Meet the Poet: Raya Wambui Tamar

Written by Faith Oneya

Meet Raya Wambui.She is an accounting student and an entrepreneur, with a mobile dog grooming business.She  enjoys writing poems more than anything else, but  also does calligraphy and paints occasionally. She  writes when it feels like there is something that needs to be said, or when she needs to express herself. It has to sound good to her first. If it does, then she’ll share it.

FO: What was the first thing you thought of when you woke up today?

RWT: The first thing I thought about this morning, is a field trip I’d like to organise for a group of children I volunteer with for Adopted Dreams ( for more info on our projects. ).

FO:  What book(s) are you currently reading?

RWT: I’m currently reading a book called Emotional Intelligence, which is about the role that emotional processing plays in our actions and decisions. It’s really fascinating.

FO: Who is your favourite writer/poet and for what reason are they your favourite writer/poet ?

RWT: My favourite author is Maya Angelou, she was my first experience with published vernacular, her raw style and socio-political relevance have always filled me with reverence. Paulo Coelho is a close second for his inspirational books.

FO: What is one book you haven’t read but want to read before you die?

RWT: A book I would like to read before I die is Lord of the Rings.  J R R Tolkien’s creativity is literally unbelievable.

FO: Do you sit and think through every word of every stanza or do you just write freely and allowing the words to flow?

RWT: When I write, it usually comes straight out of the pen, sometimes I start off trying to write one thing and something completely different comes out the end. The words always reflect something inside that wanted to get out.

 FO: When did you first start writing and were there any incidents in your life that made you want to write?

RWT: I first started playing with rhyming words when I was 5. I had to do handwriting practice anyway, so writing poems made it entertaining. Year six is when I started writing as a form of private expression. At that time, I wrote about young teenage experiences; embarrassing moments, crushes and such.

What turned the hobby into a passion is that I realised I could be a voice that represented others. Human emotions are global, we all feel the same feelings at different times in our lives.

FO: Do you have a fauvorite poem among those you have written? If so, which one. Please write down a few lines from it

RWT: I often chang my mind about which is my favorite piece, currently, it’s ‘Mkokoteni’

It displays this tantalizing beauty,

without justification or resentment.

It simply stands, each item placed

perfectly, against the next.

Articulately positioned, as though they arrived,

by appearance. Not on

tired backs and sweat laden brows…”

See the rest of the poem here:

 FO: Have you been published before? Any plans to do so?

RWT: I have not yet been published, but am very much looking forward to it.

 FO: Where can we watch you perform?

RWT: I have been performing at Wamathais monthly events which I have found to have an amazing audience. I’m grateful for the opportunity. I have serious stage fright, so I sometimes perform at karaoke nights to practice. Performing for an unwilling audience really puts your courage to the test. Sometimes, people actually listen, and like.

 FO: What question have you always wanted to be asked as a poet and how would you answer it?

RWT: I wouldn’t say there’s a question I’d like to be asked in particular, but I enjoy discussing specific poems with people. Different people pick up on different double meanings based on their own life experiences. Any two people can identify with a piece from completely different angles, and still come to my intended conclusion. I love it when that happens!


Author: Faith Oneya

Lover of the written and spoken word.

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