Celebrated Media personality Adelle Onyango officially launched her initiative at a star studded event held at the Shift Eye Studios , Nairobi. The initiative is centered on the foundations of Youth Empowerment, Mental Health and Gender Equality and seeks to give opportunities to the youth and women in this country.
Adelle has gained international recognition for her efforts in empowering Kenyan women and youth, most recently serving on the Youth Advisory Board for the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation’s second annual Goalkeeper’s conference.
The launch dubbed #UnapologeticallyAfrican was a celebration of our “Africanness” through changing the African narrative, taking away the “but” or “despite” in our stories. Being exceptional! Not seeking validation and not comparing ourselves with the rest of the world.
Speaking during the launch, Caroline Mutoko said, “To be an African today means you have probably forgotten your past or are totally ignorant of it and elders explain to you that your future is tied to the past. There’s a choice of rejecting your tradition and flowing with popular culture and still yet be judged by outsiders based on a background you either know nothing about or have left behind. Don’t struggle to let go – don’t struggle to embrace the modern and feel like a sell-out have both because you can.”
Speaking on this milestone, Adelle said, “I implore you today to be unapologetic about being African. Without giving excuses and explaining where we come from and why we do the things we do. We acknowledge that we are developing but so is everyone else, the only constant in life is, change! Appreciate the social, economic, customs and tradition that exist in an African context. We cannot be afraid to make mistakes, and we need to be confident in finding our way and our solutions, cognisant of the fact that our solutions are not the rest of the world’s solutions!”
Adding, “We need to change the African narrative, take away the “but” or “despite” in our stories. We are exceptional! We don’t do extraordinary despite challenges; we just are exceptional!! We don’t seek validation, and we are not about comparison; we are not only creating a different set of rules, but we’re also playing a different game, an African game in an African context!! We are not diseased, broken and in need of help, we are gifted, rich, rhythmic, excellent, powerful, creative, modern, traditional, intelligent, we are kings and we are queens, understand that in being African we can change the world, but in trying to be like the world we cannot be African!”
Speaking on the initiative, Winnie Odinga, one of the Trustees said, “The launch of the Adelle Onyango Initiative is a great achievement for a phenomenal woman like Adelle, as it touches on issues (Mental Health, Youth Empowerment and Gender Equality) that affect our society”. “It gives me satisfaction as a Kenyan to be part of this noble cause by Kenyans for Kenyans, I hope someone will see this and put a smile on someone’s face today”. She added.
Last year, Adelle was privileged to represent Kenya at the 2017 Children’s Global Media Summit, where she officially received the Duchess of Cambridge and chaired two sessions on youth and cyber-bullying.
In attendance to witness this milestone were Winnie Odinga -Trustee Adelle Onyango Initiative, media personalities –Caroline Mutoko, Shaffie Weru, Victoria Rubadiri, Mwalimu Rachel, Linda Nyangweso, Nelly Tuikong-Park –Pauline Cosmetics, Rama Oluoch, Kirigo Ng’arua, Patricia Kihoro and Patrick Ojil – Africa Business News, friend and family members.