When you come across his name, you'll probably ignore it, however Cleophas Shimanyula is arguably one of the most influential businessmen in Kakamega and Western Kenya at large.
He has made investments in various sectors that include; transport, agriculture, construction, real estate, sports, and the lucrative garbage collection business.
One of his notable investments is Kakamega Homeboyz Football Club which he founded and financed for almost ten years before the Kakamega County Government stepped in and offered support.
A part of the club, Shimanyula reportedly owns a car hire service that boasts of having prestigious vehicles mostly used by politicians during campaigns and different political activities.
Some of the famous politicians who've reportedly hired and used his fleet include; former Lugari MP Cyrus Jirongo and ANC Leader Musalia Mudavadi.
But, how did Shimanyula get to where he is today?
His journey to greatness has not been easy, Shimanyula is reported to have started out as a tout serving in matatus plying the Kakamega-Kisumu route.
He served as a tout for quite sometime before opting for the garage where he learned motor vehicle repair from his father who was a mechanic.
While working at the garage, he gained a deeper interest in motor vehicles and would later purchase his first car; a 5-seater saloon.
He used the car to start a taxi business which he did for close to ten years, after which he made a return to the matatu business, this time as an owner and not a tout.
He bought his first matatu thanks to a bank loan. The matatu was branded Homeboyz, a name that he ended up using in his matatu fleet that grew to over 50.
He suffered a setback in 2018 when one of his buses was involved in a tragic accident in Kericho area, leaving 58 people dead. Following the accident, he was arrested and charged in court for allowing his bus to operate without a license.
He was, however, released on a bond of Sh5 million.
His influence and massive investments have seen him work closely with COTU boss Francis Atwoli and Kakamega Governor Wycliffe Oparanya among other influential leaders in the region.
In March 2022, Shimanyula made headlines after he vowed to sell three-quarters of his wealth to ensure Kakamega Senator Cleophas Malala does not win the gubernatorial seat in the August 9, 2022, general election.
He vowed to campaign for ODM Party's Fernandes Barasa stating that: "I will use three-quarters of my wealth to ensure he fails. I can sell my 10 lorries, I sell seven other vehicles and use the resources in campaigning for Barasa to win."