June Gachui is an advocate of the High Court, intellectual property specialist, thespian, songwriter, dancer, godmother, master of ceremony, closeted comedienne, moderator, and a teacher (in another lifetime). Her business card bearing the logo of her company JGIP Consultants reads “principal.”
JACKSON BIKO met her in her office in Nairobi's Westlands. She spoke with a voice full of music and a heart filled with her joyous pursuits.
Of all these hats you wear, which one would you like to show up with at the pan gates?
That’s a very good question. (Pause) And I can’t wear two? (Laughter). I think the performing artist hat. It’s the one that makes people the happiest and gives me more joy to see what impact it has on people.
What’s the soundtrack of your life right now?
Wow! (Pause) I think, it’s called “Good day.” It’s a song from my album. It says I’m sitting here thinking about the things that happened yesterday. I’m done wasting time, I’ve made up mind to leave crazy behind, all that nonsense and move on.
Talking of yesterday, what’s the one thing if you look back you feel you wasted so much time with?
Relationships. The ones I knew were going nowhere but stuck on because I was a romantic deep inside. I should have been a lot quicker to ask questions: What is this? Where is it going? What are we doing? Because it’s never a must people end up together. But each relationship taught me something worthy, I don’t regret them even though some I stayed in longer than I should have.
What do you currently find yourself struggling with?
Ironically, one thing I wanted to do now is start a family. I’m 41 years old and I think I’ve done well in my careers, I have made a name for myself. What’s nagging me now is starting a family. I feel like the world needs my babies. Imagine how wonderful 2060 is going to be when my children are doing wonderful, big things in the world?
What do you miss about your younger self?
(Laughs) I still like that younger self, she is still in me but there are things now I know she can’t do. Like in fashion for instance, I would experiment more when I was younger. I miss that freedom to experiment. I miss the younger self who had more time for friends. I feel like now I have more acquaintances, because more people know me now than I know them.
Which of your character trait do you least admire?
My lateness. I’m always late. It’s chronic. The other day someone said it was disrespectful and it struck me that I hadn’t thought of it that way. I don’t admire that part of me. But I’m really trying.
Do you sometimes wonder if God thinks you are a good person?
(Laughs) I think He thinks I’m His child (Laughs) and He sees me to be trying to be that child, so I think I’m a good person but I’ve done some bad things.
As someone who performs and is in the public light in music and performance, what’s the one thing you have kept for yourself?
My relationships. Very few people will be able to tell you who I have dated. I don’t even post on social media.
What is the one question you get least asked or never asked at all?
(Pause) I don’t get asked why I’m not married. Not any more. Even my aunts and my mum, they’d be like ‘we’re praying (Laughs). God is coming through! This is the year!’ But nobody ever said, ‘why aren’t you married?’ It’s interesting, they probably think my plate is full and I’m happy and content.
There are people who say they are happy and there are people whose eyes say they are happy. You have happy eyes!
Oh wow! Thank you. I’m a full life. My motto for a very long time has been; why not? That’s the question I have always asked myself faced with any task or decision. Why not? Why wouldn't I be the one to do it? That way you have less regrets and what-ifs.
What have you not been able to do?
Oh my God! To lose weight. (Laughs) I’m consistently struggling to keep it off. As you can see I’m not going to be any taller. (Laughs) But I have always been chubby, I have no photos of me skinny. It’s never been my goal to be skinny even though I have always been an active girl. But now I need to shed some weight because I want to have babies and I want to be able to light enough to catch them. (Laughs)
Are you, then dating?
No. I’m not.
Maybe the man you’re looking for, who you will bring forth these awesome babies with, is reading this; what kind of a man are you looking for?
He knows himself. If he sees me he will marry me. (Laughs) Honestly, and I say this with as much humility as I can, I’m not done with all the things that I want to do and that for a lot of people is overwhelming because I’m good at what I do and the more I do it, the better I become. I’ve learnt how to create time for the things that make me happy and all you need to do is make me happy.
I’m not looking for rich people, because money has never been a driver for me. Education is important because conversations are important but I don’t need him to be a nuclear scientist either because I will need to understand what he is saying. (Laughs) Oh and someone faithful because that says a lot about character. Lastly, someone who can be a dad, not a father.
And what are you bringing to the table?
Look at my eyes? I’m bringing these happy eyes. (Laughs) I’m an excellent cook, a homemaker. I like feeding people, hosting, I can do laundry. I like simplicity.
What’s one thing that you thought I’d ask that I didn’t ask,
(Laughs) I thought you’d ask me to sing for you.
Oh! Is that possible? Please do.
(She breaks into her song “Good day”)