By LUCIANNE LIMO
He has built a multi-billion business empire that spreads across 40 countries, but Manu Chandaria’s passion in life lies in simple things. Such a rich man is expected to enjoy playing golf or going to exotic holiday destinations in the world but holding hands with children in slum areas and giving them hope for a brighter future is where he finds great happiness.
Perhaps it is his humble beginnings that have influenced his way of looking at life. Chandaria, 83, says he has never felt the need or urge to engage in life’s excesses.
When The Standard visited him at his Muthaiga home, where he has lived for the past 40 years, Chandaria did not show the aura of a man who had just been bestowed a Lifetime Achievement Award by a recognised organisation.
He told us about hosting several high profile people including retired President Moi and Mother Teresa but what brings a smile to his face is when he mentions the orphans and less fortunate children who have eaten and played in his lush compound.
“It gives me so much joy to have hosted very important people in the world and also the less fortunate here at my home. My wife has entertained little children from the slums who have played in this compound.”
Over the course of his career, Chandaria has been passionate about charity by encouraging corporates, institutions and even individuals to give back to the society.
His focus now is trained on the youth who he says need to change their mentality for free things and instead embrace volunteering.
A strong believer in helping the less fortunate, Chandaria wants to see the culture of volunteering take root in the country because he believes that everyone has something to offer the society.
This need not be monetary but even one’s time to help the country be a better place.
The businessman urges youths to participate in volunteerism to enhance their chances of employment and opportunities for greater things in life.