Interview with Karanja Wangui aka ‘Toonhood’ a spoken word artiste, an author, Designer and Cartoonist

Karanja Wangui aka Toonhood.
By: Jackson Ngari

Karanja Wangui aka Toonhood is a spoken word artiste and an author. He chats with Jackson Ngari about his artistry and experiences in the art. Good Morning Mr Karanja, and welcome to Mt. Kenya Time’s, thanks for having time to Chat with us.

  1. Briefly Tell us More about Yourself

Karanja Wangui describes himself as art. He is a young man raised in Shamata, Nyandarua county. He is the second born in a family of three. He is a poet, a writer, a script writer, a film director, an actor and a creative director for comedians. he is a published author of WHAT IF? A poetry book he has been featured in various poetry anthologies both locally and internationally.

2.Where did your passion for spoken word begin and how has the journey been like?

In primary school, our English teacher once wanted people to go participate in poetry competition. I was among the people chosen but when the day came, I panicked and did not go for the competitions.  in high school, Poetry to me was a nightmare. On seeing it I would know that I would fail terribly. I liked it not especially when they asked of tone and mood.

  1. Karanja Wangui aka Toonhood

    So, how did the art pick up, are you proud to have jumped into it?

The only art I did was acting and comedy. When I got to the university, I joined a dance crew. there i used to entertain people through comedy. I also joined Spoken heart, a platform that artists used to meet and showcase their talents every Thursday evening. Despite the fact that I am a comedian, I found myself hanging around poets most of the time.  one time I pursued Major Maina, Cardinal Blackie, Nick Maitha, and Bolo Blink to write a poem. That was my first time ever to write a poem.  It was this poem that a judge listened during some auditions and told me to stick to spoken word.

  1. How has your poetry Career been like?

I am happy that I followed my passion into art. To me poetry is life. I express myself through poetry. I cannot spend a day without writing or reading poetry. The world cannot be without poetry. If the world was without poetry, poetry would be invented that day. Poetry has opened many doors for me. I would not have been a creative director were it not for poetry.  Poetry leads me and I exploit the opportunities that I find. I have managed to perform on stages I never thought of; Kistretch international festival, Pawa cafe, Probono lawyer of the year award among others.

  1. I get to Understand that One of your Poems was featured on a Netflix film, so, how do you feel?

Netflix. I was sitted at the kenya national theatre when our actor, Faiz Ouma, came to me and asked for assistance, after doing that work, Faiz did his magic on screen. I felt proud as I am among the first poets in kenya to be on Netflix. I hope that more and more poets will get opportunities like these.

  1. What’s your uniqueness Considering that we also have got many poets around?

My uniqueness is in my style of writing. How figurative I am and the fact that I write a poem that remains relevant forever, and I write from experiences around me.

  1. How does it feel to become an author, and what was your Inspiration towards writing it?

Being an author feels amazing, as it has been my dream since I was in primary school. The funny thing is that I achieved it out of fear. I found out that I used to do. I found out that I used to lose a lot of poems, a friend of mine Anthem Republiq, who is also a poet said that my poems are an amazing read that’s how I found myself publishing this book.

  1. To the Youths outta there, who wanna perfect their art, what can you tell them?

To everyone who wants to perfect their art, there are only three things to do alongside being an art consumer yourselves.

  • Patience- move step by step. This is a journey, not a destination.
  • Sacrifice- one sacrifices a lot of things; time, money, etc.
  • Practice- as you all know that practice makes perfect.
  1. Anything Else interesting that you’d like your fans to Know About?

I’d like people to know that I am shy offstage.

  1. Your parting Shot

let’s embrace art as its the toughest weapon we have.

  1. Your Social media handles?

You can get a copy of what if? when you dm me on my social media handles.

instagram @toonhood

twitter @toonhood

facebook page Toonhood.

youtube Toonhoodke.



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