Walking together into 2021
What are we going to discover about the potential of African podcasting in 2021?
What will you take into the new year?
Hello friends of Africa Podfest! Congrats, you made it through the disruptive year that has been 2020. So many in the podcasting community have experienced loss and continue to endure immense challenges on a personal and societal level. At the same time, it is a period of transformation, renewal and self-discovery for many individuals and communities. I dare say that African podcasting could have found no better time than the present to take root in a strong community.
As a people, we are powerful because of our stories. Our stories tell the world who we are and bring us together. At this moment in history when Africans on the continent and diaspora are beginning to re-define our cultural identity and re-root ourselves, podcasts are a powerful medium to speak authentically, gather around our stories and inspire new actions and connections. A cultural awakening has met digital technology. What becomes of this potential is really up to us. We get to build the industry and shape the future of audio. To quote podcaster Nigel Ndlovu of Zimbabwe, “It’s up to us podcasters to grow the industry.”
At this point there are more questions than answers about African podcasting. Where have we found ourselves at the end of this year? Which stories do we have to tell? What is the shape and size of the economic opportunity in podcasting? What pathways have closed, and which new ones have opened? What are we going to explore about our potential in 2021? Here at Africa Podfest, we are extremely excited to be preparing the virtual gathering on February 12, #AfricaPodcastDay. We know that following the many questions the community holds will lead us into the future in style.
May you step into the new year with confidence.
Melissa Mbugua, Co-Director, Africa Podfest.
Save the date: Feb 12, 2021. #AfricaPodcastDay + the first Africa Podfest (virtual festival)
Keep your eyes and ears out for our updates very soon! In the meantime, mark your calendar! Africa Podfest launched Africa Podcast Day in 2020, and we will celebrate Africa’s podcasters with Africa Podfest 2021 on February 12 2021. Learn more about Africa Podcast Day here.
Help us gather data on African podcast audiences
We are collecting data about audiences who support our African podcasting community and need your help. We want to provide reliable and credible information that makes your journey as a podcaster as easy as possible and we think that journey begins with learning how the podcasting community has been listening to African podcasts.
Our goal is to collect as much data as possible from your country and to do this we need your help. Please take a few minutes to fill in the survey (it’s not longer than 5 minutes, we promise!) and share it with your community of listeners and fellow podcasters to fill it out. Spread the word on email and social media, the more the merrier! We will share the findings with the community.
Recap of the past month
Coping with COVID: An Oral History of African Podcasting during the pandemic
On November 27 we co-hosted our second event with our friends at Podfest Cairo. The gathering called “Coping with COVID” wove together an oral history of African podcasting in the midst of a pandemic. Podcasters told their stories from Angola, Zimbabwe, Egypt, Tanzania, Nigeria and Kenya. Watch the full video here.
Africa Podfest Delivered A Public Webinar for Google Podcasts creator program
On December 2, Josephine and Melissa had the pleasure of facilitating a webinar hosted by the Google Podcasts creator program. This webinar, which offers priceless tips for new and upcoming podcasters, is part of an invitational series hosted by Google Podcasts and PRX for the Google Podcasts creator program. It is packed with insights on how to think about nurturing your podcasting community and practical tips that you can begin to apply immediately. Find out more about the webinar series here.
Watch the full video and slides on You Tube below:
Weekly podcaster highlight series
We had the pleasure of speaking to Vickie Remoe who hosts Make Sierra Leone Famous. She had lots of lessons and inspiration to share from her perspective as a TV and print journalist working in Sierra Leone and Ghana. Her podcast sheds light on identity and culture of Sierra Leone. Catch up on what she had to say about the art of storytelling, self-care for creatives and making financial sense of podcasting. Watch the full chat on our IGTV.
Many of you have asked whether you too can be featured on our Podcaster Spotlight. If you think you have a unique African podcaster story to tell – fill out this form for consideration: Podcaster Spotlight.
Check the weekly schedule on our Twitter, Facebook and Instagram
Migration of our mailing list to Substack
We have migrated from Mailchimp and will now be using Substack going forward. This allows us to have more community engagement as you can comment and reply to the newsletter directly from our Substack website and also continue conversations on other media. Check out our past newsletters here.
Opportunities & Resources
Training and mentoring for a new generation of African podcasters
The Children’s Radio Foundation has launched Radio Workshop, an accelerator for African podcasters providing training and mentoring from international industry leaders and a digital hub of open-source webinars, video tutorials and toolkits. In January 2021, Radio Workshop will kick off a podcast training program to provide intensive audio training and mentoring to a group of 24 young activists and media makers across South Africa. Find out more information here.
Funding for narrative-changing projects
Africa No Filter is accepting grant applications for creative projects in Africa that challenge pre-existing, harmful narratives of the continent using innovation, tech, art and creativity. Find out more and apply here.
Podcast Sessions Digital Magazine call for articles
The Podcast Sessions is the region’s first (free) magazine dedicated to telling stories about the African podcasting industry. They are looking for stories from your country to publish. Submit an article for one of the next issues at: firstname.lastname@example.org
The Podcaster Toolbox is a crowd-sourced guide for independent, DIY, and/or early-stage podcasters. Originally designed to support podcasters working from home at the start of the COVID-19 pandemic, the guide has expanded to include resources for podcasters at any stage — and place — of production. Check it out here.
JOIN THE DATABASE: Be seen, and heard across Africa by joining the Africa Podfest database of African podcasters.
Africa Podfest inspires and elevates podcasters in Africa looking to create and grow their podcasts. We organize #AfricaPodcastDay (February 12), Africa Podfest, a conference on podcasting and the Unconference on Podcasting series. These events showcase developments in African podcasting, convene players in the new media ecosystem and boost the production of podcasts in the region. We also do original research on the African podcasting ecosystem.