“I found poetry when I disconnected from everyone else and my world.” Qui Qarre
It is this constant urge to strive and struggle that has made her one of the most sought poets in the country. Wangui’s inspiring rise in her career only reaffirms the fact that if you are looking for success you need to have the right mindset to propel you to the top. You can only succeed when you believe in yourself and refusing to fit in “disconnect” with the world.
Wangui Wangari also known as Qui Qarre was born in a family of two, in Dagoretti Nairobi. Her childhood was nothing ordinary. She was a brilliant kid who ventured in all manner of social activities including singing, dancing and drama. Wangui attended World Hope academy for her primary education and Ngiriambu Girls High School for her secondary education.
Qui Qarre had a rough childhood growing up in a domestic violent home. Her father was most of the time a drunkard who made her learn to defend herself from his beatings when she was just 7. At the age of 15, in form two, as a result of the piling up of hate and pain, Wangari sunk in depression. It was too much for her to handle. She had grown insomniac. It was difficult to talk to anyone about it and music was her sole escape route but that wasn’t sufficient. Eventually, she stated writing everything she felt and poetry it became. She found life in it. However, she didn’t present any of those pieces. Being the outgoing girl, after completing high school in 2015, she decided to venture in the online shoe business. This business she says was sustainable until in March when she nearly lost her life after a customer tricked her and stole from her. At such a juncture of trauma, any human being would be totally broken down and perhaps even decide to give up.
After this incident, she began her remarkable crossover into poetry. She began performing her write ups in 2016 and after her first performance, Wangui’s poetry career was successfully launched. Poetry now became her main source of income. Towards the end of the year 2016, she contested at Poetry Slam Africa Festival and won. Thus, she was chosen to represent Kenya in the International Female Poetry Slam in Dallas, Texas last year. In this competition which was held in March 2017, she was ranked 29th globally. The doors had opened, and she started traveling to perform poetry in different cities. In November 2017, she was invited to represent Kenya at the Bayou City Poetry Slam in Houston and scored a remarkable 27.5/30. Locally, she hosts an event “Tears of the Pen” which she celebrates her poetry journey.
Wangari’s obstacle to success did not merely appear in the shape of a tough childhood and depression at some point in her life. In Poetry, she faces a huge challenge of funding her career. Most of these trips are expensive and she has to rely on family and friends to raise air tickets or accommodation. Spoken Word Poetry is still struggling in Kenya. Her Attempts of talking to the Ministry and a handful of corporates have been unsuccessful. It is a shame that some of her works are more appreciated abroad than in her home country. However, she remains hopeful that things will change for the better.
Through this journey, Qui Qarre has had an opportunity to express herself and do what her heart loves. In May 2017, she was featured on the Trend with Larry Madowo, performing her amazing piece Justice. She says n 5 years’ time, she will be wiser, older and greater. With the mentorship of Freequency, Loyce Gayo and Kym Chokera, she keeps pushing herself until she reaches her goals.
You can find her Poetry Pieces on:
Tumblr: Qui Qarre
Medium: Qui Qarre
YouTube: Qui Qarre
Connect with her on:
Facebook: Qui Qarre
Twitter: Qui Qarre
Instagram: Qui Qarre.