Meet S.K. Macharia | Chairman of Royal Media Services Limited

Meet S.K. Macharia

Born in Ndakaini Village, Murang'a County in 1942, his parents were squatters in Subukia where they worked on British settler plantations.

His mother died when he was 5. His family later moved to Arusha in TZ. He kept the company of Maasai herds boys, walked long distances with them in search of pasture.

He sat his Kenya African Preliminary Examination (KAPE) in 1958, applied, and got accepted at Kennedy Airlifts in 1962. He couldn't raise the sh4,000 for a plane ticket to the US, traveled for 2 months by road from Kenya to Benghazi Libya, took a ship to England then a flight to the US.

Worked night shifts for eight years as a janitor at Boeing Seattle to raise his college tuition. Earned a B.A. in Political Science from Seattle Pacific University and a BSc in Accounting from the University of Washington.

Returned to Kenya in 1969, worked briefly in Public Service, left the Public sector in 1979 to run Madhupaper International Ltd, a tissue production company he had started in 1976.

By 1985 Madhupaper, the only tissue manufacturer in Kenya had 300 employees with Rosy its main product.

Founded Royal Media Services in 1990 and grew it to 2 TV stations & over 10 FM stations today, all Market Leaders!


Macharia joined Standard 1 in 1954 at Ndakaini Primary School. He was thereafter admitted at Gituru Intermediate School where he sat for the Kenya African Preliminary Examination (KAPE) in 1958. He taught as an untrained primary school teacher at Makomboki Primary School for a year before joining Kahuhia Teachers Training College. A two-year course at the college would see him qualify as a trained teacher (P3) and he was subsequently posted to Gituru Primary School in 1961.

He applied for the Kennedy Airlifts and was accepted in the 1962 group. His family could not however raise the 4,000 shillings required for the plane ticket to the United States. He could only raise 1,200 shillings and had to travel for nearly 2 months by road from Kenya to Benghazi, Libya, where he took a ship to England and then a flight to the USA.

On arrival, he enrolled in Seattle Technical College and completed his high school education two years later. Macharia would later a Bachelor of Arts degree in Political Science from Seattle Pacific University and a Bachelor of Science degree in Accounting from the University of Washington. He would then complete a Master of Science in Accounting/Finance, a Master of Arts in Accounting and was certified as a Certified Public Accountant (CPA).


Macharia is married to Purity Gathoni Macharia and they have six children (two girls and four boys). Gathoni is a sister to former Kenyan Cabinet Minister Njeru Githae and Syracuse University professor Micere Githae Mugo


Macharia’s mother passed away when he was five years old

A son of businessman mogul and Royal Media Services chairman SK Macharia Jonh Macharia died in a road accident along Southern bypass 2018. A female passenger who was with him, however, escaped unscathed.

The self-involved accident happened at 10pm when John Macharia, who is said to have been speeding lost control of his Porsche Cayenne 911. The 2017 Porsche 911 costs between Sh8.5 million ($85,350) and Sh13.3 million ($133,850).


Known as Madhupaper, he formed the company in 1976, the first and only local tissue paper manufacturer in Kenya. Its tissue paper brand, ‘Rosy’ exists to date. However, the company was sold to an investor in 1989 for Sh250 million, part of which SK had to drag Standard Chartered Bank to court as recently as 2014 for receiving Sh55 million from the investor but not crediting his accounts.


according to international research firm Ipsos, Citizen TV has a 62.5% share of the Kenyan television market in 2016. Royal Media Services radio stations have a combined audience of 80% of Kenya’s population (the main radio station Radio Citizen has a 43% market share). Other brands in the Royal Media Services stable include Inooro TV, Ramogi FM, Inooro FM, Musyi FM, Chamgei FM, Muuga FM, Egesa FM, Bahari FM, Mulembe FM, Wimwaro FM, Sulwe FM, Hot 96 and Vuuka FM

The father of two girls and four boys is said to have greatly diversified his investments. He may be a media mogul, but he is said to be involved in agriculture, transport, real estate and banking, among other investments.

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