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Kenyans love their bead brands especially the Maasai beads
Kenyans love their bead brands especially the Maasai beads | © S Pakhrin / Flickr
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11 Local Brands that Kenyans Love

Picture of Nandika Macharia
Updated: 27 April 2018
The following brands have resonated with Kenyans so resoundingly that they have become the go-to brands that represent the ideals of the Kenyan population. Read on to discover what local brands Kenyans love and are proud of.

Mpesa

Mpesa is the well-known mobile money transfer service that has revolutionized the way transactions are done in Kenya. Mpesa is so loved that this it was voted Kenya’s leading brand for two consecutive years, ahead of its parent company, Safaricom. This was done in a survey by Super Brands East Africa through a process managed by The Center for Brand Analysis, which is a London-based firm.

Mpesa
Mpesa shop in Kenya | © Ivan Small / Flickr

Bata Shoes

Bata Shoes Kenya, an offshoot of the Bata Shoe organization, has been operating in Kenya since 1939 and is the leading shoe company in the country that has supplied Kenyans with shoes for every stage of life. As a child, this is where you would get your school shoes and adults also get their office footwear here. Their safari boots, nicknamed “sahara” because of their sandy hue, are well appreciated by Kenyans and foreigners alike, due to the comfortable soles and hardy exterior. They can endure any terrain. In fact, you will probably outgrow your saharas before they outgrow you. The brand has been able to keep up with emerging fashion trends even as it continues to maintain a high level of durability.

Laugh Industry

Standup comedy in Kenya has risen to new heights in recent years. Local comedian Daniel “Churchill” Ndambuki has created a comedic brand (The Churchill Show) under the banner of his company, Laugh Industry, which has provided a platform that showcases Kenyan rib crackers every weekend. Sunday and Thursday will see Kenyans forgoing their favorite evening activities to congregate in front of the TV for a good laugh. This show resonates with most Kenyans because the host and founder have beaten great odds to create the brand and it is a family-friendly show.

Kariz
Comedian Eric Kariuki, AKA Hambari Ngani, performing on The Churchill Show | © SirMeSam / WikiCommons

Blue Band margarine

Most people in Kenya grew up spreading Blue Band margarine on their bread every morning. This is a staple you can be sure to find on every Kenyan breakfast table or kitchen cabinet. It is also popularly used in baking and cooking, giving the food a distinct buttery taste. Although the margarine has evolved in its packaging from being in a tin to a plastic bowl, the distinct yellow and blue colors used on the exterior has been the same for years, bringing back fond memories.

Pauline Cosmetics

This is a homegrown solution that caters to the makeup and cosmetic needs of African women. The hues are tailored to suit African skin tones and remain unaffected by the African climate. The founder, Nelly Tuikong, created the brand after having difficulty accessing make up for her skin tone while studying in the U.S. The brand’s pocket-friendly prices and precision in matching various skin tones has seen it give international brands a run for their money.

Pauline Purple
Pauline Cosmetics | © Nelly Tuikong / Pauline Cosmetics

Ken Tank

If you need a massive, quality, water tank for your home, Ken Tank is usually the brand of choice. It provides unbeatable quality tanks that can withstand all the weather changes experienced in Kenya for decades without falling apart. Ken Tank has become a reliable and a much-loved brand for many households and is the primary choice for the construction industry when installing outdoor water tanks countrywide.

The Daily Nation

The Daily Nation has been the authoritative informative voice in print for many years in Kenya. It is hard to picture the country without the newspaper brand, which has become synonymous with hard-hitting political stories and analysis. The paper was started in 1958 as a Kiswahili paper by Charles Hayes, an English man, and then acquired by the Aga Khan, who still owns it presently. The first English publication of the newspaper appeared in 1960 and since then it has been going strong. From breaking news to interesting features and amusing caricatures of local and international influencers, the newspaper is a daily staple in Kenyan homes.

Daily Nation Newspaper
The Daily Nation Newspaper | © Stephan Magdalinski / Flickr

Safaricom

Safaricom is the leading mobile and data network in Kenya. Everyone loves this brand because it literally changed the connectivity of communities in Kenya, allowing all parts of the country to become accessible and investor friendly. There are very few places that the mobile service provider doesn’t cover. As a result, there is really no rural area in Kenya, as Safaricom technology provides exceptional services in bringing people and services together. The brand is also big on sponsoring events and local talent, as well as providing platforms for Kenyans to enjoy arts, music, and culture, like the Safaricom International Jazz Festival.

Safaricom
Safaricom, the leading mobile and data service provider in Kenya | © AJ Leon / Flickr

Tuskys

Tuskys has over time clawed its way up to become one of the most loved supermarkets in a very competitive environment. Kenyans love the Tuskys brand because of its reliability and fairly priced products. The addition of their take away cooked food counters have proved particularly popular, especially in their Central Business District branches as they provide a cheaper option for many over an expensive lunch in a restaurant. It was founded in 1990 and is a family-owned business. The supermarket provides employment to over 7,000 Kenyans in various parts of the country.

Sports Pesa

The English premier league has a near fanatic following in Kenya with people following the various teams. With the coming of Sports Pesa, a legal betting platform in Kenya, fans can now put their money where their mouth is. If your team wins, not only do you have the bragging rights for a few days, but you win money as well. Football is now not just loved, it is adored, and Kenyans have the Sports Pesa brand to thank.

Kenya Television Network (KTN)

Of the many television broad casting brands in Kenya, KTN has clearly set themselves apart by broadcasting on a myriad of issues, including politics, sports, and any injustices committed in various Kenyan communities with fearlessness, courage, and consistency. This television brand is loved by Kenyans because of their brand of reporting, whose mandate is to ask the hard questions when everyone else is not ready to ask those questions. With KTN, you can be sure they will be impartial but they will ask those uncomfortable questions to politicians, police, and military chiefs, corrupt business men, and other powerful people in society. Their commitment to investigative journalism is on another level. They provide answers to Kenyans and expose important issues that may otherwise have been swept under the rug.

KTN
Kenya Television Network covering a press conference | © SRCC press conference on Marka killings / WikiCommons