named as one of Africa’s Top 40 Inspirational Visionaries by an un-named Rwandan think tank.

The article did not name who did the poll but said, “Joe Kariuki came second,right behind Tanzania’s maverick President John Pombe Magufuli as one of Africa’s top 40 most inspirational visionaries.”

“I didn’t see that coming,” Joe was quoted in the article which was obviously fake news but being pushed as a real story.

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“I mean, I’ve had great moments in my life, found many blessings, and achieved fairly good recognition from far and wide but to be mentioned as the second most influential visionary in Africa? 

“Alongside the likes of President Magufuli, Strive Masiyiwa, and Aliko Dangote? Wow! No one could predict that. I’m still trying to digest the news,” said Kariuki.

In another such article published by the Star, Kariuki claimed that his record label Candy n Candy had signed among others American rapper Jay Z.

If you think these claims are outrageous, Kariuki at one time went as far as claiming that his record label had entered into a contract with Mombasa’s Sarova White Sands Hotel to manage a nonexistent nightclub located within the five-star establishment.

According to the claims which were published by the Standard in 2014, Candy n Candy had been given exclusive rights to manage Rhythm Night Club which had been renamed Candy Rhythm Night Club.

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Apparently, according to the article, the information about Candy n Candy entering into a ‘deal’ with Sarova had been leaked to the press and he was therefore responding to the claims.

Almost all the articles about him were written in this same manner. And there are dozens of them. Just Google ‘Music Mogul Joe Kariuki Candy n Candy’ and you will see for yourself how one man managed to lie to the whole country through high-grade deceptive marketing.

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“I have nothing to worry about, this is a big recording company with all the machinery needed in terms of the music industry is concerned. 

“The club sound is proof with a classic VIP room and can host up to 700 fans,” Kariuki told the Standard in the article about his company entering into a deal with the Sarova White Sands Hotel for instance.

I met Kariuki around 2015 when his snake oil salesmanship was at its peak. 

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At that time he had just signed former Tanzanian Bongo star Mr Nice to his record label. 

The artist released one song ‘Mama’ in an effort to resuscitate his career but it flopped.

A colleague called me and said there was a businessman who had started an airline and whether I would be interested in covering him. I agreed.

As I was waiting for the company car to take me to meet Kariuki, I did a quick background check on him on the internet like any journalist would. 

Everything I saw about him was marvelous. Apart from his successful record label, the businessman had just launched Candy Empire TV and Candy Empire Radio.

Once I sat down with him, he gave me a long rags-to-riches story of how he was born in Naivasha and dropped down in form two at Magomano Secondary School in Kinangop before ending up in the UK using a Sh50,000 loan that his father had given him.

He also gave me an explanation of his experience in the music business and how it had given him millions of shillings and that he was investing in his next venture, an airline called Candy Air.

He then turned around the screen of his computer and showed me Candy Air’s website which had several airplanes on it, booking procedures, and any other thing an airline should have on the internet.

When I asked him where the planes were so that I come with a photojournalist to photograph them for the newspaper, he explained that all his planes were all out on assignment across the African continent.

 He promised to have his people call me when they were positioned at Wilson Airport later that week so that we could photograph them.

We ended that conversation there. A few hours after I got back to the office, Kariuki’s guys started calling me asking about the whereabouts of the article and when it would be published. 

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I explained about our agreement on the photographs but they insisted that I ran the article first using just his photograph.

I went back to the airline’s website to have a look at the planes again. When I ran their tail numbers to establish ownership, I realised it was all fake. The planes were all registered to other airlines. So I shelved the article to avoid embarrassing myself and my young career.

Interestingly, days later articles about Kariuki launching an airline started appearing in other news websites.

Three months after the airline debacle, Kariuki announced that he was running for the Langata Parliamentary seat on a TNA ticket. He had also invested in a multimillion mining venture in Taita Taveta was soon going to unveil TwinTalk; a “Facebook-like” social media platform.

“I have registered a company under the trademark Hard Assets which now has a licence to mine along the coastal belt. We will be shipping the minerals to Europe where they will be refined and sold to the American gemstone market,” he told the Star on April 15, 2015.

He then suddenly disappeared from the limelight until two years later on August 17, 2017, when it was announced that Kariuki had been arrested in Tanzania for defrauding Yusuf Mohamed, a Tanzanian businessman Sh13 million.

He was sentenced to seven years in an Arusha prison but was released in 2019 after winning an appeal. Once back in Kenya, Kariuki ventured into the online forex trading business through a company called 51 Capital Business.

The company was launched in typical Kariuki style together with another Tanzanian ex-convict Don Bosco Gichana on December 5, 2019.

“Dressed in a Ksh87,000 Yves Saint Laurent black suit, white shirt, and a red tie, Mr Bosco spoke passionately about the future of forex trading, the benefits of cryptocurrency, the emergence of new economic trends, and the lucrative online forex trading,” reported Business Today about the launch.

A few weeks after the launch, the Star reported that Joe Kariuki had been named the Best African Forex Trader 2019 by IC Markets, a leading Forex Contract For Difference provider based in Sydney, Australia.


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