Adelle Onyango conceived on February 5, 1989, is a Kenyan radio presenter, social activist, and media personality. She was selected as one of 2017’s BBC100 Women and one of OkayAfrica’s Top Women of 2018.
Adelle Onyango undoubtedly one of the bubbliest and flamboyant presenters on Kenyan Radio thanks to her jovial nature makes her lovable to listeners, managing to amass a sizeable following on her social media platforms.
Onyango is from Kenya, but she attended high school in Botswana. She studied journalism and psychology at United States International University Africa, where she specialized in public relations. She has always been interested in poetry but felt there was not enough space for her and her fellow artists. In her final year at university, she started an open mic night, where poets and musicians shared their work. Whilst still at university she was headhunted by Then One FM, a Kenyan radio station, and recruited to host their drive time radio program. She lost her mother to breast cancer in 2012, which has motivated her to become involved with campaigns to promote awareness and treatments.
Adelle Onyango Rape Incident
Activist Adelle Onyango is the founder of the ‘NO MEANS NO’ campaign which she started in 2010 to raise awareness of rape which was inspired by her personal experience. An experience she recalls that happened in 2008 when she was raped by a stranger. It was after leaving a house party to hit a club in Westlands, Nairobi with her girlfriends that the incident happened. She had just realized that she had left her phone in her friend’s car and decided to go for it. She left her friends at Club Changes and walked towards another club, The Gypsies down Electric Avenue where her pal had parked his car.
While she was walking down the street, a man approached her from some shop stalls nearby, who was neat looking and polite and asked her if he could walk her to wherever she was going but Adelle politely declined the offer and went on her way. No sooner had he left than Adelle realized and saw him following her but she didn’t think much of it until they got to the back route of the nearby police station, where she saw him inch closer.
He pushed her down onto the ground and forced himself on her and what happened next was a blur. When he was done, he ran away. Only her friends that night got to know that she had been raped on which she was taken to hospital.
Onyango worked as a presenter for the Kenyan radio station Kiss FM Nairobi, where she presented the Saturday breakfast show for seven years. At Kiss FM she started a Saturday evening program where she played African music. During her time at KISS, she became a social media influencer, with her followers calling themselves #TeamAdelle. She left Kiss FM in 2019.
Intel announced that Onyango was of their She Will Connect ambassadors in 2015. In this capacity, she has trained women in Africa to be more confident online and use the internet as a tool for empowerment. She has spoken out against online trolls, “…be better or grow up. Deal with your internal issues instead of projecting them on us,”. In 2016 Onyango established a mentorship program, the Sisterhood, which offers support for women in Africa. Through No Means, No and Sisterhood Onyango helps women access therapies and safe houses, as well as offering confidence classes for victims of rape. She has worked to champion Kenyan women and young people, and launched a new initiative, Unapologetically African, in 2018. As part of this effort, she developed a work experience program for high school students.
She started the podcast Legally Clueless in 2019