The Little-Known Family of Sir Charles Mugane Njonjo

The Little-Known Family of Sir Charles Mugane Njonjo
Charles Njonjo, his wife Margaret Bryson and his three children: The Little-Known Family of Sir Charles Mugane Njonjo

British organizational theorist, Lynda Gratton, once said that “A life well lived requires careful planning in order to balance the financial and the non-financial, the economic and the psychological, the rational and the emotional.

For Charles Njonjo– it’s safe to say he lived a fulfilled life attaining 101 years which is no mean feat during the 21st Century.

His political life is well documented, from the time he was appointed as the Attorney General to the time he became the Minister for Home and Constitutional Affairs- serving in two administrations.

Family Life

While serving in former President Jomo Kenyatta’s administration, Njonjo married Margaret Bryson at 52 years in 1972. At the time, Kenyatta felt uneasy about Njonjo whom he pointed out that he had overstayed his welcome at the bachelors club.

Previously, Njonjo was set to marry Margaret Wanjiru Koinange but broke off the engagement. If Njonjo would have proceeded with the engagement, he would have become Kenyatta’s brother-in-law.

Njonjo had three children with Bryson: Wairimu Njonjo, Mary Wambui Njonjo and Josiah David Njonjo.

From left; Wairimu Njonjo and her father (Charles Njonjo) and her mother during Wairimu’s wedding.COURTESY

Not much is known about Wambui and Josiah, but Wairimu is famed for abandoning her law career to follow her father’s passion. Wairimu, the first born daughter, practised criminal law at the London bar for five years. However, she decided to abandon her career in 2004 when she relocated back to Kenya in order to take up marine conversation.

She later became an enthusiastic diver and a fully qualified Professional Association of Diving Instructor (PADI) member- a title she attained after completing a performance-based diver training program.

Wairimu also serves as a trustee of Tumaini Children’s Home- a home established to provide treatment and accommodation for children suffering from HIV and AIDS.

Her husband, Volker Bassen, is a Swedish entrepreneur and philanthropist who is also extremely passionate about environmental conservation projects.

Njonjo’s second born daughter Mary Wambui, married Carey Ngini- who is currently the CEO and chairman of Bentworth Investments Limited. He has been the defacto spokesperson for the Njonjo family especially with health updates over the course of the past two years.

Njonjo had six grandchildren, who he credited with having an uplifting effect on his energy and love for life. In a past interview, Njonjo praised his children- noting that they turned out well.

“I have looked after my kids well, I have seen them through their education; one is a barrister, the other is a scientist and one is a veterinary doctor. They have turned out well, I think. I have given them what my father gave me — an education,” he previously stated.


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The Little-Known Family of Sir Charles Mugane Njonjo

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