Since its launch in Africa, the top global streaming platform Spotify has shown that it is committed to helping African creators advance their careers through on-platform and off-platform support programs.
In line with this, the company has announced the Africa Podcast Fund, the first program of its kind on the continent. Its goal is to help podcasters spread their stories even more. The goal of the $100,000 fund is to help these podcasters advance in their careers by giving them money, hosting workshops, and giving them chances to meet other people in the field.
The Africa Podcast Fund gives money to creators from South Africa, Nigeria, Kenya, and Ghana, the African countries with the most podcast listeners.
The grant also includes a Cameroonian podcast with many listeners in France and Francophone African countries like Cote d’Ivoire. Due to the large number of countries chosen, the winning podcasts are recorded in many different languages, such as Pidgin, English, French, Sheng, Ga, and Twi.
Africa Podfest, a company based in Kenya, will be in charge of managing the fund. The company aims to inspire and elevate African podcasters by building a sustainable and open podcasting industry across Africa.
The 13 podcasts that won are listed below, in the order of the countries’ names.
Diane Audrey Ngako is an entrepreneur, journalist, and art collector. She hosts the show Si Maman M’avait Dit, which roughly means “If my mom had told me.” Diane Audrey lets her guests talk on her podcast and asks them what they’ve learned about their lives, careers, and relationships.
Sincerely Accra is a popular podcast in Ghana about city life in Accra, which is the country’s capital. Episodes switch between vox pops and in-studio interviews. Most of the interviews are in English, but sometimes a mix of Pidgin, Twi, and Ga is used.
The podcast is hosted by Joseph Nti and made by Kwame Asante. It is fast-paced and colourful, with a mix of personalities having interesting and different conversations about current events and pop culture.
The Sandwich Podcast, Kenya’s most popular podcast, is hosted by four creatives: Joan, Kibz, Nyamita, and Owen. The podcast’s topics are inspired by the hosts’ life experiences and the guests they feature and are delivered in English, Swahili, and Sheng.
Murugi Munyi and Lydia Mukami host The Messy Inbetween. They talk about love, money, work, life, and advice based on real-life experience, as well as all the other things that make life what it is. TMI gives women a safe place to talk honestly about their lives.
Mantalk. ke, created by Kenyans Eli Mwenda and Oscar Koome, recognizes the need for men-led conversations on topics such as toxic masculinity, fatherhood, feminism, dating, and self-care. The two hosts make an effort to have awkward conversations, even if it means putting themselves on the spot.
Kevin Mwachiro, a Kenyan writer, journalist, and queer rights activist, hosts and reads the short stories written in Africa on his show Nipe Story. Mwachiro gives African writers a place where their short stories can be read.
I Said What I Said is one of the most popular podcasts in Nigeria. It is hosted by Feyikemi Abudu, an entrepreneur who loves helping small businesses grow, and Jola Ayeye, a storyteller who is very interested in modern African culture. Each week, they talk about what it’s like to be a millennial in Lagos and give their opinions on what’s going on in Nigeria.
Tea With Tay is a show about society and personal experiences that Nigerian content creator Taymesan hosts. It is fun, light-hearted, and entertaining. Taymesan has celebrities, and other guests talk about current events and share their unique and interesting stories.
F&S Uncensored talks about music, popular culture, and people’s own lives. Feyikemi Akin-Bankole and Simi Badiru host the podcast, and it talks about what’s happening in pop culture and how it affects ordinary Nigerians.
Gugulethu Nyatsumba hosts the show After School Is After School with Sis G.U, which aims to be more open and honest about Gugulethu’s struggles in her 20s. The podcast tries to connect with its listeners by sharing life lessons and giving them ideas for emotional growth.
Vusumzi Ngxande’s South African podcast, The Journey Kwantu, explores and questions African spirituality and identity. Vusumzi hosts a conversation with a guest in each episode to delve into the most complex issues surrounding African beliefs.
Wisdom & Wellness with Mpoomy Ledwaba is a podcast hosted by content creator Mpoomy Ledwaba. She wants to connect with her guests and inspire her audience through important conversations about life lessons and individual journeys.
The well-known South African satirist Lesego Tlhabi, best known for her character Coconut Kelz, hosts the podcast Convos & Cocktails with Lesego Tlhabi. Lesego’s podcast is mostly about honest conversations that “we, as black women, want to have… but often don’t.”
The fund was given to independent podcasters who were starting and whose audiences were growing. The fund’s focus was to help podcasts that featured a variety of voices in terms of podcast format, gender, language, and content.
With projects like these, Spotify will be able to reach its goal of giving African creators a bigger platform around the world. This is an important goal for changing the way people have traditionally thought about stories from and about the continent.