Michael Mariu Kamunya
iLEAP International Fellow, 2018
Michael is the founder of Playmakers Theatre Youth Group in Nakuru, Kenya, and believes in the power of community. Michael hopes for a future where the people of Kenya are better equipped to think critically about governance and work together to fight against corruption. He sees the value of every member in a community, emphasizing the importance of relationships between the young and the elder generations to accomplish a more cohesive society. Michael’s dream is to build a community center to serve as a safe space for young people to be able to “learn, experience, and share their artistic talents.”
But Michael is more than a director and theater producer—while his passion for drama and theater has provided him with countless artistic opportunities, it has also placed him in a leadership position beyond the stage. Since 2001, Michael has worked as a conflict resolution specialist and human rights activist, where he fought against cases of human rights violations, such as gender-based violence and child abuse. Furthermore, Michael engages in conversation surrounding intervention and stigma of relevant health issues, having served as a focused group discussion facilitator for the Global Fund for HIV/AIDS, Tuberculosis, and Malaria.
Michael believes his work serves as a platform to bring together the different communities in Kenya, by opening the discussion about culturally relevant issues and re-educating minds, and generate enthusiasm for youth to create a more cohesive society.