About Wanjeri Gakuru

Wanjeri Gakuru is a print journalist by profession and Associate Editor at UP Magazine. (a very cool, very funky Kenyan publication) She also moonlights as a poet and short fiction writer. She blogs at wanjeri.com

In my experience, music and film have the ability to alleviate or crystallize unhappiness. While literature, among other wonderful things, has always shown me that I am not the only one who suffers. How comforting.

This year I had the great fortune of reading three amazing books. These are Yann Martel’s “Life of Pi”, J.R.R Tolkien’s “The Hobbit” and David Mitchell’s “Cloud Atlas”. Let me admit something first, I will read anything except sordid chit-lit, horrors or annoying American crime/action novels.

I like stories driven by strong characters and with social commentary. I like a little philosophy and books that give general insight into the Human Being and what makes him/her tick. I enjoy a good laugh too.

So, I was overjoyed at coming across these wonderful books this year. Luckily purchasing “Cloud Atlas” and “The Hobbit” off the streets and receiving “Life of Pi” as a birthday gift. I was even more excited to find out that all three books would be adapted into films set for release in 2012!

Now having completed the book/film combos, I can finally share my thoughts on the six creations in the order in which I watched the films.



This was such a special book. It told the story of a young man who survives a shipwreck only to be trapped on a lifeboat for 227 days with a Bengal tiger, Richard Parker. Already that premise had me intrigued. Continue reading

It’s that time of year again,
When toddlers beg for toys and new dresses,
When parents remember the routes to their rural addresses,
When chicken quiver and goats shiver,
When the Messiah is born and we feel reborn,
When we gulp down drinks,dine and whine about the things we make resolves to fix,
When we remember those who passed on,and those we can only reach by phone,
When we dance around in crazy fits with disbelief how the months just flint,
When we countdown to the New Year with hugs,smiles & loudest cheer!

Falling in love is like having that first slice of pizza.
Before you venture into the restaurant
you’ve already given serious thought to finally eating pizza.

You hear the criticism and praises
but you feel that you are ready to make your own judgement.

So you get in line
hoping you’ve chosen a type that will live up to your expectations.
You make your move and quickly dart to your booth, Continue reading

Their God is patient,
Their God is kind,
And thats why they speak to Him only Sometimes,

Like those times when the storms are raging and they seek sturdy ports,
Or when they wake up screaming,fear and worry clouding their hearts,

Other times they wake up happy,
That day that their plans work out or they get lucky, Continue reading

You see I barely even remember you,
I try really hard but you slip behind the veils of my mind,

and I feel as if im trying to catch the wind as it blows past me,
a tangible nothingness I cannot grasp,

So when they tell me that your voice was stern but smooth,
and that your laughter was so beautiful and true,
that it stopped conversations and made people look, Continue reading

I didn’t cry at my sister’s funeral.

I sat a few feet from her coffin, eyes dry as the dusty plains of Samburu and fixed upon the resigned face of Christ on the cross high up on the wall. My family had slowly made its way behind the pall bearers to the front most pews that an usher had eagerly steered us toward. We know where we should sit darling; I had wanted to point out. The choir had opened with a beautiful entrance hymn that echoed within the packed church. This might have been a typical Sunday Mass if it wasn’t for the symphony of sobs and blowing of noses and yes the small issue of the coffin at the front of the altar.

Light wood in angelic white with golden cross detail and silk padded lining. A salesman is a salesman even in the business of death. So what if it was light wood? It only meant that it would degrade faster and as for ‘angelic’ white, did the man have some sort of ‘in’ with the Almighty? Those buriedeth in angelic white -from said funeral home- shall entereth the Pearly Gates? The golden cross thrown in for good measure- or perhaps good luck – and the silk padded lining were all for the mourners benefit. We gave her a proper send off. Decent and honorable, they must have thought.

The priest’s opening prayer boomed from the speakers mounted on the rafters at the eaves in a very ‘voice of God-like’ manner. His oddly-sunny disposition came through as his baritone bounced against the walls and when the microphone squeaked a little he even managed to squeeze in a joke before he read out my sister’s name…the dearly departed soul we had come to mourn…Helen
Continue reading

I woke up today and I couldn’t see,
I could, but I didn’t want to…
See, every time I blinked my right eye
a searing pain went through it,
So I didn’t want to see if the price I had to pay was so steep,

Drip drop…
Some eye drops fell on my reluctantly opened eyelids
and it felt like Chinese water torture,
on these eyes that don’t even open under water,

The foggy, hazy, waterlogged vision begged for darkness
Played a game of Blind Man’s Bluff as I felt my way around my turf,
Doorknob, chair- thank God there are no stairs-,
corridor, empty doorway, turn right, sharp edge of bed,
Thought only thoughts of relief as the duvet went over my head
Continue reading

Short and stout are my dimensions,
And babe I have no objections,

See I was fired in my mother’s kiln and blessed with my father’s wit,
I am perfection,
But sadly that doesn’t grab your attention,

See, your chasing the mini skirts and bared flesh,
While I’m all about t-shirts and flared pants,

I’m not the girl on the billboards,
I’m no yellow yellow and my hair’s my own,
But babe she’s got nothing on my IQ scores,

I worry and pray about my CATs,
While she frets and pouts about her zits,
Continue reading