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Welcome Kenyan Artists: Voices Rising

We’re thrilled to be introducing the work of five Kenyans. Their art and ideas will continue to be featured. For now, see our introduction to Juliette, Kake, Lydiah, Anthony and Sophie. Enjoy a sample of their rich, beautiful work. These videos were filmed in Nairobi, Kenya in September 2023, at the Kenya National Theatre. Rose was visiting and met with the artists, recordeding these materials

Meet the Performers

Kake sings

Lydiah sings

Watch a brainstorming session with the group

Read more about the artists:

Juliette Achieng Omollo

Juliette Achieng Omollo is a dance and performance artist, choreographer and teacher. Juliette is passionately involved in social programming for girl-child empowerment. In her work with various youth groups, she uses art as a tool for empowerment. Juliette also works with the Judith Bwire Foundation ( › JudithBwireFoundation). The foundation works to change the lives of vulnerable young Kenyan girls and women by distributing pads and by encouraging the activity of tree planting.

Juliette says ‘we achieve our goals with interactive sessions of music, dance and presentations on relevant subject matter. Art brings out the soul’....’

Kake Wakake

Kake is a multi-instrumentalist, specialising in the traditional Luo instruments of the Nyatiti, Gara, Oduong’o and traditional drums. He uses his unique voice to link music of all kinds. Kake’s aim is to reach out to hearts and minds in harmony with the tunes he composes and performs. These melodies have been performed over the decades in Kenya and across the diaspora, resonating with the realities of what it means to be human.

Along with being an Afromusicologist, Kake is a specialist in healing traditions to support mental health.

Sophie Ogutu

For 15 years, Sophie has been coordinating SWAN day--Support Women Artists Now-- in Kenya. The festival celebrates women artists on the last Saturday of March, Women's History Month. Google SWANDAY KENYA to see YouTube videos on SWAN performances.

Sophie is a member of 5Cs, a progressive human rights theatre group that presents participatory theatre for change. Since 2000, Sophie has been coordinating key elements of their performances. 5Cs works collaboratively with human rights organisations in Kenya, and with allied progressive social movements. Safety Curtain, based in the UK, is a major support for the work of 5Cs.

Find more about Sophie at

Lydiah Dola

Lydiah is an Afro-fusion musician based in Nairobi. She is a composer, singer and guitarist. Lydiah’s music began and is grounded in activism; hence the term ‘Artivist’. Her music seeks to bring about positive change. Lydiah’s musical career has been heavily influenced by Africa and musical greats such as Miriam Makeba, Dobet Gnahore, Yvonne Chaka Chaka, Tracy Chapman, Ayub Ogada and others. Lydiah started her musical journey as part of a duet with Dan “Chizzy” Aceda which brought modern-day traditional music to the forefront of Kenyan music. Lydia’s music speaks to and celebrates African history, culture, heroes and heroines, current social issues as well as love and popular culture.

Find more about Lydiah at

Her music is available at

Anthony Gatonga

Anthony works collaboratively with artists to create innovative and marketable music, providing detailed feedback to help refine the artist’s sound. He is a fundraiser for upcoming artist and youth innovators, and produces and mixes music for independent artists in a variety of genres.

Anthony is a bridge builder, developing relationships with local artists, and helping create a network of talent for cultural music projects.Collaborating with other producers and engineers, he creates unique cultural music that inspires new generations

Currently, Anthony is working with Kake Wakake to create a cultural centre in the slum of Korogocho to generate music and teach young people and children to play Nyatiti, a cultural musical instrument.

Find more about Anthony at; Facebook: Anthony Gatonga

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