Episode 100: Reflections on a century of Africa Straight Talk episodes

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.

Episode 96: ‘Same forest, different monkeys’ in 2022 Kenyan elections

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.

Episode 85: Why are Africans celebrating coups?

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?

Episode 82 — Africa in 2021: Even with Omicron variant, we’re still resilient

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!

Episode 81: U.S. Evangelicals trying to create ‘one [homophobic] nation under God’ in Ghana

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.

Episode 80: Africa will be most affected by climate change, but negotiators show no urgency at COP26

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.

Episode 79: By calling abused workers prostitutes, David ole Sankok has justified Saudi enslavement and murder of Kenyans

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.”

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Episode 78: Hunting ‘witches’ in Kisii is an ugly blemish on a Kenyan Paradise

The Gusii highlands of southwestern Kenya are a Paradise. But as in any Paradise, there is a snake: Ignorance mixed with religious extremism, which have led to savage murders and lynchings of hundreds of people — mostly elderly women — on suspicion of practicing witchcraft. Following the recent murder of four people, Africa Straight Talk co-host Edwin “Baba Nani” Okong’o, who was born and raised in the Gusii, speaks about this ugly blemish on his beautiful homeland.

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?