By The Africa Institute

August 10, 2021

Wanjiru Koinange and Angela Wachuka, the co-founders of Book Bunk, a Nairobi-based social impact firm founded in 2017, recently visited The Africa Institute as part of a wider visit to Sharjah through Sheikha Bodour bint Sultan Al Qasimi, President of the International Publishers Association.

One of Book Bunk’s primary missions is to restore some of Nairobi’s iconic public libraries, including the McMillan Memorial Library on Banda Street, the Kaloleni Library and the Eastlands Library in Makadara. The co-founders envision public libraries as acting sites of knowledge production, public art, heritage building, memory storage, cultural leadership, and information exchange, and believe they are critical spaces for developing and bolstering Kenya’s creative ecosystem.

In 2018, Book Bunk established a partnership with the Nairobi City Country government which further drives restoration and resource mobilization efforts for these libraries. Book Bunk manages the sourcing and management of fiscal support and steers the management of the design and architectural restoration and programming of these spaces.

Connecting with and partnering with such institutions across Africa and the African diaspora is a key aim of The Africa Institute, and a large part of our outreach efforts are geared towards collaborations with such initiatives either through shared programming, facilitation of efforts, or through other connection points.

Read more about Book Bunk here.

About the Co-Founders

Angela Wachuka

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.

Wanjiru Koinange

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 channeled 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.

Wanjiru Koinange and Angela Wachuka, the co-founders of Book Bunk, a Nairobi-based social impact firm founded in 2017, recently visited The Africa Institute as part of a wider visit to Sharjah through Sheikha Bodour bint Sultan Al Qasimi, President of the International Publishers Association.

Wanjiru Koinange and Angela Wachuka, the co-founders of Book Bunk, a Nairobi-based social impact firm founded in 2017, recently visited The Africa Institute as part of a wider visit to Sharjah through Sheikha Bodour bint Sultan Al Qasimi, President of the International Publishers Association.

One of Book Bunk’s primary missions is to restore some of Nairobi’s iconic public libraries, including the McMillan Memorial Library on Banda Street, the Kaloleni Library and the Eastlands Library in Makadara. The co-founders envision public libraries as acting sites of knowledge production, public art, heritage building, memory storage, cultural leadership, and information exchange, and believe they are critical spaces for developing and bolstering Kenya’s creative ecosystem.

In 2018, Book Bunk established a partnership with the Nairobi City Country government which further drives restoration and resource mobilization efforts for these libraries. Book Bunk manages the sourcing and management of fiscal support and steers the management of the design and architectural restoration and programming of these spaces.

Connecting with and partnering with such institutions across Africa and the African diaspora is a key aim of The Africa Institute, and a large part of our outreach efforts are geared towards collaborations with such initiatives either through shared programming, facilitation of efforts, or through other connection points.

Read more about Book Bunk here.

About the Co-Founders

Angela Wachuka

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.

Wanjiru Koinange

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 channeled 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.

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