Wanja's volley

Tell us... who is Janet Wanja?
Wanja: I am just a kawaida chick from a humble background, so I have learnt to just live within my means. I would never do anything to climb up the social ladder. I can eat in a kibanda as well as The Hilton.
Janet Wanja

 How was your childhood?W: It was tough. After clearing class eight, I spent a whole year at home doing nothing until a sponsor came along and paid my fees. I joined Mukumu Girls’ on bursary. It was the hardest moment in my life.
 And your job...W: Volleyball is my life. I have managed to go places I never dreamt I would. I have met people I wouldn’t have met were it not for volleyball. It has opened doors for me. It’s my life.
Do you have any investments?W: Not at the moment. However, I manage my money wisely. I have rented a nice apartment in Westlands. I have plans of building my own house once I have saved enough. As for now, I seriously want to go back to school and get a degree in fashion design.
 It’s rumoured that you prefer dating white men, is it true?W:I don’t know why people think I like dating white men, but that’s not the case, I prefer black men. In fact, men are all the same.
Had a volleyball colleague snatched your man?W: Contrary to the rumours, no girl in the volleyball team ever took my man. Even if it happened, why would it only happen to me and we are many women in the national team? You can get one cheating bastard, just the same way, you can get one who really loves you.
 What’s is your dating philosophy?W: As much as money is important, I prefer real love rather than richness. Everybody needs money to survive, but I prefer real love. I would rather be alone, than be with a rich man who doesn’t love me. I am serious about that. With real love, nothing else in a relationship can be difficult. You will always work out your differences.
Are you in a relationship?W: I love my current man. I won’t talk about him, but he is a good man. I can’t wait to have babies and raise a family.
 What have you learnt about relationships?W: Communication is important. My past relationships failed because there was lack of communication. I would rather have a man tell me, ‘Baby, I don’t like this or that’ than keep quiet. And if you break up, then perhaps the relationship wasn’t meant to be.
P: What do you hate in men?W: Fat men. How can a man let himself grow fat and round? All my boyfriends have had an athlete build. Sio kwa ubaya, but I would never date an athlete. Those guys who run, wakifukuza upepo? No way. Not my type.
P: Which is the most outrageous rumour you have heard about yourself?W: Ati Wanja analala na coaches. That was just malicious. I can’t do such a thing. In fact, I can never be in a relationship with workmates. It can’t work. When you are beautiful people want to speculate on your social life. It is sad.
Were you at one time dropped out of the national team because of indiscipline?W: That was a lie. I just saw it in the papers. Why can’t you just confirm with the coach? I am an international player. I can play anywhere in the world, why compromise my career? But I have learnt to ignore such things. I believe God has greater plans for me, and I wont let rumours and lies cloud my life.
 Your teammate, Jane Wacu is getting a lot of media attention. Do you envy her?W: She is my close friend, and a very good player. I am not jealous. She is like a sister to me. Even off the court, we spend lots of time together.
You look superb, how do you maintain your figure?W: In high school, I weighed 78 kilogrammes. I lost all the weight and people said I had had an abortion, and then some said I was using slimming pills. Come on, I am a sportswoman, how can I add weight and I train everyday?
 How do you handle attention from men?W: I know I am beautiful. I am used to attention from men. As a public figure, I try to be courteous at all times. There is a man in my life, and I love him. Uceleb ni jina tu. Being a celebrity doesn’t pay my bills.
 Where do you shop for your clothes?W: I get lots of good stuff at Gikomba’s mitumba market. I can afford expensive items, but if I can get good stuff in Gikomba, why not ?
 You are known for heavy partying; does it affect your career?W: I was a party girl. Yes, I used to party a lot between 2004 to 2008. Those were my party days. I think age is catching up (laughs) I am only 27, but I have gotten tired of clubbing. I prefer a nice evening at home, with a loved one, watching movies. Nowadays I rarely indulge in alcohol.
 What is your unfulfilled dream?W: I desperately wish to start a children’s home. That’s the only thing I ask from God. I love children, I can’t wait to have my own. I visit children’s homes and spend time with them; I do it because I love kids. I never invite the media to tag along and see me make donations to an orphanage. That’s between me and God.
 What is your take on the current moral decadence amongst the youth?W: I advocate against premarital sex. I am deeply spiritual. I don’t want to talk about myself, but sex before marriage is against the Bible teachings. But kama ni lazima, tumia protection.
 Where do you draw strength when in a moment of weakness?W: My strength comes from my family. I wouldn’t be working this hard if I didn’t have my family. I am not yet married, so I am talking about my mother, brother and sisters. I have got lots of responsibilities, so I have to work hard, that’s why siwezi get watoi now juu mabeste wangu wako nao.