First things first, after more or less one month away Lwile the Leo is finally back in business!!!! Yasssssssssssss!!!
I have immensely enjoyed the time off and now I am both very excited and very nervous to be back. Excited because I am looking forward to seeing what the new year and new decade has in store for Lwile the Leo. Nervous because I still do not have a content calendar and that fact, or lack thereof, is giving me major anxiety. But I know I will figure shit out whatever it takes because Lwile the Leo will kick major ass this year!!!!
With that being said, let us now get into today’s post about my beautiful, kind, fun, funny, intelligent, loyal, conscious, passionate, thoughtful, wise, gentle BFF Adelle Onyango.
Adelle and I met when I was 17 years old and she was a measly 15 years old!
Granted she was turning 16 in 11 days, but hey, semantics.
If I remember correctly, Adelle and I met on January 24, 2005 so as she turns 31 today, we have been friends for 15 years and 12 days. That makes my friendship with Adelle my longest running one, so when I realised that Lwile the Leo will be back on Adelle’s birthday it was a no brainer to put up an Adelle Onyango centric post.
Two things that stand out in my friendship with Adelle is:
- We have never fought.
- We have been through similar situations in our very different journeys.
I will not get into the details of how Adelle and I met 15 years ago as we talked about that, and many other aspects of our friendship, in a fun & funny podcast we recorded for International Day of Friendship that you can listen to here.
Fun fact: that photo of Adelle & I is her favourite of us, and was taken at her wedding just after the MC opened up the dance floor following the bride & groom’s first dance. You can be very sure the minute he announced the open dance floor I practically ran to it because I was the most excited to dance with her on her big day. But, I digress.
What I want to focus on today is just how much I LOVE Adelle.
Adelle has been there for me from my first heartbreak in 2005, to when my mum died in 2017, and everything in between. She was also the person I called to come and pick me up from my ex-boyfriend’s place the day he beat me up in 2010, and that is not something I acknowledge lightly.
Adelle and I have a lot in common, and just to name a few: we both love a good laugh, we are both very hardworking and self-aware, we cannot stand fake people and we both struggle with anxiety from time to time. But the major thing we have in common is that both of our mums died from breast cancer; hers on March 31, 2012 and mine on December 13, 2017. Adelle and I have always enjoyed a close friendship, but we got even closer when my mum died as she was the only person in my life who truly understood the heartbreak that came with the love of my life’s death.
Speaking of my mum, Adelle got along really well with her. I remember the day Adelle came home to ask me to be a bridesmaid at her wedding. First of all, it was my greatest honour to be a part of her bridal party as it only had four people – her two sisters, a cousin and I – and I did not take it lightly that I was the only non-family member in her bridal party. I was travelling the day she came through, so I left the house around midday and Adelle stayed behind to catch up with my mum for a bit. How did “a bit” end up being sijui three/four hours … oh how my mum loved Adelle! Which is why sometimes when I think about Adelle’s wedding day I feel sad that my mum was unable to make it, because if she was healthy she would not have missed Adelle’s wedding for shit!
One of my favourite things about Adelle is that she is BOTH the person I go to when I want to be seriously inspired and when I want to have a seriously good time. It is phenomenal that the same person who has shaken hands with the Duchess of Cambridge (!!) is also the person I have been with for most of the funnest times in my life. Adelle is a unique mix of focused and fun and she will forever remain one of my greatest inspirations. I mean, in just three years she has been named as:
- One of Facebook’s 2019 Icons of Change
- Africa Youth Awards 100 Most Influential Young Africans for 2019
- OkayAfrica’s 100 extraordinary African women for 2018
- BBC’s 100 inspirational and innovative women in the world for 2017
She is also the founder of the Adelle Onyango Initiative (AOI), an advocacy organisation that works to educate the public and raise awareness of issues facing vulnerable populations, specifically women and youth, as well as the progress being made to alleviate these issues. It gives me great pride and joy to say that I am one of the trustees of the initiative.
Last year Adelle started two podcasts:
- Legally Clueless – a weekly podcast created to establish a new unapologetically African narrative.
- PursePective – an audiovisual podcast where women share their stories and experiences as they relate to gender equity, and men are given an opportunity to respond with their perspective.
Fun fact: Legally Clueless was named the most popular Kenyan podcast in 2019!
These are just some of the things Adelle has done in a mere three years, which is why she is the main reason I can never settle for basic. My BFF cannot be out there conquering the world and I am just here holding my dick in my hand. She may be two years younger than me, but I am only half joking when I say that I want to be Adelle when I grow up.
Adelle as you turn 31 today I want you to know that I love you deeply and it is my greatest honour to be doing this life thing with you. I look forward to seeing what life has in store for us, knowing that whether we will be celebrating achievements or weathering the inevitable storms, we get to do it together.
Plus just look at us ageing like fine wine 🙂
It is always happy hour with my darling BFF. I love you so so sooo much. Me and you is till the wheels fall off hun bun.