Is this the decade of military coups in Africa? We ask because there in the last two years, there have been five coups on the continent. Thankfully, most of them have been bloodless. That’s perhaps because in countries like Guinea and Burkina Faso, people have taken to the streets in support of military takeover of civilian governments. Is the experiment of western-style democracy in Africa over?
South Africa has major problems ranging from failed post-Apartheid land reforms to racial inequality to rampant corruption. But none of them, it seems, is larger than having a near-naked indigenous king who grows and smoked dagga, as marijuana is know down there.
The new season of Africa Straight Talk begins with at tribute to three recently departed African men who loved and believed in Africa. South African Arch. Desmond Tutu, Kenyan paleoanthropologist Richard Leakey, and trailblazing, Academy Award-winning actor, Sidney Poitier, showed their love for Africa in their own special ways. The episode ends with yet another foreigner — the American junk food company KFC — insulting the quality of Kenyan food.
In this last episode of the year, we look back at how Africa coped with a difficult 2021. We also revisited some of the amazing guests we had here on Africa Straight Talk. As we complete our second year of podcasting, we’d like to thank you, our dear listeners, for bringing us this far. You have nurtured us from that new podcast that had a couple of hundred downloads a week, to one listened to by more than 15,000 people every month. Now we must take some much-needed time off to replenish our energies so that we may come back stronger. Finally, we wish you a safe and happy festive season, and a happy new year. Once again, thank you, and see you in 2022!
Having failed to create “one nation under God” to match the words of their country’s Pledge of Allegiance, U.S. Evangelicals are trying create it in Africa by sponsoring anti-LGBTQ laws. We speak with two U.S.-based Ghanaians — Arthur Musah, and Kwesi Wilson — about how lawmakers in Ghana are taking cues from American Evangelicals to introduce a hateful law to crack down on the country’s LGBTQ community. If passed, the draconian law would not only punish suspected gay people, but also any person — including family members — who fails to report them to authorities. Behind the bill is an American right-wing extremist group known as World Congress of Families, which has ties to white supremacist organizations.
Born to Ghanaian father and a Ukrainian mother, Musah is an award-winning filmmaker, whose films explore African identities in a globalized age. He is gay and has become one of the leading figures in opposition to Ghana’s proposed hateful bill.
Wilson is a professor of communication, social commentator, and founder of the Afrikan Trumpet, a blog and podcast exploring how art can be used to create change.
African countries will suffer the worst consequences of climate change, but you wouldn’t know it if you looked at the continent’s negotiators at the COP26 talks in Glasgow. Their strategy seem to be stretching their hands out for billions of dollars in handouts as compensation for wealthy countries role on climate change.
What Africa needs to do is cut the pipeline that supplies the resources that wealthy countries use to fuel the greedy overconsumption that is threatening the continent’s future. Accepting money from the countries that are mostly responsible for the impeding climatic catastrophe only helps the polluters shed their guilt. And, frankly, given the corrupt nature of African governments, chances are that the money will be shipped back out to offshore banks in the same wealthy countries.
If you thought former U.S. President Donald Trump — the wannabe despot — was crazy when he sided with Saudi Crown Prince Mohammad bin Salman after the murder of journalist Jamal Kashoggi, you haven’t met David ole Sankok. On a recent visit to Saudi Arabia, the Kenyan lawmaker said women from his country have been raped, tortured and murdered by their employers because they are prostitutes.
Here is what he wrote on his Facebook page after a meeting with Saudi officials, Kenyans workers, and the employment agencies that recruit them:
“From my assessment, the problem is that Kenya recruitment agents pick girls from Koinange Street, [an Nairobi areas known for prostitution] bars and brothels and export them as immigrant workers without pre-departure training on laws, traditions and cultures of foreign countries. Even back home you can not pick a househelp from Koinange Street or Sabina Joy [a famous Nairobi brothel] and expect house services without parental control.”Continue reading “Episode 79: By calling abused workers prostitutes, David ole Sankok has justified Saudi enslavement and murder of Kenyans”
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?
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?
We look at why African governments stand by and do nothing when their citizens get abused, tortured, and murdered abroad.
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?Continue reading “Episode 75: Why Saudis continue to murder Kenyan immigrant workers”