Whenever anyone in the west tries to express concern over the state of affairs in our continent, our leaders often begin chanting the “African solution for African problems” mantra. Now that President John Magufuli of Tanzania tried the African solution of prayers and failed miserably by dying of suspected of Covid-19, will our leaders start looking for real practical solutions?Continue reading “Episode 54: Will Africa learn any lessons from Magufuli’s death?”
Fely Tchaco performing at the Freight and Salvage in Berkeley, California. Photo: Courtesy of Felymusic.com.
Ivorian-American singer, songwriter performer and visual artist, Fely Tchaco, shares a remarkable story of resilience and how making music helped her deal with trauma from a violent childhood, and from the abusive relationships she got into as an adult.Continue reading “Episode 53: How creating music has helped Ivorian songbird Fely Tchaco deal with trauma”
In this episode, we offer “thoughts and prayers” for Tanzanian President John Pombe Magufuli, Africa’s Covid-19 denier-in-chief, who hasn’t been seen in public since Feb. 27 and is rumored to be hospitalized outside his country.
Word from the Motherland is that Magufuli, 61, who defied World Health Organization recommendations and stopped reporting his country’s coronavirus cases in May, has finally caught the virus and is in intensive care in a hospital somewhere between Kenya and India.
For much of the past year, Tanzanians have gone about their business as if the pandemic doesn’t exist, although some acknowledge there is an increase in cases of “pneumonia.” As you would expect, Magufuli is an anti-vaccine religious wacko who believes, “Vaccinations are dangerous. If white people were able to come up with vaccinations, a vaccination for AIDS would have been found.”
And, oh, he has a PhD in Chemistry, though, we suspect he fried his brains by getting high on the chemicals he was supposed to use for laboratory experiments.
If it’s true that Magufuli has finally caught the virus he’s been blowing kisses to for a year, does he deserve to live? And if the man known as “the Bulldozer” bulldozes through the virus, will he finally accept that it’s real?
Adoubou Traore, an Ivorian-born educator, activist, and community organizer, has dedicated his life to helping African immigrants to navigate the complex U.S. immigration system. He minces no words in challenging successful African immigrants to do more for the new arrivals in their community. Traore is the co-founder and executive director of African Advocacy Network (AAN), a non-profit organization that collaborates with community partners, individuals, faith-based groups, and immigration advocates to serve refugees and immigrants in Northern California.
AAN is a 501 (c) (3) nonprofit organization that relies on grants and donations to provide services. To make a tax-deductible donation click here.
Some people have told Ebenezer Obeng-Nyarkoh that his mission to teach coding to kids in Ghana will fail. He is not listening. Obeng-Nyarkoh, a data scientist and co-founder of Kids Coding, talks about his vision for Ghana’s children, and how he’s navigating around various obstacles. The program teaches children aged between 6 and 17 to explore basic coding concepts with engaging activities in an all hands-on learning environment to give them an early start in learning useful technological skills.
Prior to working as a data scientist, Obeng-Nyarkoh was a reporter with the Ghana News Agency in Takoradi and Tema. He holds an MA in international and development economics from the University of San Francisco, and BA in international affairs (economics) and new media from the University of Maine.
When Nzambi Matee sees plastic waste, she sees gold. And she’s on a quest to pave the streets and sidewalks of Kenya with it. Matee is the founder of Gjenge Makers, a Nairobi-based startup that is working to reverse environmental pollution by turning plastic waste into building materials. Matee has received numerous honors for her innovation, including Young Champion of the Earth, an award given by the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) to young entrepreneurs who are solving the world’s most difficult environmental problems.
Matee speaks with us about her upbringing in Kenya, and the obstacles African entrepreneurs like her run into when they try to innovate.
Kwesi Wilson, a Ghanaian-born news analyst and professor of communication, joins Africa Straight Talk to explain the complicated legacy of former President Jerry John Rawlings, who died in November. A former Ghana Air Force fighter pilot, Rawlings navigated the country’s bloody coup-ridden early decades of independence to become head of state in 1981.Continue reading “Episode 47: Jerry Rawlings’s Legacy, and Ghana’s Long Road to Democracy”
In the first episode of our second season, we discuss America’s wannabe dictator, Donald Trump, and how his “regime” emboldened real African despots like Uganda’s Yoweri Museveni. After Trump’s supporters launched a murderous terrorist attack on the U.S. Capitol on Jan. 6, the Ugandan strongman showed how a true dictator should conduct elections. After Jan. 14 election which the opposition rejected, Museveni, who has been in power since 1986, placed Bobi Wine under house arrest for 11 days by surrounding his house with heavily armed soldiers.
In our last episode of the year, we’re joined by Liberian-born journalist and educator, Joe Kappia, for an African perspective on the presidential elections in the United States, and in Africa. Kappia is the editor in chief and publisher of the West African Journal, a monthly news bulletin for the African communities throughout the United States. He is currently a teacher at the Abraham Lincoln High School in San Jose, California.
We’d also like to thank you, our dear listeners, for the support you’ve given us in the first year of our podcast. We’re talking couple months off to rejuvenate ourselves and reflect on what we’ve learned in order to make our podcast better. Until the, as Emmanuel Nado would say, be well.
When Tebogo left South Africa for the United States to escape rampant racism in the banking industry she worked in, it didn’t occur to her that she would be swapping one racist country for another. Tebogo is a community organizer, poet, house music enthusiast and part-time deejay . She is a founding member of the Afrika Moja, a San Francisco Bay Area collective that advocates for the unity of Africans in the Diaspora.