Wanjiru Wawewu Wathaika; Founder of Funkidz, Home of Funky & Functional Furniture

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So I have a confession to make; I spent a great deal, a very great deal of my time browsing through and lusting after the awesome children’s furniture created by Funkidz. Colourful, creative, funky and functional as promised!

Wanjiru Wawewu Wathaika

This innovative children’s brand is firmly focused on its mission of designing stimulating and exciting environments and furniture for children. Funkidz is a design and innovative house specialising in a wide range of furniture designs for children from ages 0-16 including cots, change units, junior beds, bunk beds, tables, chairs, storage units and much more. And you had better believe that all these furniture is designed and manufactured by the Funkidz team. Goodbye imports!

Credit: facebook.com/funkidz/photos
Credit: facebook.com/funkidz/photos

Asides from furniture and interior design, Funkidz sponsors the Kidz Go Tech sessions, a club offering  exposure to robotics and other engineering concepts, including the opportunity to learn, create, apply and produce technology in a stimulating and informal environment. Another one for the kids, and they are not done yet!

The latest Funkidz brand is Funtreatz, a confectionery unit that specialises in cupcakes and cookies for baby showers, birthdays, special days and treat days! Mama Funkidz has discovered a love for baking in addition to interior design and its’ not just about satisfying a sweet tooth; Even through her baked goods, her love for conserving and protecting Kenya’s wildlife, is propagated in the most ingenious ways.

Credit: facebook.com/funkidz
Credit: facebook.com/funkidz
Credit: facebook.com/funkidz
Credit: facebook.com/funkidz

But who is Mama Funkidz, lover of all things bright and beautiful?

Wanjiru Waweru Waithaka is a Kenyan and a Creative Serial Entrepreneur. A graduate of Interior Architecture from The Glasgow School of Art- University of Glasgow, Wanjiru founded Amber Africa to cater to interior architecture for individuals, hotels and corporate organizations including Coca-Cola, the beverage giant.

Wanjiru Wawewu Wathaika
Credit: anzishaprize.org

Refusing to limit her creative streak to buildings, Wanjiru also tried her hand at fashion designing with the Dawn of Creation fashion house.  Eleven years on, she sets her sights on creating the dream environment for children and teenagers, and in 2011, Funkidz was founded in Kenya with their products available in Uganda and Rwanda.

Clichéd as it, a gold fish has no hiding place, and Wanjiru was nominated as part of a five-man panel to judge and mentor the Anzisha Prize finalists for 2014. Passionate about student mentoring, Wanjiru has been part of mentoring young people through a Junior Achievement program and was part of a panel of judges on a reality show that was aired on local TV showcasing student’s projects in Kenya called “The Pitch.”

Credit: linkedin.com/pulse/articles
Credit: linkedin.com/pulse/articles

Every day is a new challenge for Wanjiru who believes that by doing what she does every day, taking a step at a time, she can be part of a positive change in Africa for young entrepreneurs so that we can come out of “Jua kali “(small road side trading) mentality in Kenya/ Africa and become a continent of industrialists, both men and women. [Anzishaprize.org]

What inspires me most about Wanjiru? Her ability to weave diverse interests and synchronise them into a well-honed machine. Furniture, cakes and sweets, tech, kids development, activism and who knows what else? Perhaps there is a place in the world for Jills of all trade after all.

© 2014 – 2017, Jennifer Nkem-Eneanya. All rights reserved.

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