Jean Wandimi: Kenya’s finest Wine Writer

By Lisa Adiedo, Nairobi, Kenya —

jean Wandimi

Jean Wandimi

WHEN this young economics graduate started her blog, she thought she was only journaling her love and fascination with wine and food. Two years down the journey in 2015, her blog The Wine and Food Review was nominated for BAKE (Bloggers Association of Kenya). For Jean Wandimi, wine and food review is now a serious business. She spoke to She Leads Africa magazine’s Lisa Adiedo in Nairobi.

“I love good food and wine. There was a time I wanted recommendations on restaurants to visit and wines to drink in Kenya but there was nothing helpful online,” she says about how she brought her blog to life.

Jean decided to fill that vacuum by serving as a resource for others who might be looking for similar information online. She started blogging about her restaurant visits and wine tasting experience.

She said she smiled when she saw the first reader’s comment about a piece she had posted. When Jean posted her 100th blog post, she decided it was time to move the blog to a .com domain:

The Wine and Food Review has now expanded coverage, providing content on travel, health, bars and restaurant and people.

The Kenyatta University graduate also cofounded Attisfire where she works as a digital marketing consultant.

Jean’s success did not come easy. She has put in a lot of work to ensure the website is her readers’ blog of choice when it comes to food and wine. “There are times I have writer’s block and there are times I feel like I have plenty to write about but during these times I cannot put all posts up at the same time,” She says.  “When I have so much information, I write posts and schedule them to be put up later. Also, every week I try to put up at least one post,” she says about how she keeps her discipline on blogging.

Jean’s hard work culminated in her nomination for an award in the Best Food Blog category by the Bloggers Association of Kenya (BAKE) in 2015. Although she did not win, she says the nomination was a stepping stone to bigger opportunities such as recent travel to South Africa for the Stellenbosch Wine Festival 2016 and earlier on in 2015, for an event in Cape Wine. There, she had a chance of bettering her skills as a wine connoisseur while meeting several wine veterans including wine manufacturers, and learning from them.

Jean says what inspires her is her readers who are waiting each week to read her next post.

She enjoys attending events and meeting people when she is out on assignment to create content. But what she loves most is the opportunity to grow as an individual and mastering her photography and networking skills.

Jean has this advice for would-be bloggers: “A good writer needs to have a good command of language, avoid typos and be consistent in your writing. Ensure current content surpasses previous content. Work with big brands, it may be intimidating but working with these kinds of brands gets you absorbed in their influence. Ensure you have great photographs to accompany your posts as photos make the blog.”

Her future plans, where does she see herself in two years? “Inasmuch as I would love to visit many countries, my main focus is on African countries. I want to write stories that people do not read online about Africa because Africa is a great continent we need to experience it.” — Jean Wadimi Leads Africa



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