Former Radio presenter and podcaster Adelle Onyango has revealed she turned down a meeting with the British royal because of their colonial past.
Speaking in her podcast, Adelle said she was invited alongside several other experts but turned down the meeting because she believes the royals are not really after accountability of their past.
“A week ago, I was invited to an event that would have a round table with the British Royals who are in our country. One of my core values is that in the path or journey to justice, there has to be accountability. I don’t think there can be justice without that,” she said.
“I think accountability is key, especially for this continent of mine that I love so much for all the things that were caused by colonisers and things that were caused even by bad corrupt leaders that we still have today.”
“December 12 is Jamhuri Day and my tradition on that day is to watch a documentary about the history of my country. The main reason I chose to do that is while I didn’t fully study in Kenya, the history that I learned was whitewashed.
“A lot of things were kept away from me as a child in a Kenyan school, learning about our history. Things like they were concentration camps here,” she went on.
“Last year, the documentary that I watched is called A Very British Way of Torture. It broke my heart and coming back to this event that I was invited to. I’m still very angry, especially after my tradition last December 12. After watching that, and seeing exactly what was happening and wondering why there is no accountability in this particular injustice.
“Why are we acting like it didn’t happen? Why is it still happening in a new, more polished format? I was like, maybe my role and my responsibility as an African is to be able to go to these rooms that I am privileged enough to have access to and to ask these tough questions. Ask for accountability and to make it known that there is a huge group of Africans who want accountability.”
“The more I started to understand more on the nature of this event, I understood this was not going to be possible for those tough conversations. Both parties need to be aware that that’s what they’re signing up for and that’s the responsibility that they’re coming together to do.
“The environment has got to favour that. It’s a serious thing. It’s not let’s dress up, let’s have a theme. Let’s meet at a cool spot.”
“This is some serious stuff. Two things, one, the nature of this event is not one where the conversation I want to have as an African Kenyan woman is going to be able to happen. It’s not to say that the people who set this up have bad intentions.
“It just means my values on what I want to achieve in any form of contact going forward. I don’t want to be in places where my value is mismatched. The second thing is we have to be courageous, being Africans. It’s scary to demand accountability.”