Episode 20: Can Africa Recover From a Colonized Mind, Or Are We Doomed?

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Togolese civil rights activist and educator, Yawo Akpawu. Photo: Khaboshi Imbukwa.

In our last episode, we spoke with Yawo Akpawu, an exiled educator and human rights activist from Togo, about the west African country’s 2020 presidential election, which, as he predicted, didn’t end the rule of Faure Gnassingbe. This week, we extend the conversation beyond Togo to talk about the future of Africa, and what he thinks is a difficult (but possible) task to bring good governance to the continent.

Episode 19: Fighting the Politics of Nepotism in Togo

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In this episode, Africa Straight Talk speaks with Yawo Akpawu, an exiled educator and human rights activist from Togo, about his life, his work, his cautious optimism, and his take on the west African country’s upcoming presidential election, which is scheduled for Feb. 20, 2020.

Togolese human rights activist, Yawo Akpawu. Photo: Khaboshi Imbukwa.

Akpawu, a former high school principal, was at the forefront of a movement to prevent Faure Gnassingbé from succeeding his father, Gnassingbé Eyadéma, who died in Tunisia in 2005, having ruled Togo since 1967. The movement failed and Akpawu found himself in the cross hairs of the new dictator’s government. He fled the country and eventually ended up in the United States. To learn more about Yawo Akpawu’s work, visit the Togolese Civil League, an organization he co-founded.

Episode 18: A Ghanaian’s Perspective on “The Year of Return”

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In this episode, we speak to Kwesi Wilson, a San Francisco Bay Area-based Ghanaian-born professor, who took his American students to Ghana in 2019 as part of “the Year of Return”, a Ghanaian government campaign to attract descendants of African slaves to their ancestral land. The ambitious project challenges black citizens of European, American, and Caribbean nations to go beyond visiting as tourists to become investors, and even offered them citizenship and land. What grade does our professor give the project?

Back to the Roots: Visitors at the entrance to Assin Manso Slave River, where slaves took their last baths before embarking on a 31-mile trek to slave castles in Cape Coast. Photo: Kwesi Wilson.

Episode 16: Kenya’s Tribal Kingpins Try to End Tribalism by A Referendum


In the last episode of 2019, Africa Straight Talk looks at the politics of toxic ethnicity. We focus in Kenya, where there are efforts to end tribalism by a referendum. Will it work or is this another gimmick by the political elite?

After the December 2007 presidential elections, Kenya descended into chaos, following allegations of fraud. By the time the violence ended in February 2008, nearly 1,000 people had been killed and many more injured. More than 250,000 people were displaced from their home in the Rift Valley, the breadbasket of the country, where some of the worst atrocities happened. Since then, every election year has been a time of great anxiety as Kenyans spend months wondering if they could return to those dark days.

Continue reading “Episode 16: Kenya’s Tribal Kingpins Try to End Tribalism by A Referendum”

Episode 15: Francophone Africa Suffers from Severe Case of Battered Woman Syndrome

In this episode we look at Africa’s relationship with its European colonial masters. One of the biggest obstacles to African progress is the continent’s apparent unwillingness to divorce herself from her abusive colonial powers. It is fair to compare Africa to a battered woman who’s is so dependent on her husband that she doesn’t consider his blows and kicks to be abusive. Nowhere is that case of battered woman syndrome more severe than in former French colonies.

Recently, African musical legend and human rights activist, Salif Keita, caused a political earthquake in Mali, his home country, when he challenged France’s influence in Africa. In a bold and candid video address on his Facebook fan page, Keita asked Mali’s president, 74-year-old Ibrahim Boubacar Keita (no relation) to stop bowing to pressure from a kid, referring to French President Emmanuel Macron, who is 41 years old.

Salif Keita is part of a growing opposition to the colonial yoke France still holds around the necks of its former colonies. The prosperity and destiny of 14 African countries is controlled by an agreement they signed under duress as a condition for independence. The details of the agreement are guaranteed to outrage anyone who cares about Africa.

Continue reading “Episode 15: Francophone Africa Suffers from Severe Case of Battered Woman Syndrome”

Episode 14: The [African] Gospel, According to Pastor Bobo

In this episode, we speak with Bobo Koyangbwa, a DR Congo-born pastor and journalist, who recently visited the San Francisco Bay Area. Pastor Bobo, as he’s popularly known, runs MPBTV, a channel in Brussels, Belgium, that is dedicated to the African community. Here he talks about his work as a journalist and what he believes can improve governance and enhance democracy in Africa.

Episode 13 — Bobi Wine: The ‘Ghetto President’ Ugandan ‘Dictator’ Museveni Is Most Afraid of?

Bobi Wine in San Francisco, Calif., United States, Nov. 17, 2019. Photo: Edwin Okong’o.

Ugandan recording artist and actor, and philanthropist, Bobi Wine, speaks with Africa Straight Talk about his education, music career, family, and his unlikely entry into politics. The man popularly known as “The Ghetto President” was elected to Parliament in 2017 and has since been jailed and allegedly tortured by the security forces of President Yoweri Museveni. But that has not deterred him. In fact it has emboldened him so much, he says, that now he is on a quest end the long-running regime of “the dictator” in the next election to be held in 2021. The Museveni has labeled Bobi Wine, whose real name is Robert Kyagulanyi Ssentamu, “enemy of progress in Uganda.”

Episode 12: How Important is Nobel Peace Prize for Africa?

This year’s Nobel Peace Prize goes to Abiy Ahmed, the youthful Ethiopian prime minister, for making peace with Eritrea. Does he deserve the prize, given that he’s only been on the spotlight for a short time? Should he have shared the prize with Eritrean President Isaias Afwerki just like Nelson Mandela and Frederik de Klerk? Should Africa still be looking west for validation? Shouldn’t we be aspiring more for recognition in areas of science like medicine, physics and chemistry?

So many questions!

In this episode, Nado, Okong’o and Khaboshi try to make sense of it all.

Episode 11: Is African Veto Power on UN Security Council a Reality or a Pipe Dream?

President Julius Maada Bio of Sierra Leone says African deserves at least one permanent seat on the UN Security Council, He argues that the some of the greatest decisions the council comprising of France, Russia, United States, United Kingdom, and China makes are about Africa. So it make sense to give an African country a chance to be on the world’s most powerful cartel, right?

It seems like a bright idea, but what do Okong’o, Nado, and AST producer Khaboshi think?