African Podcasters Get Rare Boost With USD 100 K Backing From Spotify
Global streaming service Spotify has introduced the Africa Podcast Fund, a pioneering podcast project on the continent. This initiative was started with the intention of assisting podcasters and enhancing the reach of their narratives.
Through financial incentives, workshops, and networking opportunities, Spotify has set aside USD 100 K to help these podcasters advance their careers.
Selected podcasters from South Africa, Nigeria, Kenya, and Ghana—African nations with the highest podcast listenerships—can apply for the Africa Podcast Fund. Additionally, the award includes a Cameroonian podcast with a sizable audience in France and Francophone African nations like Cote d’Ivoire. The winning podcasts were produced in various languages, including Pidgin, English, French, Sheng, Ga, and Twi, due to the range of chosen countries.
Africa Podfest, a Kenyan organization dedicated to motivating and elevating African podcasters by creating a viable and inclusive podcasting business throughout Africa, will manage the money.
“Africa Podfest is excited about the development of podcasting in Africa particularly because the medium allows underrepresented African voices to tell the story of Africa,” says Melissa Mbugua, Co-Director of Africa Podfest.
With a focus on supporting podcasts that highlight a range of voices in terms of different podcast forms, gender, language, and subject, independent emerging podcasters with rising audiences were chosen as fund beneficiaries.
In recent years, Spotify has stepped up its interest in Africa, expanding its streaming service to 39 African countries last year and backing projects aimed at supporting the musical aspirations of underrepresented groups.
The realization of Spotify’s objective of expanding the worldwide platform for African creators is expected to be made possible by efforts like these. This goal, the company believes, is crucial for changing the historically constrained perception of storytelling from and about the continent.
In no particular order, the 13 recipients of Spotify’s Africa Podcast Fund are:
After School Is After School with Sis G.U, hosted by Gugulethu Nyatsumba, aims to speak more openly and honestly about the battles that Gugulethu continues to face in her 20s. The podcast seeks to foster a connection with the audience, with sharing life lessons and inspiring emotional growth.
South African podcast The Journey Kwantu, hosted by Vusumzi Ngxande, explores and questions matters around African spirituality and identity. On each episode, Vusumzi holds a conversation with a guest to dig into the most complex issues around African beliefs.
Wisdom & Wellness with Mpoomy Ledwaba, hosted by content creator Mpoomy Ledwaba, aims to foster connections with her guests and inspire her audience through important conversations that touch on life lessons and individual journeys.
Convos & Cocktails with Lesego Tlhabi is a podcast hosted by the prominent South African satirist, best known for her character Coconut Kelz. The focus of Lesego’s podcast is candid conversations that “we, as black women, want to have… but often don’t”.
Sincerely Accra is a popular Ghanaian podcast based on urban life in the national capital Accra. Episodes alternate between vox pops and in-studio interviews, predominantly in English with an occasional blend of Pidgin, Twi and Ga. Hosted by Joseph Nti and produced by Kwame Asante, the podcast is fast-paced and colourful, featuring a mix of personalities with exciting and varying discussions driven by current opinions and pop culture.
The Sandwich Podcast, the podcast with the most listeners in Kenya, is hosted by four creatives: Joan, Kibz, Nyamita and Owen. Delivered in a mix of English, Swahili, and Sheng, topics on the podcast are inspired by the hosts’ life experiences and the guests they feature.
The Messy Inbetween is hosted by Murugi Munyi and Lydia Mukami, covering love, money, work, life, and advice led by lived experience and all the things that make life what it is. TMI provides a safe space for women to discuss their experiences candidly.
Man Talk ke, hosted by Kenyan creators Eli Mwenda and Oscar Koome, recognises the need for conversations led by men on issues such as toxic masculinity, fatherhood, feminism, dating, and self-care. The two hosts strive to have uncomfortable conversations, even if that means putting themselves on the spot.
Nipe Story, hosted and narrated by Kenyan writer, journalist, and queer activist Kevin Mwachiro, gives a voice to written African short stories. Mwachiro provides a platform for African writers to have their short stories heard.
Entrepreneur, journalist and art collector Diane Audrey Ngako is the host of Si Maman M’avait Dit, which roughly translates to ‘If my mom had told me’. On her podcast, Diane Audrey gives the floor to guests, posing questions about what lessons they’ve learnt navigating their lives, careers, and relationships.
I Said What I Said, one of the most popular podcasts in Nigeria, is hosted by Feyikemi Abudu, an entrepreneur who is excited about helping small businesses to grow, and Jola Ayeye, a storyteller with a core interest in contemporary African culture. Each week, they dive into the Lagos Millennial experience and share their take on current happenings in Nigerian society.
Tea With Tay, hosted by Nigerian content creator Taymesan, covers societal issues and personal experiences in a fun, light-hearted and entertaining way. Taymesan hosts celebrities and other guests engaging in topical conversations that spotlight his guests’ unique and intriguing stories.
F&S Uncensored covers music, pop culture and personal experiences. Hosted by Feyikemi Akin-Bankole and Simi Badiru, The podcast offers commentary on trending pop culture topics and informed opinions on how these topics affect everyday Nigerians.
Featured Image Credits: Spotify