Podcasts are gradually gaining traction in the East African media landscape. But what does it take to produce a captivating podcast that will have listeners drooling over the next episode? Three female podcasters from Kenya, Uganda, and Tanzania reveal their secrets to EAST Site writer Peter Oduor.

Munira Kaoneka (Tanzania): Founder and Host of the Kaya Sessions Podcast

Munira Kaoneka – Founder and Host of the Kaya Sessions Podcast

My podcast has one focus – home. That could mean a lot of things. I begin each episode with the following words; “I like to focus on the place I call home, that is Tanzania. the African continent and its people”. My podcast is a place where topics of interest to my people are discussed and where outsiders can learn a thing or two about my people.

What does it take to build an impactful podcast?

When planning or researching an episode, I always ask, ‘will this get people thinking?’ I believe that once someone starts thinking, it means the topic stays with them, and it will get them talking. For me, this is the first step in building an impactful podcast. I try to make my content relatable to my audience and, at the same time if I can, a tad bit educational.

The second thing is consistency. You might have a small audience, but if they can trust you to produce content in time, you can retain that audience because every single one is important. Recently I’ve noted the importance of a good social media presence. You need to stay relevant to people by consistently sharing your work. Share your content with them in fun ways so it doesn’t feel like you’re “harassing” them.

Lastly, uniqueness: This is hard to find. I’d say what makes my podcast what it is (with fear of sounding conceited) is me. I want to believe that people tune in because of my energy and vibe. I’ve had people tell me that they find themselves smiling and laughing out loud while listening. That makes my day. Regardless of whether I have a guest or it’s just me in an episode, I want the experience to be the same for them each time.

Nabuguzi Kiwanuka (Uganda): Founder and Host of Hash Time with Nabuguzi Kiwanuka Podcast 

Hash Time with Nabuguzi Kiwanuka is a virtual platform through which we get to unravel social constructs, discuss self-development in line with mental health and emotional well-being, plus other issues affecting us, the millennial generation.

Nabuguzi Kiwanuka – Host of Hash Time

The goal is to have more self-reflective people that can morph into better versions of themselves even if it requires them to contradict who they were 24 hours ago. The podcast, to me, is a platform through which millennials get to tackle the things that inhibit their ability to thrive. Maintaining the status quo is a detriment to many of us. This is manifested in how much we struggle mentally and emotionally because of the repressed expressions.

What does it take to build an impactful podcast?

Good content. In my case, I believe fostering conversations that have both mirrors and windows creates more impact. Mirrors so that we can see reflections of ourselves in the stories and conversations on the podcast and windows so that we can see the worlds of other people. This has been proven to be a powerful way to become more self-aware and a tool that helps us build connections and a sense of belonging. I see my podcast as a corner that helps us assess ourselves and become more self-aware and more receptive to our differences.

I also think that consistency, honesty and the willingness to continue showing up and showing out makes one a dependable, reliable podcast content creator.

How did you make your podcast unique? 

This may sound vain, but I’d like to think that the podcast is me for the most part. I come in my uniqueness, and allowing other people to be unique does make the podcast unique, as opposed to the scripted ones.

Nadia Favre (Kenya): Founder and Host of Cut The Foreplay Podcast 

Cut The Foreplay is about taking away the fluff in a conversation and getting to its meat. It’s pedal to the metal; hold on to your wig, type of show. I never hold back as we dive into topics that range from sex, sexuality, race, relationships and pop culture.

I make sure that regardless of the weight of the issue, it is always approached in a light-hearted way, capturing both laughter and vulnerability.

Nadia Favre of Cut The Foreplay

When I started, I was a few years into my radio career. I had noticed these regressive ideologies being pushed on some Kenyan radio stations. Most of it is heavily laced with patriarchal notions centred on gender norms. So that’s when I was like, alright, I’ve got to do it. I’ve got to create a show that sounds like my friends and me.

What does it take to build an impactful podcast?

I think it takes introspection. You have to sit with yourself and ask, ‘what do I really want to talk about?’ ‘What am I excited to talk about?’ ‘And, would other people be excited along with me?’ It’s similar to sitting across someone on a date and speaking about something you are not invested in. They will pick up on your lack of interest immediately. As someone who loves a lot of nerdy content, I can tell you all we really want is someone just as enthusiastic about something as we are.

When it comes to growing a loyal audience, it is a delicate balance of growing with your audience but also staying foundationally true to who you are. The relationship between a podcaster and the audience is so intimate. I love to joke (but high-key the truth) that I’m in a relationship with everyone who listens. I treat the audience like we are lovers, friends, family. By doing this, there aren’t any inconsistencies. They know me for the crass and sometimes empathetic human that I am. They also know that I’m willing to adjust and learn or unlearn as we move along.

Munira Kaoneka is the proud host of the Kaya Sessions podcast. She was born and raised in Dar es Salaam Tanzania and is currently pursuing a Master’s degree in Engineering. Nabuguzi Kiwanuka is a Ugandan lawyer and host of Hash Time. She is the founder of EQUATE Foundation and a lover of insightful conversations. Finally, Nadia Favre, 31, is a Kenyan radio host, podcaster and producer based in Nairobi. She is wildly passionate about voicing animations and championing female-driven art. 

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