Emeka Okereke is a visual artist, writer, and filmmaker.
Niq Mhlongo (b. 1973, Soweto) is a South African writer born in Johannesburg. Today, he is considered "one of the most high-spirited, irreverent voices of post-apartheid South African literary scene".So far, he has four novels  and two short stories to his name:  Dog Eat Dog (2004), After Tears (2007), Way Back Home (2013),  Affluenza (2016), Soweto Under The Apricot Tree (2018), Paradise in Gaza (2020). He has also edited two collection of Essays: Black Tax, A Burden or Ubuntu (2019) and Joburg Noir (2020). In between his already illustrious and prolific practice, he is also the city editor for the Johannesburg Review of Books, while still finding time to mentor, young writers both in South Africa and beyond through workshops and lecture programs. What is most striking about his work is that while it retains all the attributes of a powerful literary work – articulation, poetry, constructive narrative; dealing with topical/relevant issues of the society, etc. – his works are also accessible. He writes for an audience much broader than the literate class which comprised of the middle class and upwards. All of this, and more, are expounded in this long-form podcast conversation with host Emeka Okereke. To understand Niq's creative language and disposition is to return over and over to the streets of Soweto from where his highly tactile and experiential journey towards becoming his kind of writer began. Soweto Jive, a groovy number by Sipho "Hotstix" Mabuse, sets the mood for the nearly two-hours long conversation.Niq's knack for anecdotes and personal stories leads the way all through. He makes a point to emphasize that, thanks to his eidetic memory, he can easily recall incidents which eventually feeds and informs his writings. In the conversation, he goes down memory lane while weaving pieces of incidents together to give the listener a sense of how his work – like many artists of his generation – sits at the transitory space between a past of pain and the present of hope where the Black South African can look at the horizon and conjure the possibility of "a future tense", as Shoshana Zuboff puts it. Towards the end of the conversation, he speaks extensively about Black Tax: A Burden or Ubuntu?, an anthology of essays by Twenty-six South African authors, also edited by Niq. This timely assemblage of voices attempts to ignite discussions around the meaning and place of responsibility as attributed to familial ties in the black South African reality. This book is Niq's first-ever collaborative project. According to him, it was a subject bigger than him, and thus requires the strength of numerous voices.If you know Niq Mhlongo's work, this conversation will offer a more expansive, informative, yet entertaining frame for better appraisal. Those encountering him for the first time will find that he continues in the tradition of many African artists whose encounter with art was underlined by remarkable coincidences which, in hindsight, could only be understood as a calling. Support the show (https://www.patreon.com/nkatapodcast)
Founded in 1927, Queen's College, Yaba, Lagos, Nigeria is part of a formidable legacy addressing the gender disparities between male and female education in Nigeria spearheaded by a group of women who contributed to the founding of this country's first government-owned secondary school for girls.The six years I spent in Queen's College between 1993-1999 formed part of a lifelong lesson in feminism, ambition and mediating between individuals across class, social and cultural differences, in what would also prove to be a network far beyond what I could have imagined as a shy thirteen-year-old walking through the blue gates of my high school campus for the first time. The 1990s, defined by a return to full-blown military rule, a tumultuous time as the late Chief M.K.O. Abiola's democratically-elected president was announced in June 1993, and in 1995 Ken Saro Wiwa and eight other environmental activists murdered by the state. It was under this climate that I began formal secondary education in an institution that would leave indelible marks on my psyche going forward extending way beyond Yaba and on the many global endeavours I have since saught.I had first encountered this school for girls through my family as decades earlier, two of my cousins had gone there. They would often speak so fondly about fellow peers, teachers, principals and all of the goings-on during their time in there, particularly 'boarding house' experiences. In my first two years, I was a day student. Then this was followed by four years of boarding, which, if I'm honest, confused me as I assumed this experience was for people who didn't live in Lagos or, you know, couldn't commute every day. I focus on my time as a boarder because this really was the first time in my life I met young ladies who represented all the different tribal groups in Nigeria, it felt like everyone from everywhere was here. I learned and heard about so many places I had never heard of or only saw on maps. A melting pot of cultures and experience and one that was a lesson in diplomacy and co-existence. Tuck shop, out-of-bounds, Mati Obasa, slabs (a washing area), and one Ju! Phrases that only a QCOG would understand! The stark realities that this was no Mallory Towers but really survival of the fittest, fetching water, washing your clothes and making sure they weren't nicked, sticking to the many rules. Still, indeed there was time for fun (acculturation, inter-house sports, visiting days and exeats!).I and everyone who has and still passes through those blue gates are part of a legacy of female leaders traversing many geographies and built on a vision by a group of women responding to the importance of educating the girl child in Nigeria and beyond. It is no small feat to bear and pass on the torch of Queen's College.Guest: Jareh DasHost: Emeka OkerekeText: Jareh DasCover Image: Jareh DasMusic: Life's Gone Down Low by The Lijadu Sisters. Production: E.O Multimedia LTD. Support the show (https://www.patreon.com/nkatapodcast)
Shahidul Alam (b.1955) is a Bangladeshi photojournalist, teacher and social activist. He has been a photographer for more than 40 years. His life and work can invariably be summarised as a service to society, culture and humanity.  In 2014, he was awarded the Shilpakala Padak by the President of Bangladesh. In 2018 he received the Humanitarian Award from Lucie Awards. In the same year, he was named one of the  Times Persons of The Year by Time Magazine. Alam founded the Drik Picture Library in 1989, the Pathshala South Asian Media Institute in Dhaka in 1998, “which has trained hundreds of photographers”,  and the Chobi Mela International Photography Festival in 1999. These platforms have been steadfastly sustained throughout these years. As such, they have become, in Alam’s words, the units straddling the three prongs – education, media, and culture – through which they have been able to exact pressure on the political sphere, therefore, instigating tangible change in the Bangladeshi reality through photography. In August 2018, Shahidul Alam was arrested and detained shortly after giving an interview on Al Jazeera during which he criticised the government's violent response to the 2018 Bangladesh road safety protests. There was a global call for his release led by many International humanitarian organisations, news media and notable personalities. In the 7th Episode of Nkata Podcast: Art & Processes, Emeka Okereke visited Alam in his home in Dhanmondi, Dhaka in Bangladesh – same apartment from which he was arrested. They had an extensive conversation about his life and work starting from his childhood to his parents, family and dedication to social justice in Bangladesh. He also touched on his special relationship with his partner – his best friend and his fiercest critic – Rahnuma Ahmed, who is a journalist in her own right. Shahidul owes much of his continued belief in his cause;  its strategic carefulness of self-care as a form of protest (as inferred by Audre Lourde) to Rahnuma. He made a point to note that the name “Rahnuma”  is Persian for “the one who shows you the way”. Listen to the full episode on nkatapodcast.comAlso available on Apple Podcast, Spotify, Google Podcast, Tune In and more. Subscribe on your preferred platform of listening to get notifications on subsequent episodes.There are timestamps to help the listener navigate different parts of the podcast. Support the show (https://www.patreon.com/nkatapodcast)
For 25 years, Madam Margaret Opambour-Adjei has run the Afroshop Tropical Markt, in Neukölln Berlin, where she sells foodstuffs, cosmetics and fabrics mainly from West Africa. Originally from Ghana, she migrated to Germany in 1988. In this episode, Emeka Okereke visited her shop during which they discussed various aspect of the movement of African food across borders. “We are quite conversant with the movement of bodies and people back and forth borders in the context of migration – in this case, Africans. But there is another angle to it: the movement of food. Africans have always carried their food with them when they travel or migrate. If there are two luggage allowances [for a flight], it is most likely that one of the luggage will be filled with foodstuff.”Their conversation was a glimpse into her life:The challenges of running such a business in Berlin; the trajectory of the transportation/distribution of African foodstuff and the agents involved. Some of the governmental policies which constitute bottlenecks. Her shop as a Pan-African Space, as a space of conviviality. Her connection with Ghana, her home country. Incapsulating this is the fact that the conversation took place on the so-called #blackoutteusday, and in the same week when many people in the world are protesting under the “Black Lives Matter” banner. While this is commendable, it is crucial to articulate other ways black people are making lives matter - in their everyday lives. The likes of Madam Margaret may not be able to go for the placard-waving match-protest protest in Berlin. But she has kept a business running for 25 years in Berlin – even as the business is frustrated by imperialist-capitalist realities. She Keeps her head up – for herself and those who depend on her as far as in Ghana. She makes "Lives Matter". This podcast is a small attempt to honour her own way of making lives matter.Guest: Margaret Opambour-Adjei (Berlin)Host: Emeka Okereke (Berlin)Text: Emeka OkerekePhotography: Emeka OkerekeMusic: Sir KupeskiGraphic Design: Innocent Ekejiuba,Listen on: nkatapodcast.com/dotSupport the project: nkatapodcast.com/patreon Support the show (https://www.patreon.com/nkatapodcast)
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Creator Details

Berlin, Berlin, Germany
Episode Count
Podcast Count
Total Airtime
18 hours, 41 minutes
Podchaser Creator ID logo 497744