Just like Kensalt, Kifaru is another commodity or product – it is actually a matchstick – that could fit the riddle “Who am I, and I am available in all Kenyan households?” Then the answer would be it. Kifaru Matchbox with the sticks inside it. But have you ever wondered who owns the company that makes them? Well, the answer is here;

Since 2000, Kifaru matches have been known for being sturdy and easy to light owing to the special ingredient on its match head that makes it light on any surface that can create enough friction.

Also, they are extra thick for a longer burn time, thus great for use in the kitchen, bathroom, fireplace, campsite, emergency kit, or anywhere you need them. That is why many people in Kenya love it.

This number one brand of wooden matches is manufactured by Match Masters Limited (MML), whose journey began in 1998 on Magana Road in Kikuyu, Nairobi. It started its match manufacturing operations then, with its flagship brand Rhino Matchsticks, which was rebranded later to Kifaru in 2000 after its first major investment in upgraded match manufacturing machinery to produce the quality product it is today.

Match Masters Limited is owned by Kushal Shah, who is now the managing director of the company, which not only manufactures Kifaru matchsticks but also Farasi wax matches and Kasuku and Tinga Match Box brands in neighboring Tanzania, where it extended to in 2012.

“Despite various challenges and a highly competitive marketplace, the brands have established leadership positions in their respective markets. The MML team has been, and still is, at the forefront of innovation and exceptional quality service delivery, which has propelled the company to become one of the leading manufacturers of wooden and wax safety matches in Africa.” The company says.

Kushal Shah is an alumnus of Manchester Metropolitan University, where he studied between 1990 and 1994.