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Wangari Kamau - Product and Interdisciplinary Designer

Wangari is the Founder of Umba Creations where she is building a socially conscious children’s brand; Rafiki Values Tribe. Her mission is to bring the very best character values to life for children in their most formative years through toys and stories. Each of the products is lovingly made to reflect the beauty of diversity, teach African values, and encourage children to love and respect themselves and their communities.

As part of encouraging more reading of local content which develops social emotional learning and contributes to the pot of stories from around the world, Wangari has been creating short African stories which parents, guardians and teachers can access and use as additional resources for their children. She is currently exploring various digital library collaborations which can aid in getting these stories out to more children. She has just published her first picture book “The Special Secret Sauce”, a story on teaching children to embrace and celebrate differences.

Wangari’s latest initiative dubbed “Dolls on a mission” is something that she is excited about.

In an effort to help Hope For Cancer Kids; an organization that supports children from low income backgrounds in Kenya who are battling cancer access treatment, she has created a comfort doll aimed at providing comfort and companionship during treatment. So far this has helped raise funds to enable 85 children access treatment for a year.

This initiative also includes the Umba Creations internship program for teens aged 13-17 where she teaches them how to crochet comfort dolls and guides them through fundraising to support a child with cancer access the treatment. The internship program also includes an opportunity for teens to be their brothers and sisters’ keepers by writing short stories which shed light on African Proverbs that bring out moral values and lessons, thus preserving the African culture and heritage and contributing to the global pot of diverse stories.

One of Wangari’s favorite African proverbs is “Wherever a man goes to live, his character goes with him.” Today, she is even more passionate and intentional on her mission of impacting the next generation by creating wholesome content which builds on character, whilst preserving and shedding light on the wisdom found in African Proverbs.

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