Zima Homes Future: An interview with Co-founder, Etta Madete.

As Zima Homes continue to grow, so does our team!

Zima Homes Co-founder & Executive director Etta Madete (Pictured right) will be heading to Harvard University to pursue a 1 year Masters’s in Real estate degree in Boston later this year. Allowing her to strategize and build far-reaching networks for phase 2 of Zima Homes’ growth. Ahead of this, she will also be in New Jersey, New York & DC over the summer building cross-cultural networks at the Mandela Washington Fellowship.

Kindly reach out to connect with her over coffee if in the East Coast area. Freda Rutere (Pictured left), Zima Homes COO, will take over as the CEO, leading a qualified Zima Homes team. Freda has over 15 years of experience in real estate and a deep passion for affordable housing. We look forward to the future growth of our team and our company.


Zima Homes is an award-winning EDGE-certified, affordable & sustainable housing developer based in Nairobi, Kenya. We speak with Etta Madete, the Co-founder and Executive Director about her journey with Zima Homes and her vision & plans for its growth!

What has excited you most about Zima Homes?

I believe that the delivery of sustainable, & inclusive affordable urban housing at scale is the single most important catalyst in addressing equity, poverty, health, and climate crises in urbanizing African cities.

As an architect and sustainable development expert, being at the table at the start of the process means that dignity, quality, inclusivity, health, and sustainability are integrated from the onset and not value-engineered out. It is exciting to harness Zima Homes’ capacity as a scale-able incubator of innovative climate-smart materials & design, construction technology, energy & water efficiency systems, and proptech and make them accessible to the bottom 40% through affordable housing.

What are the next plans for Zima Homes?

We aim to deliver 10,000 affordable & sustainable homes in the next 10 years with the goal of having Africa’s first net Zero carbon affordable urban apartments by 2050. We are working with like-minded partners to scale, digitize, and innovate construction technology and materials, protect, and climate-smart but affordable waste, water, and energy systems to do this. All of these improve the environmental efficiency, occupant health & well-being, and cost of delivery and maintenance of the housing development.

What are the next steps for you?

Harvards’ Master in Real Estate Degree is the perfect complement to my undergraduate in Architecture and my Master’s in sustainable design, to enable me to truly revolutionize affordable, dignified, and sustainable housing at scale. The degree will not only enhance my technical expertise and tools, but it will also provide cross-cultural technical exchanges, and build on our growing network both for Zima Homes and the sector at large.


Watch her interview during our showhouse launch here 

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