Top global streaming platform Spotify has announced a first-of-its-kind podcast initiative on the continent, the Africa Podcast Fund, with the goal of supporting podcasters and further amplifying their stories.
The four Kenyan podcasts that will benefit from the fund are The Sandwich Podcast, which is the podcast with the most listeners in Kenya, The Messy Inbetween, Mantalk.ke and Nipe Story.
The Sh12million fund aims to bolster the careers of these podcast creators through financial grants, workshops and networking opportunities.
The Africa Podcast Fund is offered to select creators from African countries with the biggest podcast listenerships, namely South Africa, Nigeria, Kenya and Ghana. The grant also includes a Cameroonian podcast with large listenerships both in France and in Francophone African countries, such as Cote d'Ivoire. Given the wide range of selected countries, the winning podcasts are recorded in a range of languages including Pidgin, English, French, Sheng, Ga, and Twi.
The fund will be administered by Africa Podfest, a Kenyan-based company focused on inspiring and elevating African podcasters by building a sustainable and inclusive podcasting industry across Africa.
"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, Africa Podfest.
Independent emerging podcasters with growing audiences were selected as recipients for the fund, with a focus on supporting podcasts that showcase a range of voices in terms of varying podcast formats, gender, language and content.
The Sandwich Podcast 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 (TMI) 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.
Mantalk.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.
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.
Other podcasts to benefit from Africa include I Said What I Said, Tea with Tay and F&S Uncensored, all from Nigeria.
South African beneficiaries are After School Is After School with Sis G.U, The Journey Kwantu, Wisdom & Wellness with Mpoomy Ledwaba and Convos & Cocktails with Lesego Tlhabi.
The Ghanaian recipient is Sincerely Accra, while the Cameroonian recipient is Si Maman M'avait Dit, which roughly translates to 'If my mom had told me'.