The runaway granny who opened doors for women

Performers of ‘Nyanga: Runaway Grandmother’, the new Kenyan opera actors on stage at the Kenya National Theatre, Nairobi on October 21, 2021.

Photo credit: Sila Kiplagat

What you need to know:

  • Nyanga’s return and reconciliation didn’t come instantaneously.
  • But for Rhoda, her granny’s fateful decision is the central reason she and many other women and girls from her place have also gone to school and followed in Nyanga’s wake.

Long before she began singing opera professionally, Rhoda Ondeng Wilhelmsen had dreamed of creating her indigenous Kenyan opera and placing her notorious grandmother Nyanga at the centre of her storyline.


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