Yvonne Adhiambo Owuor was a guest at the first sneak peek of Kenya’s newest opera Nyanga: Runaway Grandmother in Nairobi on November 6, 2020.
Nyanga: Runaway Grandmother is a new opera based on the true story of Nyanga, a young shepherdess in a remote village on the Kano plains (present-day Kisumu) in Kenya. To stage this new culturally significant event, the Baraka Opera Trust amassed a formidable array of talent: about one hundred of the finest young Kenyan operatic singers, dancers, and instrumentalists – both orchestral and traditional – to take part in the opera.
It had its first showing where those who attended were given scenes from the upcoming opera in an event conducted by Mshai Mwangola. Guests watched outstanding performances from some of the best young singers and instrumentalists coming out of Kenya conducted by Levi Wataka.
The evening included discussions between Baraka Opera Trust’s Rhoda Ondeng and Yvonne Adhiambo Owuor moderated by the host. The link between the three was that they all went to the same high school in Limuru and they were all women doing big things in their chosen arts with Rhoda Ondeng excelling in opera and Yvonne Adhiambo Owuor in literature. We learned why these outstanding women why they pursued their chosen path, and how they were able to keep the faith during the many years they were on their path.
This opera is not at the stage where it can be seen by crowds as staging a culturally significant event of this magnitude will inevitably involve a large financial outlay. Baraka Opera Trust is therefore seeking sponsorship – financial or otherwise – to make Nyanga: Runaway Grandmother a lasting legacy and the best possible inspiration for future generations of artistically creative Kenyans.
Watch the discussions in the below videos.