Michael Kamunya, Kenya

Michael Mariu Kamunya

iLEAP International Fellow, 2018

Michael’s Story

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.