Over the last couple of years, it has felt like the podcast market has exploded. Buoyed by ease of creation, the wave has particularly caught on in Africa with more creators channelling its use. For anyone looking for an introduction to African podcasts, here are ten shows you should try.
Tracing the lineage behind certain meals, recipes, and nutrition habits helps contextualize cultures and their evolution. This quest for knowledge and answers informs Uncooked Women co-hosts Ada and Ore’s perspective. They use food as a filter through which they decode African history, pop culture, and sex. For example, some episodes contextualize the role food played in Nigeria’s End SARS protests. Others explore what the phallic resemblance of plantain tells us about female sexual pleasure.
A part of the Voice of America’s wide-reaching digital imprint, this podcast features Ugandan journalist Douglas Mpuga. He leads a panel conversation with fellow journalists. They deconstruct the biggest news issues on the African continent in the prior week. By centering journalists who cover the stories in depth, it contextualizes the issues.
True Crime South Africa
In African podcasts, the success of True Crime South Africa fill the demand for true crime. Host Nicole Engelbrecht focuses on victims and survivors. She combines media coverage, trial footage, and first-person interviews to demystify South African true crime cases.
It’s A Continent
Growing up in the UK left Chinny Ukata and Astrid Madimba seeking a deeper connection to their home countries. This manifested in a greater curiosity about African history, leading them to form It’s a Continent. This podcast documents that journey and teachings which spoke to their gap in knowledge. So far, this podcast has culminated in five seasons and a book, digging into the history of African countries.
I Said What I Said
Jola Ayeye and Feyikemi Abudu cohost I Said What I Said– one of the forerunners of African podcasts. Originating in 2017, the podcast served as an outlet for the duo’s outsize Twitter personas for their witty takes. Leveraging their organically built audience made it relatively easy for them to build community to underpin the podcast’s rise. Consequently, it has leveraged that community as it has made inquisitions into the live space. In 2021, Ayeye and Abudu sold out shows in Lagos, Abuja, and Accra. Then, they hosted a party in December styled around the owambe party subculture of the Yoruba tribe of Nigerians.
The LGBTQIA demographic suffers from a distinct underrepresentation in popular culture. But, the Afro Queer podcast documents the lives of queer Africans living on the continent and in the diaspora. This show offers anthropological insight into the shapes and forms that being African and queer take, spotlighting on individuals.
Case Number Zero
In the early years of the 2010s, Bogonko Bosire emerged as one of the most revered investigative journalists in Kenya. However, the failure of his blog to cover the 2013 Westlake terrorist attack in Nairobi raised suspicions that he might have been a casualty. Those suspicions have been discredited. Since then, Bosire is missing, leading to a range of speculation and conspiracy theories on his whereabouts. Case Number Zero investigates and contextualizes Bosire’s disappearance via interviews with his friends. It explores the validity of the theories raised.
The tech ecosystem in Africa rose and hit great strides over the course of the last decade, and gained notoriety. Justin Norman wanted to develop new frames of reference away from his western upbringing and sensibilities. This inspired a range of conversations with actors within the tech and larger business space. Those conversations inspired The Flip. This podcast helps document those conversations and the insights to learn from entrepreneurs finding success in one of the most underfunded and overregulated parts of the world.
Simi Badiru and Feyikemi Akin-Bankole envisioned F&S Uncensored as another layer of their friendship and a way to position themselves for life post-graduation. The podcast started with them recording out of their university apartments. Unwittingly, it takes us on the journey of self-realization that came with building expertise by working in the Nigerian music industry. This experience informs their takes on trendy pop culture news bites and relates to the struggles of their mid-20s contemporaries. Apple recently spotlighted this podcast as part of its Africa Day campaign.
The Hip Hop African Podcast
The hip-hop genre is possibly the most successful genre of music that black people promote. The Hip Hop African Podcast, from the department of African Studies at Howard University, bridges the gap between the global hip-hop culture and its African outpost. Through its hip-hop filter, they host conversations about queerness, sexuality, and immigration, making it a stimulating endeavour.
African Podcasts: Variety, Depth, and Excitement
Our article about Africa Podfest 2021 shows growing demand for podcasts in Africa. It also highlights some of the creative people willing to supply satisfying content. Since then, the podcast industry in Africa has grown exponentially. These African podcasts cut across a diverse range of sectors. They’re just a handful of the richest offerings by African podcasters. These shows constitute a unique, interesting listening experience. Do check them out and let us know which are your favorites.