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Rape could not silence her – Adelle Onyango

Adelle Onyango’s passion in discussing contemporary issues, especially those regarding women on radio, social media and various campaigns and platforms is tremendous. She speaks of owning her journey to uncking her greatness

Her good humour and fun loving nature perhaps is one of the things that makes Adelle Onyango have a massive following on her radio show as well as on her social media platforms.

The radio presenter, social influencer, actress and vlogger is a go-getter, and her journey to being a radio host began way back when she was studying psychology and journalism at United States International University-Africa. “The opportunity presented itself while I was in my final year in campus and I took it.

It wasn’t something I’d planned to do,” the bubbly presenter says. However, behind all the glory is a beautiful story of a brave heart who fought loss, rape and the stigma that such victims face.

In 2008, Adelle and her girlfriends had left a house party to hit a club in Westlands, Nairobi. She discovered that she had left her phone in another friend’s car, the one who dropped them off.

Adelle decided to go to another club, where the car was packed, to pick her phone. A man suddenly appeared as she walked down the streets and offered to walk her to wherever she was going.

She politely declined the offer and thought that the man would leave her. But as Adelle later on realised, the man was closely following her and forced himself into her. He ran away after he was done.

This event left Adelle devastated for the years that followed. When she finally decided to open up to her mother, she began counselling classes, which assisted her get through the trauma and pick up her broken pieces.

Adelle is now an activist and the founder of No Means No, a campaign, which she began in the year 2010 to raise awareness of rape. Adelle believes that something needs to be done about men who believe that they have an entitlement over women’s bodies.

“Let’s talk to those who understand the word consent, but suddenly when it comes to a situation that could be sexual, they don’t understand consent.

Who is talking to them and holding them accountable? Everyone speaks to survivors or potential victims telling us how not to get raped. How about starting calling out the perpetrators, the victim shamers and blamers? How about demanding for accountability and due process for rapists? How about making Kenya safe!” she poses.

Her campaign against rape and online harassment consequently made her hit the international headlines. Her work was recognised by BBC and Adelle was listed in BBC top 100 influential women and later picked to represent Kenya in the 2017 Children Global Media Summit.

To the world Additionally, the radio presenter was one of the chosen delegates who had a rare opportunity of meeting the Royal couple Prince William and Kate Middleton, Duchess of Cambridge in the UK at the Summit.

Previously known as World Summit on Media for Children, the summit, which is held after every three years in various parts of the world was founded in 1995 and brings together policymakers, technology innovators, creatives, executives and other leaders from all over the world.

As the radio queen describes, it was a great affirmation to her work spending a few minutes with the Duchess discussing cultural differences between Kenya and the UK as well as the effects of cyber-bullying on Internet users. “Meeting the Duchess was a great experience.

I got there out of merit, so it was a great affirmation—I think in any situation just be you, regardless of who you’re meeting or if anyone is watching,” she says. She recently launched Anyango Collection in honour of her late mum, Mary Onyango, whom she credits for assisting her in her journey. Already three pieces have been released in collaboration with amazing creatives.

“My mum showed me owning your journey, every part of it, will unlock your power and greatness. That’s my mantra even now. I did the Anyango jacket with Nairobi Apparel District, then the Anyango chain with Olive & Annie and the Anyango Lipstick with Pauline Cosmetics.

I’ll be announcing more developments later on,” she says. Her main challenge currently, she says, is to inspire a generation of independent thinkers, which makes her remain true to her even on air.

And even with all the accolades, she still remains a down-to-earth person who is more passionate to exalt what she loves. “I do what I’m passionate about. That’s all. I think accolades are a nice pat on the back, but they shouldn’t distract you from your journey,” she says

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