Episode 77: Do Africans care about Pandora Papers?

Uhuru Kenyatta
Busted: Kenyan President Uhuru Kenyatta and his family hides at least $30 million in offshore tax havens, according to the Pandora Papers leak. Photo: Uhuru Kenyatta licensed under CC BY-NC 2.0

The International Consortium of Investigative Journalists recently released a list of 35 current and former world leaders who have been using offshore accounts to evade taxes. Representing Africa are Uhuru Kenyatta of Kenya, Ali Bongo Ondimba of Gabon, and Denis Sassou-Nguesso of the Republic of Congo. Do Africans care?

Episose 76: Is ‘vaccine Apartheid’ to blame for Africa’s pitiful inoculation rates?

70th Annual General Assembly Debate
Namibian President Hage Geingob addresses the 70th United Nations General Assembly. Photo: United Nations.

Every year, the United Nations General Assembly presents an opportunity for Africa’s leaders to embarrass themselves on the international stage. During this year’s assembly, which took part in New York recently, it was Namibian President Hage Geingob’s turn to show the world how unbelievably naive our leaders are. Geingob used the term “vaccine Apartheid” to describe rich countries’ hoarding of the coronavirus vaccine. How ridiculous is that? Why can’t the wealthiest continent in the world just figure out how to create its own vaccines? And when are we going to realize that the west doesn’t — and will never — have our best interest at heart?

Episode 75: Why Saudis continue to murder Kenyan immigrant workers

We look at why African governments stand by and do nothing when their citizens get abused, tortured, and murdered abroad.

A group of women Saudi returnees wait for their turn to disembark for their respective home areas after receiving orientation by by UNICEF staff.
Women returning from Saudi Arabia wait at a UNICEF center after arriving at Bole International Airport in Ethiopia. Photo: UNICEF Ethiopia

In the past two years, for example, at least 89 Kenyans working in Saudi Arabia have died under suspicious circumstances. Many were domestic workers, whose bodies had clear signs of torture. What is really going on, and why is it so difficult for the Kenyan government to get an explanation from the Saudis?

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Episode 74 – Fleeing capitalism vs. communism: Why is U.S. treating Haitian refugees differently?

Coast Guard interdicts 50 Haitian migrants
The U.S. Coast Guard has a long history of intercepting Haitian refugees and deporting them. Photo: Coast Guard News

On Sunday, President Joseph R. Biden’s administration began unprecedented mass deportations of Haitians, who have been entering the United States from Mexico. Why are they being treated differently than, say, Cuban refugees, who only have to set foot on U.S. territorial waters to be welcomed to America? Could race be a factor, or is it because Haitians are fleeing capitalism and not communism like Cubans? And why isn’t there outrage from Black leaders in the administration and Congress?

Episode 73: Guinea pig Alpha Condé finally overthrown

Guinea’s President Alpha Condé, 83, under arrest after the Sept. 5 coup.

On Sept. 5, the Guinean military rolled into the Guinean presidential palace, overthrew the government, and arrested President Alpha Condé, who had been in power since 2010. The country is now under the military rule of Col. Mamady Doumbouya. The colonel has promised to hand over power to civilians soon. Will he, or is this another story of an African military dictatorship in the making?

Episode 72: An African perspective on the U.S. fiasco in Afghanistan

Dirty job
“Dirty job” Photo: The U.S. Army ,

In this episode, Nado and Okong’o give their views on the mess their surrogate homeland of the United States has created in Afghanistan, and how it will affect their homeland of birth, Africa.

Among the countries that have agreed to help the U.S. save face — if that’s even possible — is Uganda. How can one of the world’s poorest nations, which already harbors 1.4 million refugees, afford to take more? And what will happen those among the 2,000 Afghan refugees who won’t be approved to relocate to the United States? Could Uganda be setting herself up for getting stuck with someone else’s problem, or is this a smart move by President Yoweri Museveni to get hold of some American dollars?

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Episode 71: Artist explains Haiti beyond superficial coverage of political violence and earthquakes

Haitian American artist, Sophis, says one can’t understand Haiti without going back to 1804, the year of independence.

Haitian American musical artist, Sophis, gives us some straight-talk insights into the historical context mainstream media often avoid when talking about his country of birth.

Haiti is a country with a rich history. It was the first Black nation to liberate itself from European rule, way back in 1804, when a slave revolt defeated Napoleon’s mighty French army and declared independence. That’s right — 80 years before the 1884 Berlin Conference, when European empires sat down and agreed to divide the African continent amongst themselves, Haiti had fought and defeated one of he greatest of them to become independent.

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Episode 69: Does Africa have the right to blame brain drain?

Stop brain drain.” Illustration by theps.net.

Whenever African leaders are asked why the continent lags behind in terms of development, they blame braid drain — the exodus of its most intelligent people. But are they right, or are they to blame for frustrating young people so much that they have to go looking of a dignified life elsewhere?

Our guest is Joseph Makokha, an engineer who  studies and conducts research on engineering design with the goal of understanding how to design Artificial Intelligence to augments humans on thinking tasks. He is currently helping the Turkish Ministry of Education develop an Artificial Intelligence and Machine Learning curriculum for its schools. 

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Episode 68: Meet Wamkanganise naGaadza, Zimbabwean mbira maker, teacher, and cultural ambassador

Salani Wamkanganise naGaadza (center) with his wife Kelly Takunda Orphan playing mbira during a virtual live concert that was organized by the Eastman School of Music at the University of Rochester. Photo: Mosquito Media.

We speak with Salani Wamkanganise naGaadza, and Kelly Takunda Orphan, a husband and wife who are ambassadors of African music and culture. Salani, a Zimbabwean-born virtuoso, doesn’t just make music and teach people how to play mbira; he makes the instruments himself in the San Francisco Bay Area, where he lives.

Since 2017, Salani has performed and recorded with various mbira ensembles and bands. In 2020, UNESCO inscribed the mbira to be on the Representative List of the Intangible Cultural Heritage of Humanity, and Salani was one of two featured cultural ambassadors during the filming of the project in Zimbabwe.

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