When Jocelyne Béroard realized that there were not enough people in her native Caribbean island of Martinique to sustain her ambition to be a musical superstar, she decided to join hands with others and conquer the world.
The singer and songwriter joined hands with artists from neighboring Guadeloupe to form Kassav’, the seminal group that created the popular Zouk style of music, which fueled a dance craze that spread from the islands to the Americas, Europe, Africa, and Asia.
Most African immigrants go to graduate school hoping to land a great white-collar job. Not Simileoluwa Adebajo. The 24-year-old Nigerian woman quit her job as financial analyst to open a restaurant and bring her country’s food and culture to Americans. Opened in 2018, Eko Kitchen is San Francisco’s first Nigerian restaurant and catering company. We spoke with her about her passion for food, and how her young business is navigating these unpredictable times of the coronavirus pandemic.
Emmanuel Nado and Edwin Okong’o invite two other African-born fathers, Joe Kappia (Liberia) and Yawo Akpawu (Togo), to talk about how their fathers influenced the way they raised their children in the United States.
In a series to celebrate women’s month, we speak with Amira Ali, and Teboho, two Bay Area-based African women activists from Ethiopia and S. Africa, respectively. They have teamed up with others to launch Afrika Moja, a collective that hosts salon-style discussions to explore various ways to unite Africans at home and abroad for the sake of the continent’s future.
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.
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.
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.
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?