Whether you’re new to the world of podcasts or a serial listener in search of an Afro-focused show to add to your subscriptions, here are eight episodes of great English-language podcasts from the continent and the diaspora that should be on your radar.
Over the past year, this podcast has been recorded to highlight the city and the culture of Accra. With its unique conversational style, each episode of Accra We Dey feels like listening in to banter among friends. In Hot 16 Bars Ghanaian spoken word artist Poetra Asantewa visits the studio for a conversation about the challenges of trying to make it in the Ghanaian arts scene.
Space Life and Other Dumb Ideas by Lalela
Space Life describes itself as “a sci-tech, sci-spec, and pop culture podcast out of Cape Town, South Africa.” As the title suggests, the focus of episodes encompass issues from the continent to the world, and beyond. In “Medical Medical Medical,” guest anthropologist Emily Avera provides a brief overview of scholarship on zombies including the theory that zombies might represent a group’s current sociopolitical fears.
The Unverified Podcast by the Unverified Network
Hosted every Thursday by Calvin Wanguku and Brenda Obath, The Unverified Podcast “brings the world to Kenya, and Kenya to the world.” Each episode provides a run-down of the most recent news stories with a comedic twist. In this episode, Calvin and Brenda explore the landscape of private investigation in Kenya with a guest PI going by the alias “Nikita.”
Talking Heads by the Africa Center
An initiative of The Africa Center in Cape Town, Talking Heads, sets out to facilitate conversations between African ‘thought-leaders’. In African Film Cultures, architect and novelist Yewande Omotoso discusses African cinema with Dr Lindiwe Dovey, SOAS professor and founder of the Cambridge African Film Festival and Film Africa (the Royal African Society’s annual film festival). With it’s unique sound design, African Film Cultures’ takes listeners on a masterful journey of the history of the depictions of Africans in films as well as a brief overview of the African film festival circuit, all in under 13 minutes.
Released on Sundays, My Africa is a podcast in which Nigerian media entrepreneur Andre Blaze Henshaw interviews leading Africans in diversedivers fields. In this episode, Henshaw interviews Nigerian-French singer-songwriter Asa about her earliest musical influences, how she stayed motivated to grow as an artist after losing a singing competition and handling the subsequent success of her music.
Hosted by four first-generation African-Americans, the CNJR show frequently dives into the peculiarities of growing up bicultural. Immi-Great opens a window onto the African immigrant experience in the United States, especially as distinguished from that of other migrant or minority groups. Speakers discuss their families’ moves from the continent as well as the effect that US immigration restrictions have on family experiences: for instance, being unable to develop close relationships with your grandparents who are oceans away.
As the title suggests, the four Nigerian women who make up NYAC created this podcast to shape the narrative about their own continent “rather than letting disney channel and Nat Geo Wild do it”.
Na Craze Dey Worry Am delves into the challenges of mental health in Nigeria, as the hosts recount their earliest conceptions (and misconceptions) about mental illness. The episode combines these reminiscences with advice and explanations from a practicing mental health professional.
Hosted by Clarissa Bannor, TAL covers “an American life with African roots.”. In this episode, Clarissa and Amma explore the possible downsides of having expats. They ask whether returnees are gentrifying culture on the continent by stretching the boundaries (particularly within the artistic fields) through introducing foreign practices to the continent. This continues a two-part conversation that begins in Episode 14: It All Starts with Trust.