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Wanjiku is a feminine Kikuyu name. Historically, Wanjiku was one of the nine daughters of the man and wife who founded the Agikuyu people, Gikuyu and Mumbi. Consequently the descendants of her lineage are part of the Anjiku clan of the Agikuyu tribe in Kenya.

In Kikuyu traditions, the name Gathigia was also the same as Wanjiku. For instance; this happened in cases where the person after whom a child was to be named bears the same name and it existed earlier like if the mother of the husband is called Wanjiku and wife's mother is Wanjiku, one of the kids bore the name Gathigia just for distinction. However, this trend has changed with time and Gathigia is no longer a common name.

Today, in Kenya, Wanjiku is a name that is used to signify the common man (and woman) in the context of national politics. Ciku is a common short form of Wanjiku.

The name came to represent the ordinary person "Mwananchi" after former President Daniel arap Moi dismissed the calls for a new constitution. He said "Do you think Wanjiku understands what is a constitution?" Following this, 'Wanjiku' came to mean the general public and the meaning has stuck.