Kenya goes to the polls on Tuesday Aug. 9. From the presidential contenders all the way down, the pool (or cesspool) of candidates is filled with people with questionable morals. One of them, a Nairobi gubernatorial candidate named Johnson Sakaja, has been under fire for failing to prove that he has a university degree, as required by law. Does an African really need a university degree in western education to be a good leader?
When we started this podcast, it was difficult to imagine us coming this far–from 40 downloads of our first episode, to thousands. That’s all thanks to our loyal listeners, who have shown that there is a need for African stories and perspectives in this podcasting space. Episode 100 is a look back the motivation behind the founding of Africa Straight Talk, our present challenges, and what we think the future holds.
We speak with Jori Lewis about her new book, Slaves for Peanuts, a story about the role the crop played in slavery and colonization of Africa. Lewis is an award–winning African American journalist who writes about agriculture and the environment. Her reports have appeared on PRI’s The World and in Discover Magazine, Pacific Standard, and the Virginia Quarterly Review. She is also a contributing editor of Adi, a literary magazine about global politics. In 2018, Lewis received the prestigious Whiting Grant for Creative Nonfiction. She splits her time between Illinois and Senegal, where she joined us from for this episode.
Journalists in many parts of the world have changed policies and countries. Is it possible to have the same in Africa?
Kenyan lawyer, Cindano wa Gakuru, talks about the “different monkeys” fighting it out in the “same forest” that is the Kenyan elections, which are scheduled for August 9. Wa Gakuru is an attorney who specializes in various areas of law, including land, the environment, intellectual property, and natural resource management. He is involved in a number of initiatives in science and technology, and national agricultural policies.
Christian Obumseli, a 27-year-old Nigerian American, was killed in Miami by his white girlfriend, Courtney Clenney. Immediately, police and U.S. media started hinting at “self defense.” That was expected. What was shocking was seeing so many Black women say that he deserved it for dating a white woman — as if it’s unheard of for a Black woman to kill a man.
California intends to give reparations to Black residents of the state, but only if they are descendants of African slaves. How do we feel about it? And of course, we can’t be the only ones not talking about Will Smith, Chris Rock, and the Oscars slap that ended Russia’s war on Ukraine (for a week in the media).
There is no shortage of Africans with ingenious ideas. Many have created prototypes of their inventions, but why do they continue to struggle to scale up? We talk about some of the geniuses we’ve interviewed on Africa Straight Talk.
We discuss various topics, including Black people in positions of power who harass and sabotage other Black people because they don’t want to be seen as engaging in the same cronyism white people practice in the workplace every damn day.
They say when the world sneezes, Africa catches the cold. Putin’s war on Ukraine is no exception, and we offer an unapologetic analysis. (WARNING: This one got heated. Some language might be offensive).