Episode 66: This is what is wrong with (South) Africa

Former South African President Jacob Zuma’s jailing for contempt of court has led to riots that have killed 276 people. Photo: GovernmentZA.

In this episode, we look at how the politics of ethnicity holds Africa back. Why are poor Africans willing to kill or die for wealthy corrupt goons like former S. African President Jacob Zuma, whose jailing for contempt of court has led to riots that have killed 276 people? Can we simultaneously fight corruption and support tribal kingpins like Zuma?

Episode 65: Meet the Ghanaian sisters challenging Europe’s dominance in chocolate making

The Addison sisters, founders of Ghana’s pioneer bean-to-bar company ’57 Chocolate, enjoying their treats. Photo: 57chocolategh.com

We speak with the Addison sisters, Kimberly and Priscilla, who set out to challenge the stereotypical belief that premium chocolate can only be made in Europe. Five years ago, they founded ’57 Chocolate, a pioneer bean-to-bar chocolate company that uses beans grown within Ghana to create delicious treats.

Episode 56: What power do African-born mayors like Mike Elliot have in cities dominated by white people?

Protest against police violence - Justice for George Floyd
A man protests against police violence after the murder of George FLoyd in May 2020. Photo: Fibonacci Blue.

Following the murder of Daunte Wright in Brooklyn Center, Minn., Tom Gitaa of Mshale, the Minneapolis-based African community newspaper, joins us to discuss what it means for African immigrants like Mayor Mike Elliot, who have ventured into political leadership positions traditionally held by white people.

Elliot, who was born in Liberia and was elected mayor of Brooklyn Center in 2018, has found himself having to walk the thin line between supporting Black Lives Matter protests against racist policing and standing with the institution of white supremacy he supposedly commands.

Episode 55: Meet Byb Bibene, the African jack of all trades

Byb Bibene in action. Photo: Robbie Sweeny.

Byb Bibene has toured the world as a professional dance educator, choreographer, and cultural organizer. He is also a professor at the University of California, Berkeley, and has taught at many other colleges, high schools, and arts institutions across the United States. Bibene is also an independent financial professional and strategist helping families, individuals, and students in the African and African-American communities close the wealth gap and plan for their future.

Born in the Republic of the Congo, Bibene completed his Bachelor’s degree in Economics and a Master’s degree in Finance at the Marien Ngouabi University before moving to France, and eventually to the United States. To contact him, follow this link to his LinkedIn profile.

Episode 54: Will Africa learn any lessons from Magufuli’s death?

President Cyril Ramaphosa addresses nation on developments in South Africa’s strategy to control he spread of COVID-19. Photo: GovernmentZA is licensed under CC BY-ND 2.0

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?”

Episode 53: How creating music has helped Ivorian songbird Fely Tchaco deal with trauma

Fely Tchaco and band at the Freight and Salvege in Berkeley California

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”

Episode 48: Meet Nzambi Matee, the Kenyan Woman Turning Plastic Waste Into Building Materials

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Kenyan environmentalist and social entrepreneur, Nzambi Matee, (second from left) and her team at Gjenge Makers, where they turn plastic waste into building materials. Photo: Courtesy.

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.

Episode 46: Uganda’s Museveni Shows Trump How a Real Dictator Conducts Elections

President Museveni welcomes President Kagame to Uganda | Kampala, 25 March 2018
“President Yoweri Museveni welcomes President Kagame of Rwanda to Uganda | Kampala, 25 March 2018” by Paul Kagame is licensed under CC BY-NC-ND 2.0

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.

Episode 45: An African Perspective on the U.S. Presidential Election

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.

Photo by funky fat girl is licensed under CC BY 2.0

Episode 44: Meet the South African Woman Who Unknowingly Swapped one Racist Country for Another

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.