Angela Wachuka is the Executive Director of Kwani Trust. She oversees the Trust’s daily operations and provides direction toward the achievement of the organisation’s mission, strategy, annual goals and objectives. Angela joined Kwani Trust in February 2008 and has since overseen the growth of grant & earned income by 65% and 40% respectively. Previous to this, she worked at the BBC’s African News and Current Affairs Department; in broadcasting on the Focus on Africa and Network Africa radio programmes, as well as in operations for the quarterly Focus on Africa Magazine. Angela holds a BA in Anthropology & Law from the London School of Economics & Political Science (LSE) and has held various research-oriented posts at the London Borough of Lambeth, the Association of British Insurers and the Centre for African Policy & Peace Strategy (CAPPS) in London. She is an Arts Management Fellow at the DeVos Institute at the Kennedy Center in Washington DC. Tweet her @angelawachuka / connect with her on LinkedIn http://lnkd.in/kCH9ku
Billy Kahora is the Managing Editor of Kwani? He also writes fiction and completed an MS.c in Creative Writing with distinction at the University of Edinburgh as a Chevening Scholar in 2007. Before that, Billy studied and worked in South Africa for 8 years and in between worked as an Editorial Assistant for All Africa.com in Washington D.C. He has a Bachelor of Journalism degree and post-graduate diploma in Media Studies from Rhodes University. His short story, ‘Treadmill Love’, was highly commended by the 2007 Caine Prize judges. He edited ‘Kenya Burning’, a visual narrative of the Kenya post-elections crisis published by the GoDown Arts Centre and Kwani Trust in March 2009. His extended feature, ‘The True Story of David Munyakei’ on Kenya’s biggest whistleblower has been developed into a non-fiction novella and was released by Kwani Trust in July 2009. Billy was a Regional judge for the 2009 Commonwealth Writers’ Prize as well as the 2014 Etisalat Prize for Literature.
Velma Kiome supports the Executive Director’s office in the Trust’s daily operations and joined the Trust as General Manager in April 2012. Her administrative experience includes managing theatre productions, international conferences and conventions as event coordinator and media liaison for Rainmaker Limited, Lucidity, and Daystar University respectively. She worked with the United Nations in Nairobi as a publications layout specialist and illustrator of children’s books for various Kenyan publishers and organisations. Some of her work has appeared in Kwani? 01 and Kwani? 03. Velma holds a BA in Design from the University of Nairobi and is currently pursuing a part-time MA in Communication at Malmӧ University, Sweden. Tweet her @mzinduzi
Kate Haines works as an Associate Editor for Kwani Trust and manages the Kwani? Manuscript Project, our one-off prize for unpublished novel manuscripts from African writers across the continent and in the diaspora, launched in April 2012. She is an editor with 10 years experience of working in the publishing industry and was previously Head of Humanities at Palgrave Macmillan, responsible for paperback publishing across history, literature, theatre and language. She is currently working on a PhD in the School of English at the University of Sussex, looking at the work of Kwani Trust and Farafina Books over a 10 year period and asking how these two organizations and their writers have intervened in the creation of cultural memory. She also co-edits www.africainwords.com and founded materialbooks.org in Kigali. Tweet her @katehaines
Kate Hampton is an Assistant Editor at Kwani Trust, and a freelance writer and Editor. Her major projects with Kwani? have included Kwani? 08, Kwani? 07, the Kwani? Manuscript Project, the Alternative Media Project and the 2012 Kwani? Litfest. Her poetry, creative nonfiction and journalism have appeared in Chimurenga Chronic, The EastAfrican, Kwani? 07 and Kwani? 08. Before working with Kwani Trust, she raised over $4000 for the Democratic National Committee in Washington DC as a Field Manager with Grassroots Campaigns Inc., taught unaccompanied refugee minors with Heshima Kenya, and completed a work-study with the American University School of International Service’s Alumni Relations and Development Department. She graduated magna cum laude from American University in 2011 with a BA in International Service. In addition to publishing, writing, editing and literature, her interests include discourse analysis, oral history, anthropology, gender studies, psychology, politics, nature, coffee and the arts. Tweet her @KateCHampton.
Ogutu Muraya is a writer, theatre-maker and storyteller/spoken word artist. He acted, translated and adapted William Shakespeare’s The Merry Wives of Windsor into a Swahili version, Wanawake wa Heri wa Windsor. The adaptation premiered in April 2012 at Shakespeare’s Globe Theatre in London as part of the “Globe to Globe Festival”, a build-up to the 2012 London Olympics. His other works have been performed in Kenya, Tanzania, Zimbabwe (HIFA 2013), India, London and at La Mama in New York City.In 2009, he toured with and starred in the critically acclaimed poetry-show Cut off My Tongue by Sitawa Namwalie. He has also featured in Living Memories by Al Kags (2009), The Matatu from Watamu that Drove into the Sea: A children’s musical (2010) by Muthoni Muchemi and Spirit of the Nation (2010) - a collaborative production done by USA, UK and Kenyan artists. His storytelling has featured at The Storymoja Hay Festival, The Sigana International Storytelling Festival, Anancy Festival, The Hay Festival (Wales), The Durham World Heritage Center, Durham University (UK), NuVo Arts Festival (Kampala), and recently at the Brakke Grond in Amsterdam as part of Nieuwe Helden’s ‘The Synergetic City’. He co-produces Tales & Stories, a storytelling concert held annually in Nairobi. Ogutu holds a BA in International Relations, is an Associate Director of The Theatre Company Ltd and works with Kwani Trust as an Editorial Assistant. Tweet him @ogutumuraya
Clifton Gachagua is the first winner of the Sillerman Prize for African Poetry 2013, awarded by the African Poetry Book Fund. He has recently published a volume of poetry, Madman at Kilifi (University of Nebraska Press). He appears in a chapbook boxset, Seven New Generation African Poets (University of Nebraska Press).
Lenjo Maza is a designer, poet, confessed caffeine addict and lover of three-day holidays. When not channeling the excess energy to save the world from bad design, he writes between writer’s block and shallow epiphanies. He paints, dreams and raises two awesome zen kids in a corner of Nairobi, occasionally trotting places like Addis Ababa and Zanzibar to reclaim his mind. Lenjo also coordinates the design, layout & production of Kwani Trust’s titles.
Sales and Distribution
Mike Mburu is in charge of Sales and Distribution. He has a diploma in Marketing and has been involved in the arts since 2003. He was previously involved in distribution of local music and managing various artists before moving to the distribution of books and local films. He has previously coordinated the Kenya Cine Week which evolved to become the Kenya International Film Festival.
Assistant Sales & Distribution
Humphrey Lumire works as an assistant in the sales & distribution department, and can be seen zooming across the city on book delivery errands on most days. He is also involved in the daily activities of the sales department such as re-stocking of book titles at outlets and delivery of online book orders. Humphrey joined the Trust in 2011.
Rhoda Oluande is the Housekeeping Officer and previously worked for Nestle Food Ltd as a sales promoter. She is currently taking Store Keeping courses sponsored by Kwani Trust, and will be in charge of book stock-keeping functions from mid-2014 upon completion of her training, as the Trust expands its publications list.