Wanjiru Koinange is a writer, restorer of libraries and entrepreneur from Nairobi, Kenya. Her debut novel, The Havoc of Choice, based on the events surrounding the 2007 Kenyan general election is currently a national bestseller. Her writing has also 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. Prior to Book Bunk, Wanjiru explored ways in which art and creative production could be used to influence social change. These efforts were channelled through the Cape Town-based non-profit, Africa Centre, where she managed some of their core programs, and continues to be an interest of Wanjiru’s.
Angela is one of Kenya’s leading publishers of African literature. From 2008 to 2017, she was the executive director of East Africa’s leading literary organization, Kwani Trust, where she published Africa’s leading literary and award-winning voices including Chimamanda Adichie, Binyavanga Wainaina, Nuruddin Farah, Yvonne Adhiambo Owuor and Ayobami Adebayo. Wachuka served as secretary to a national film committee appointed by Kenya’s Ministry of Sports, Culture and the Arts in 2017 to align proposed film legislation with sectoral needs. She is currently Secretary of Wabunii Sacco, a savings and credit organisation providing financial inclusion and solutions to Kenya’s creative sector.
Board of Trustees
Founder and Managing Partner at Roha, a greenfield investment company focused on East Africa. Roha invests and develops new companies by leading greenfield projects from origination to exit.
Partner at MMAN Advocates heading its Commercial and Projects practice groups. Over 12 years’ experience in commercial and corporate lawWaringa is also a board member of PharmAccess Foundation.
Anne Miltenburg joins our Advisory Board to strengthen our brand and direct our work increasing both reach and impact. Anne is an award winning brand developer specialising in brands for social change. After a storied career at agencies such as Studio Dumbar and Interbrand in Europe and South-East Asia, she founded The Brandling in Nairobi, an educational company that trains social entrepreneurs to build stronger brands to accelerate change. She is the author of Brand The Change and creator of the Brand Thinking Canvas. Her brand building tools are in use by more than 10,000 people across four continents.
Leading architectural research in readiness for the physical restoration of McMillan Memorial Library on Banda Street is Balmoi Abe. Balmoi has 17 years experience as a practicing and Pan African award-winning Architect. He is also a celebrated Afro-Urban Project presented at Habitat 3. He is a Cultural Impact Director and Founder at Mambo Heritage, where the uniqueness of Africa’s people, culture and ecosystems drives the design for users of settlements. Balmoi co-creates and designs innovative low-income product solutions around urban and rural settlements for different entities including governments, foundations & tech companies. He joins our Advisory Board to advise on the architectural aspects of Kenya’s second-oldest library, opened in 1931.
Leading sustainability efforts at the Bunk is Victor Gitobu. He is a finance specialist, an entrepreneur and an investor with over 30 years of experience in corporate banking, investment banking and consulting in East Africa. He has worked with four leading banks in Kenya: Equity Bank, Commercial Bank of Africa, Citibank and Standard Chartered Bank (K) Ltd. He is also experienced in building Private-Public Partnerships and positive collaboration with Government and Public Sector through his advisory work on creating a Warehouse Receipt System in Kenya (Ministry of Agriculture and EAGC). Victor will be advising us on how we can make these palaces for the people sustainable beyond the bunk.
Marianne is a Literature and Political Science graduate, and the proud mother of a little girl. She is dedicated to creating memorable event experiences which create a better environment for future generations. She is also passionate about books because, “There’s nothing a book cannot solve.” When she isn’t planning and managing Book Bunk’s events and programmes, she spends her free time reading, singing and playing with her daughter.
Sahar currently leads Book Bunk’s Fundraising and Business Development. In this role, she is responsible for securing grant funding and in-kind contributions for Book Bunk’s overall library restoration projects at McMillan Memorial Library and its two branches in Eastlands. Sahar has a masters degree in Human Rights from the London School of Economics (LSE) and an undergraduate degree in French and International Development.
Syokau is an anthropologist who is passionate about people in all places across time. Her core responsibilities include ensuring the success and seamless operations of all research-related aspects. These include leading the overall data aspects of Book Bunk’s work and its day-to-day management such as data-gathering and presentation, volunteer management/relations, administration and communications.
Cess is our resident digital guru. She is an experienced web designer and developer with over 6 years of experience in creating digital presence via user-focused design and interactive features. She has 105+ websites to her name custom designed and built-in WordPress, Shopify, and custom CMS. Cess’s passion for web design and development has seen her work on projects that command the attention of her client’s audience, and engage and motivate them to explore their digital profiles.
Under her lead, she has taken over Book Bunk’s digital life re-creating web pages for our website and has been behind the creation of McMillan Memorial Library’s first-ever digital archive: nrblibraries-archive.org.
Leading our world of communication is Jonathan Bii, our brand new Communications Manager! Jonathan is an experienced communications professional with experience working in government, Silicon Savannah, Media and with development agencies. At Book Bunk, he leads and oversees all our communication needs while exploring new ways for us to engage with our community.
When he’s not managing our world of comms, he spends his time with his friends creating a safe spaces podcast for Nairobians and advocating for investment in Kenya’s Creative Economy.
Benjamin is Book Bunk’s finance consultant and is responsible for recording entries of financial transactions, processing payments, maintaining books of accounts, conducting bank reconciliation, preparing payroll, & filing returns.
Marion is our lead intern and is a recent Bachelor of Arts graduate from the University of Nairobi. When she’s not cataloguing at McMillan Memorial Library and its branches, she’s either indulging in fiction or writing articles on culture and fashion as well as book reviews.
Orpah is a pre-school teacher by profession with a diploma in Early Childhood Education. She is also a proud mother of five children. When she’s not cataloguing at McMillan Library, she can be found spending quality time with her children.
Yvette is a very recent high school graduate and the youngest member of our inventory team! When she’s not cataloguing at McMillan Library, she spends her free time reading fiction and watching movies.
Dennis is a Library Science graduate with a diploma in Information Studies and Library Science. To date, his most enjoyable experience of cataloguing has been interacting with the library users daily, being exposed to the varied library collection and working with the inventory team.
Dennis is an IT specialist currently focused on cybersecurity. His most memorable experience of cataloguing so far is listing a newspaper that is 118 years old and also finding original comics in the collection.
Interns: Programmes & Events
Maureen is a recent Economics and Statistics graduate from the University of Nairobi. Her most meaningful experience at Book Bunk has been the public’s piqued interest and partnership. She hopes that her work will help her gain a better understanding of how collective culture can be used as a tool for poverty reduction.
Effie Wanjir is a recent graduate in Community Resource Management. Her most memorable experience at Book Bunk was seeing the delightful way the students at Music Bunk (Our August School Holidays Music Camp) threw themselves into the program.
Evelyne is a graduate of International Relations and Diplomacy and an aspiring diplomat. Her most memorable experience working with the events’ team is seeing the happy faces of kids who attend various events and programmes curated for them.
Lavin is an accounting student currently in charge of data-entry, which ensures that all necessary data on libraries is collected and updated in a timely way. After her internship at Book Bunk, she hopes to continue working with the team while also furthering her studies.
Brandon is currently a final year student at the University of Nairobi, pursuing an undergraduate degree in Anthropology. His interaction with Book Bunk revolves around assisting in the production of an eight-episode podcast focused on the literary history of Kenyans and their interactions with libraries.
Trevas is an anthropologist who has recently graduated from the University of Nairobi. Over the course of his university studies, he grew an interest in how space is utilised by society and how the use of such spaces affects the daily lives of the people that live and operate there.