This also means his pay slip reads better than most thriller novels
By Shifa Mwihaki
Former Nairobi Deputy Governor Polycarp Igathe also gets stuck in Nairobi traffic, but unlike you and me, it’s inside the head turning Sh40 million luxury Bentley. That cost is minus insurance, fuel and maintenance.
Igathe’s 2018 Bentley Bentayga is one of only 50 in the world, and one of only five in Kenya. His is white, another of the five is champagne gold- bought by city lawyer Ahmednasir Abdullahi, The Grand Mullah. The cheapest in the lot cost Sh27 million-without customization. Never mind most Kenyans are nursing an out-of-money experience.
Being among one of 50 buyers who ordered it globally, means Igathe’s pay slip- since he’s employed- reads better than most thriller novels.
Igathe, currently the Chief Operating Officer of Equity bank, appears to have upgraded his vehicular tastes from his beloved Range Rover Vogue to this beauty that has got tongues wagging considering its one of the more pricey SUVs anywhere.
How much would one be earning to driver such a Bentley? Well, last year Equity paid its CEO, James Mwangi, Sh65 million in annual salary or Sh4.7 million a month minus perks. This means Polycarp Igathe’s take home is around that neighbourhood. Or more.
This Bentley is a class above the Range Rover Autobiography and Mercedes-Maybach
The four-seater Bentley Bentayga comes with a handcrafted cabin in a Dark Fiddleback Eucalyptus veneer, straight fluted seats in supple leather hides with the upper cabin trimmed in Eliade, a soft and tactile fabric and an eight cylinder engine which pull 290km/h. This Bentley is a class above the Range Rover Autobiography and Mercedes-Maybach and its “the synonym to extraordinary luxury and performance combined,’’ said Dimitris Karakoulas, the general manager at Bentley Nairobi who imported Igathe’s eye-watering ride.
Dimitris added that the 5900cc behemoth is targeted at the ultra high net worth and that the five Kahunas who ordered the Bentleys were either “rich customers with finer motoring tastes” or mostly from “rich families with dynastic wealth and self-made entrepreneurs who emphasize quality and distinction in their consumption.”
Igathe has worked at the top end of the food chain with Vivo Energy, Haco Industries, Africa Online, Kenya Breweries, Coca-Cola and now Equity.
Of what his expensive cars say about him, Igathe reckons “I hope they say that I spend a lot of time in traffic and I like to enjoy the comfort”
Of his extravagances, Igathe once said five years ago: “I think my vanity is a car” and that was when he was riding around in Range Rover Classic Vogue. “That’s my vanity. I love it because I love road trips and travel a lot. I said, let me reward myself after working so hard for all these years.”
Of what his expensive cars say about him, Igathe reckons “I hope they say that I spend a lot of time in traffic and I like to enjoy the comfort.”
While global economies have been in a recession since January, Kenya’s super rich have increased their spending on luxury cars. While Bentley Nairobi ran out of stock and has sold only one since March, sales of other brands including the Mercedes-Benz, Porsche and Range Rover nosed north by 73 percent in the three months to March, according the Kenya Motor Industry Association, meaning the wealthy are defying the general economic meltdown and pay cuts experienced by those feeling the vagaries of inflation.