Adelle Onyango on leading the way for women.

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Equality is not a fight to take power away from one and give it to another. It’s to create equal opportunity. 

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We are constantly inspired by women who live to inspire and uplift others. Adelle Onyango, Founder of The Adelle Onyango Initiative (AOI), is a force to reckon. The media personality has put in the work despite being faced with challenges along the way.

This has seen her get recognition in different spheres. She was named as one of OkayAfrica’s 100 extraordinary African women for 2018 and BBC’s 100 inspirational and innovative women in the world for 2017. Adelle has also served on the Youth Advisory Board for the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation’s second annual Goalkeeper’s conference. When it comes to life and career, we want to be able do it all, which is challenging. But Adelle has somehow figured that out and is winning at it.

Adelle’s sentiments echo this year’s International Women’s Day theme “Think equal, Build smart, Innovate for change.” She shared with us the experiences, challenges and achievements she has faced in her personal and professional life.

How are you celebrating Women’s day this year?

This year, I’ll be hosting an amazing event at Google, called Women Will, that aims to inspire women and get them ready for the next step in their careers. We’ll be talking about leadership, digital skills, and entrepreneurship. I’ll also get to interview Muthoni Drummer Queen about a Women Will documentary that will premier at the event.

What challenges have you faced, as a woman, in becoming successful in your field?

There are some subtle, and some not so subtle pressures in my industry to change who you are. It requires a lot of mental strength, but I have overcome this pressure  by remaining true to myself.

Another challenge is that there are not a lot of female decision makers in our industry. Representation matters. And having more women in decision making roles is crucial to achieving gender equity and empowering women and girls.

The Adelle Onyango Initiative (AOI) is an advocacy organization that’s shedding light on issues facing vulnerable populations, one of them being women. What kind of solutions have you created and what’s the impact so far?

The Adelle Onyango Initiative (AOI) is using the power of storytelling to amplify gender equity champions. For example, I visited Kakamega where, through an organization called GROOTS Kenya, I got to meet a watchdog group that is made up of both women and men who work tirelessly on many gender equity issues such as making sure girls stay in school; pursuing justice for survivors of gender-based violence; and fighting for the rights of women who have been disinherited.

Through storytelling, AOI can educate the public about people and organizations that are working towards gender equity, and show just how much we can achieve in our communities when we come together with our own solutions.

What would you say needs to be done to make this world a fairer and more equal place?

I think we all need to work together because equality is not a fight to take power away from one and give it to another. It’s to create equal opportunity and in doing so, elevating entire ecosystems.

With regard to gender-based violence, we need to examine the role that men and boys play in ensuring a more gender equal society. We need to have more honest conversations with our sons because our daughters are not the problem. If our sons know what's right, we can live in society as equals and make greater strides towards ending gender-based violence.

Who’s your ideal female icon?

Phoebe Asiyo! For over four decades, she has consistently advocated for more female representation in leadership roles and for girls to gain access to education. She’s one of the longest serving female parliamentarians, first woman to become a Luo elder, and one of the first female prison wardens.

Share with us stories on who or how you are celebrating The International Women's Day. 

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Comments

    Dominic | November 02, 2019 14:45

    I salute Adelle for her spirited campaign. I honor my late mum having instilled in me the sense of determination and hard work.

    Martha | October 25, 2019 05:27

    I celebrate myself and my husband. We've really come from far but, understanding each other and developing together.

    janet | October 24, 2019 11:37

    I celebrate women genuinely. I deeply believe an empowered woman equals an empowered society. We need more female voices and should support rather than criticize these bold change makers. If my mother wasn't bold and daring, I wouldn't have been where I am right now. We need women to take care of our society through leadership and caring decisions. I love Adelle and I listened to her story when she came to ALX space to share with us her journey. She is the epitome of boldness and HAPPY WOMEN'S DAY.

    ACENG | October 20, 2019 12:42

    I Celebrate my one & only precious diamond (mum) for her endeavor throughout my life, she is unique and dignified for her mentor-ship HAPPY DAY MUM KETTY

    NANCY | October 20, 2019 11:55

    I celebrate my mam

    FIRSTNAME | October 19, 2019 18:46

    I do confidently thank my mom who has been there for me for all times since my father died i do celebrate though am praying to get agood job to make her more happy

    NEUSTA | October 19, 2019 14:11

    I celebrate all women who are in position to fight for women rights.....My Mom Abigael too...

    desmond | October 19, 2019 11:46

    gorgeous

    Peter | October 18, 2019 15:40

    I celebrate my mum, wife, sister & all the other women who have been part of my life journey.

    kijape | October 18, 2019 11:18

    i celebrate my mum nashuru you are a wonderful gift to me

    tom | October 18, 2019 10:42

    Praise and glory to the almighty God . Indeed you're exemplary. I do appreciate all your efforts. For God and my country.

    Faith | October 17, 2019 19:15

    Waauu!! How wonderful are u to me mom,I celebrate u dear mom,my u grow for hundred and more yes,God bless my mom

    Lubang | October 17, 2019 17:29

    Respect to all mothers out there. Especially my mom, without her I'm no where

    Khemis | October 17, 2019 15:17

    That is great indeed.

    Ochieng | October 17, 2019 15:10

    I celebrate my mum Carolyn who took care of me from time of conception up to date.

    Stella | October 17, 2019 13:34

    Yes,my only one,I salute you mama,may the good lord bless you always to the end.

    Carlos | October 17, 2019 12:51

    I celebrate my mother because she is the only person who will love you forever..

    MERCY | October 17, 2019 11:11

    I celebrate all who are fighting for equality especially gender equality

    Duncan | October 17, 2019 10:48

    Mom, it is forever inscribed in my heart how much I love you. I have chosen the most beautiful flowers for You Mom, but their blooms cannot compete with your warmth, kindness and charisma...This is the only day in the year just for You Mom, but... we should celebrate it 356 days a year. Thank you for Your love, strength, warmth. Thank you that You're always with and for us. Only You alone, Mommy, know what it means to love and be happy... I kiss You and wish a happy Mother's Day 2019!

    Kennedy njuguna | October 17, 2019 10:18

    I celebrate my precious mum for whom I am, thank God for her

    KIPKEMOI | October 17, 2019 09:37

    I celebrated my beloved mum. RIP Mummy

    ARIYO | October 17, 2019 09:28

    nice

    ASUMAN | October 17, 2019 09:17

    Awesome

    Benson Punke | October 17, 2019 08:21

    I celebrate my mum Mepukoo for who I am today

    food | October 17, 2019 08:17

    i celebrate my mother Slyvane Muzungu Chongwony for being a mentor.

    Oluoch | October 17, 2019 07:48

    I celebrate my mum Mary Adhiambo, a woman of substance in my life. Long life mumy

    Kepha | October 17, 2019 07:35

    I joviously celebrate my mum, Sabina Anyango Odhiambo(Min Aloni),for setting a good examplary to me& the entire Kayara village.Mum your commitments, teachings,motivations,strictness, inspirations made me whom I am

    Kepha | October 17, 2019 07:31

    I joviously celebrate my mum, Sabina Anyango Odhiambo(Min Aloni),for setting a good examplary to me& the entire Kayara village.Mum your commitments, teachings,motivations,strictness, inspirations at the balanced time have impacted many lives hence glad to mention cause am here caz of ur contribution.

    Ceaser | October 17, 2019 07:16

    I celebrate my mother Betty Ajioru

    ANYANGO | October 17, 2019 07:06

    I celebrate my mom Lydia,she's the strength that pushes me to do more,without her I would have been a nobody,may you live long mama!

    ALLAN | October 17, 2019 06:44

    Women create, build, display strategy and influence on society establishing a common ground to equity. My truth; when support and women empowerment is put in the bucket list and made functional once again, the society in general will have a positive growth in leadership, opportunities, fairness and economically. That is how things will be, when women are empowered and also not forgeting the boy child.

    Shem | October 17, 2019 06:22

    I celebrate three women my wife my mother and my grand mother both of you have played a mojor role in making me who i am today regards ladies be blessed.

    SIMON OLE | October 17, 2019 06:19

    Anyango you're an icon woman of power

    BAHAISE DICKSON | October 17, 2019 06:17

    I celebrate my mum Barungi Mary she has moulded me into wat I am

    Aliker | October 17, 2019 06:08

    The gate for women is open ,so those women who have the capacity are enjoying it, but for the women who are lost in mind will never reach the top and limit to experience that women really have privilege empower a woman and wait to see what will come out from a woman, i like her stories and boldness.

    Allan | October 17, 2019 05:54

    I celebrate my mum.

    Joseph | October 17, 2019 05:45

    I celebrate my Mom, Catharine Boror who sincerely took care of me since conception; I love you mom and I am praying that may Our Almighty God give the energy to live for long time to enjoy the sweats of your labor. Thank you mama.

    Gladys | October 17, 2019 05:13

    I celebrate the heroine Madam Josphine she has made me who I am today

    emmanuel | October 17, 2019 05:11

    nice one grace, big up to all mothers

    GAUDENSIA | October 17, 2019 03:37

    I celebrate my Queen...my mother....the hard work she does so that she can provide for us😭 its just amaizing#SUPERWOMAN👑

    PATRICIA | October 17, 2019 00:51

    I celebrate my mom Grace Wairimu,she is the wind beneath my wings.

    Antony | March 11, 2019 09:31

    nine months she carried me nine yrs disciplined me,love you my mum i celebrate you as womanin my life the my girlfrnd

    OKOL | March 10, 2019 17:17

    I celebrate my mummy Florence Asio (RIP).Her promise to buy for me slippers for Christmas made me work so hard in class. Am where I am because of her. I cherish women. Women have built communities today we talk about an empowered society!. °God bless mothers and keep them a live!

    MUYINDA | March 10, 2019 15:02

    I celebrate Naalongo my mum your my hiro

    BETH | March 08, 2019 17:21

    I celebrate my mother Margaret wairimu..I pray to God that He keeps her for long... Long enough for me to repay all that you've done for me mama..

    Vincent | March 08, 2019 16:19

    Adelle Onyango I celebrate you today! You're not only a female icon but an inspiration and point of admiration to men. Bravo! Happy women's day

    Lydiah | March 08, 2019 15:26

    I celebrate my mother woman like no other...even at my darkest she is always there for me. her prayers keeps me moving

    NG'IELA | March 08, 2019 12:21

    I celebrate my mom, Phoebe Achieng. She means the world to me. May God continue blessing you with many more years of industriousness ahead Mama.

    IRENE | March 08, 2019 12:02

    I celebrate my mom she's been there for me since day one and her prayers keep me going no matter challenges I face.

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    Daniel | October 17, 2019 05:28

    Hello

    BRIAN | March 08, 2019 11:31

    I celebrate my mother Carester Kemunto. She has been my mentor and she has supported me all through up to where i am now.

    GEORGE | March 08, 2019 09:42

    I celebrate women genuinely. I deeply believe an empowered woman equals an empowered society. We need more female voices and should support rather than criticize these bold change makers. If my mother wasn't bold and daring, I wouldn't have been where I am right now. We need women to take care of our society through leadership and caring decisions. I love Adelle and I listened to her story when she came to ALX space to share with us her journey. She is the epitome of boldness and HAPPY WOMEN'S DAY.

    CHEPYEMUT | March 08, 2019 09:37

    SPLINDID

    Gilbert | March 08, 2019 09:30

    I celebrate my mother Grace Yator.she is a pillar to me in all situations in life


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