Wanjiru Koinange is a writer, restorer of libraries and entrepreneur from Nairobi, Kenya. She was raised on a farm on the outskirts of the city with her four siblings. She obtained her Bachelor’s degree in Journalism and Literature from Nairobi’s United States International University, after which she worked as a talent manager for some of East Africa’s most renowned artists and musicians – then as a festival and events manager. She then later pursued a Masters in Creative Writing from the University in Cape Town.During this time she also worked to explore how art may be used as a catalyst for social change. This was channelled through the global non-profit organisation, Africa Centre. While in Cape Town, she also served on the editorial team of Chimurenga.
Her writing has been published in several journals and magazines across the continent including Chimurenga, SlipNet and Commonwealth Writers where she served as a cultural correspondent for East and Southern Africa in 2015. During this stint, she published this piece about the McMillan Memorial Library – Kenya’s second oldest library.
This article was the major inspiration for the formation of Book Bunk which Wanjiru co-founded with Angela Wachuka in 2017. This independent non-profit organisation renovates and manages some of Nairobi’s most iconic public libraries. The McMillan Memorial Library and two of its smaller branches in Kaloleni and Makadara are the organisation’s flagship projects. The formation of Book Bunk Trust was inspired by a core belief that our public spaces are essential to a collective Kenyan imagination, and can be steered to become more than just rooms full of books to act as centres of knowledge, art, sharing and community.
Wanjiru is also a publisher at Bunk Books, an imprint of Book Bunk Limited which is the commercial arm of Book Bunk Trust.