Born To Lead: The Success Story of Denis Kariuki, Chairperson ANU

Lucky Oluoch
8 Min Read
Photo: Courtesy
  • Mr. Denis Kariuki is the Chairperson of Africa Nazarene University Students Organization (ANUSO)
  • He first became a leader in church
  • His political role model is Dr. William Samoei Ruto, and he is the reason Mr. Kariuki is willing to run for the position of president of the Republic of Kenya, in the near future

Mr. Denis Kariuki is a 4th Year student pursuing a Bachelors’ degree in commerce (Majoring in Finance) at Africa Nazarene University (ANU). Born in Nyeri County but raised in Murang’a County, his childhood life was never a walk in the park. Raised by his grandparents, he had the opportunity of learning the complexity of life and this really played a role in sharpening him for future leadership roles.

His grandfather, Mr.Samuel Kigotho Gachau, who is in his retirement as a financial consultant and expert, currently manages a local dry cleaning business in Othaya, Nyeri County. From childhood. Mr. Kariuki always desired to be a leader and his grandfather, and mentor, always reminded him that, “Gold must go through all the hard processes for it to gain value.” The wise words from his old man kept him going and today he is the Chairperson of the Africa Nazarene University Student Organization (ANUSO).

The desire to be in leadership all started when he got appointed as the chairperson of the junior youth in his local church. One year later, while in class eight, he was elected as the chairperson of the junior youth for the entire parish. This experience made him grow politically, socially, spiritually, and mentally.

After joining high school, Mr. Kariuki was elected to lead various youth catholic action positions. He started as a florist, then the prayer coordinator, and finally a preacher. This boosted his courage to stand before a crowd and it helped him grow and develop at a personal level. He came to understand what it really meant to be a public figure. Growing up, he looked up to his former area Member of Parliament – Hon. Clement Wambugu.

“I remember, during the final days in my high school, I declared my future dream before my classmates, of becoming the next President of the Republic of Kenya. Everyone was quite surprised as no one could believe what I just said despite the fact that I had tried to run for the position of a school captain and yet failed several times,” he added.

Self-driven and full of energy, Mr. Kariuki joined ANU in 2019 with great determination to excel. He comprehends that most leaders in government, and politics,  were once student leaders in various universities.

“We have leaders like Hon. James Orengo, Irungu Kang’ata who is the Governor Murang’a County, Prof. George Magoha, the cabinet secretary of Education and Babu Owino, the member of parliament of Embakasi East, just to mention a few. They were once student leaders at the University of Nairobi,” he says.

His journey to the helm of the Student’s Body also had its own challenges. On  8, 2022, he was announced as the president-elect of ANUSO. However, there was a repeat of the electoral after his competitor had requested a re-run. But still, he won both elections with 62%. Now, after five months in the office, Mr. Kariuki has been pivotal in addressing the issues of the students and representing them.

The young leader has been able to partner with different people including different investors to help students from his university learn how to invest, save money and come up with good investment strategies. As the Chairperson of ANUSO, Mr. Kariuki also champions for the equitable awarding of the different work-study programs and scholarships, like the Vice Chancellor Scholarship (Mostly for Sports Persons) to the students.

Asked about supporting the different hustles of the students he said,

“ANU students are my first priority when it comes to giving tenders and finding vendors for our projects. There are comrades who require assistance in marketing their online products. As the chairperson, I am in a position to reach out to many comrades. I always do my best to help them. There are those who do their business and offer their services in school freely.”

Mr. Kariuki adds that they have ANU Students’ Organization Scholarship Initiative (ASOSI). An initiative aimed at raising funds and offering scholarships to cater for tuition fees for needy students characterized by humble backgrounds with financial uncertainties but with great academic potential. In order to assist the needy ANU student body came up with a scholarship fund that helps to alleviate the burden among their needy students.

Like any other leader in power, he too faces some challenges and he says,  

“Challenges are the backbone of success. During my time in the office, I have faced quite a number of challenges. Sometimes as a leader, you may disagree with your superiors. If you are unable to agree, it breaks the good relationship between you and the administration. This sabotages any project or plans you have or had in mind. It distracts you and limits your focus on achieving and fulfilling your goals. And you really do not want to be branded as a failed regime.”

For Mr. Kariuki to fulfill most of his mandates, he says that there is a system of protocol that he has to follow, and in an instance where his proposals get rejected he is always answerable to the students of ANU. He thus adds that,

“Challenges create strong leaders. All that matters most is being in control. Control over your emotions or the situation. Be wise. Think big and focus on the greater good. Never forget that there is always room for improvement, regardless of how significant or minor our achievements or setbacks may be. Success is the progressive realization of a worthy goal.”

He concludes.

Make a donation to ASOSI Kitty through the following Bank Accounts:

KCB, O/Rongai Branch – A/C No. 1104427184 (Purpose – ASOSI)

Standard Chartered Bank, Langata Road – A/C No. 0108096404600 (Purpose – ASOSI)

MPESA Business No. 701100 (Account – ASOSI)

For international Donors Use CITIBANK Details as follows:

Beneficiary Bank: CITIBANK N.A., 30711 Nairobi Kenya


Beneficiary Name: Africa Nazarene University

Beneficiary A/C No. 0102612078

Purpose: ASOSI Scholarship

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Lucky Oluoch is a multifaceted prolific Gen-Z journalist and communication guru who is pursuing a B.A in Communication and with extensive experience in the field. Lucky's work has been featured in prominent Kenyan media outlets such as Radio Africa Group, NationAfrica, Tuko Media and Mediamax Network Ltd (where he also served as an Acting Sub-Editor and Opinion Editor). EMAIL: