Gabriel Dinda Olewe, 28


Writers Guild Kenya

If something is not bound by love and the desire to serve people, then Gabriel will not take it up. All he does, he says, has to live up to those two values.

“I desire that whatever I do, may it respond to love and service: the love for God and the love man.”

In 2014, when Gabriel was an economics and finance student at Kenyatta University, he and a group of colleagues saw a need to have a platform dedicated to growing writers and to encourage young people to pen their stories. That was the beginnings of the Writers Guild Kenya.

“Since then, we have trained writers, encouraged those who never thought they could write to write and collaborated with different partners to grow a vibrant community.”

"“I desire that whatever I do, may it respond to love and service: the love for God and the love man.”"

“Our membership now stands at 3,093 across the country. We have trained and encouraged 102 first-time authors who are now published. Many of our members now run blogs and generally there is a new meaning and appreciation of our stories through the pen. We are happy that we were right to start this journey and to put in all the efforts over the years.”

Earlier this year, the guild opened a bookshop in Nairobi – the All-African Bookshop – fashioned as a platform to help writers tell the African story.

From an ambitious university dream, the Writers Guild Kenya today is worth an estimated Sh10 million with six employees.

“But largely, the Writers Guild has not been built by me, so to say. It has been built by these many writers with a true desire to grow a home for writers.”

Gabriel has authored two books and co-authored one. He also has two manuscripts awaiting publication.

He is currently a lecturer at Strathmore University, teaching ethics and philosophy. That is quite diverse from what he studied as an undergraduate.

“I studied economics and finance and also did a bit of CPA, but I think with time, and with a lot of prayers, I realised that that was not my route.”

A father of one, Gabriel is fast learning the ropes of parentood. For leisure, he goes for walks, cycles or sometimes takes hikes.

An avid reader, there is always a book Gabriel is writing. In between, he watches global news and documentaries.

Elvis Ondieki