Episode 105: Queen Elizabeth’s empire did what?

Hana Njau-Okolo, a Kenyan-Tanzanian writer and poet based in Atlanta, Georgia, talks about how a simple conversation with a friend converted her from being an admirer of Queen Elizabeth II to asking tough questions about the departed monarch’s legacy.

Njau-Okolo’s work has been published in the African Roar, an anthology series out of South Africa. Her poem, Kilimanjaro, appeared in Silver Birch Press, a publisher based in California, and she is working on her memoir. She works as a legal assistant with a top law firm in Atlanta, where she is responsible for coordinating the firm’s community service programs. 

Njau-Okolo graduated from City University of New York with a BA in Communications and a minor in French. From 1976 to 1981, she attended Kenya High School, a prestigious institution that was at one time known as European Girls Secondary School, or as her father used to call it, the Queen Elizabeth School for Girls.


Episode 104: Sleepless in Ghana

Kwesi Wilson returns to the show to talk about the proliferation of evangelical churches in his country of birth, Ghana, and how their around-the-clock “speaking in tongues” ruined what was supposed to be his summer of recuperation and rejuvenation. Kwesi is a social commentator, news junkie, and professor of communication, based in the San Francisco Bay Area. Most recently, he launched a podcast called Telling Tall Stories.

Episode 101: Does an African need a university degree to be a good leader?

Kenya goes to the polls on Tuesday Aug. 9. From the presidential contenders all the way down, the pool (or cesspool) of candidates is filled with people with questionable morals. One of them, a Nairobi gubernatorial candidate named Johnson Sakaja, has been under fire for failing to prove that he has a university degree, as required by law. Does an African really need a university degree in western education to be a good leader?

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.

We’ll be right back….

We are about to celebrate a major milestone….our 100th episode!!! As we prepare, we encourage you to listen to some of our past episodes where we talked to some great guests and discussed interesting topics.

We can’t wait to be back!!!!

Episode 99: ‘Slaves for Peanuts’ reveals the dirty history behind one of the world’s most delicious snacks

We speak with Jori Lewis about her new book, Slaves for Peanuts, a story about the role the crop played in slavery and colonization of Africa. Lewis is an award–winning African American journalist who writes about agriculture and the environment. Her reports have appeared on PRI’s The World and in Discover Magazine, Pacific Standard, and the Virginia Quarterly Review. She is also a contributing editor of Adi, a literary magazine about global politics. In 2018, Lewis received the prestigious Whiting Grant for Creative Nonfiction. She splits her time between Illinois and Senegal, where she joined us from for this episode. 

Episode 98: News from around Africa

What do the elections, and porta parties have in common? They can make people question their sanity. Hence our discussion on mental health.

May is Mental Health Awareness month and our discussion was about the upcoming Kenyan elections and how some rules could easily lead to mistrust and unrest in an otherwise peaceful nation. We also talked about a disturbing trend called porta parties in Dubai where the bored ultra rich Sheiks humiliate African women, record these humiliating sessions and think it is ok because these women get paid for these sessions.

African women let’s not entertain foolishness in the name of money and material gifts we are better than that!