“I’m positive that with greater awareness & understanding, local media will land in the hands of its true custodians – local communities. This lofty conviction was the main reason I started the African Agenda News Edition. Believe it or not, I used a video camera for audio and all interviews were recorded over the phone using the same camera while the phone was on speaker. The recordings are not great quality but the content is top-notch. A lot of work went into production” – Andile Nayika, founder of AAN
When I first met Andile, I thought, this guy was one of those rare, woke, smart-ass, cheeky creatives that could sell sand in Egypt. He is fluent in the language of African pride, and consistently guerilla marketing the African Agenda on every platform people have the fortune/misfortune of having him speak (depending how you look at it). Although my encounters with him have been limited to training and workshop environments, I always manage to steal a few moments to build pyramids in friendly conversation and leave with a little more sand in my pocket than when I first arrived. This post is but a grain extracted from WhatsApp, giving insight into the mind of Eastern Cape-based freelance journalist. Andile Nayika and his brainchild, African Agenda News (AAN).
The African Agenda News is what you might call a “Podumentary”- It has elements of a punchy podcast, combined with the evergreen content of a documentary. Unlike the BBC Africa podcasts that are about 5 minutes in length, ANA episodes can be up to 30-50 minutes long. Topics covered range from African wildlife, an episode on the passing of the late Ahmed Kathrada, stories about African Literature and even an interview with local language experts like Russel Kaschula.
“Take a quick listen: This is a regular dose of news in and around the African continent off course with a twist and an original feel to it. This podcast is researched, compiled, edited and read by Andile Nayika. Listen out, like and share The African Agenda News Edition and follow our facebook page – African Agenda Agents for more details” (Extracted from beneath the episode post on Youtube).
Andile Nayika: A WhatsApp conversation
[19/03/2018, 11:19 AM] Chengetai Chikadaya: So tell me about yourself so I can add it to the post about AAN
Andile Skawara is Typing……
[19/03/2018, 11:20 AM]Why don’t you send me a voice note?
[19/03/2018, 11:21 AM] Andile Skawara: No, it’s cool, I’d rather type.
[19/03/2018, 11:21 AM] Chengetai Chikadaya: So what’s your story, why are you so keen on local media?
Andile Skawara is Typing……
[19/03/2018, 11:25 AM] Andile Skawara: OK, so I’ve always had a passion for creative writing & expression since early high school. I was a writer for a school newspaper – Edu Buzz – at Edu way back in 2004. I was one of the few students who felt that it was important to have a school newspaper, so we founded the East Cape Midlands College newspaper – Midlands Voice around 2005/2006.
[19/03/2018, 11:26 AM] Chengetai Chikadaya: So you started with print, why radio?
[19/03/2018, 11:35 AM] Andile Skawara: Radio, has always been the closest form of interpersonal communication. For Africa it speaks to the rich oral history of the continent’s cultures. But generally, it’s by far the most mentally stimulating medium as it encourages imagination beyond what the ear can hear. But in my rather unorthodox journey in media, I have come to appreciate both radio and print as they work together perfectly. Most of the content that is shared on radio is or has to be written & prepared well for presentation.
[19/03/2018, 11:40 AM] Chengetai Chikadaya: Please give me a BRIEF timeline of your work in media. Please keep it brief. I know you’ve been all over the place 😉
[19/03/2018, 11:55 AM] Andile Skawara: Ok, here is a timeline:
In 2008 I joined Radio Grahamstown as a News Reader & presenter.
I was a Citizen Journalist for Grocott’s Mail before I was hired as a staff reporter 2009/10.
I worked for S’kawara News 2011 as a reporter in Cofimvaba then went to Queenstown to pilot the brand where I joined Lukhanji FM as a News Manager, news reader & presenter till 2012.
While piloting S’kawara in Whittle Sea in 2012 I got an opportunity to go to Johannesburg to join Mail and Guardian as an intern where amongst my writing I co-founded a satirical animation called Pimples. I did news updates for Channel Islam International on weekends & on my return to the EC I freelanced for Rhodes communications & re-joined Radio Grahamstown.
In 2016 I re-joined S’kawara in Port Elizabeth & freelanced for Times Media & News 24.
In 2017 I worked for Kingfisher FM as a news reader & creative partner.
[19/03/2018, 12:00 PM] Chengetai Chikadaya: Besides the semi-formal local media sector, what else has kept you busy?
[19/03/2018, 12:10 PM] Andile Skawara: I have been active in creative writing since 2002; in 2006 I was Deputy Chairman of Makana Art Council’s Writing & Literacy Sub forum. Co-founded the Poetic Tuesdays at the Duna Library 2006. I was leader of Cycle of Knowledge with Rhodes English department 2014 – 16. I have performed on different platforms in EC & GP. With a hip hop group from back home in Ght we released a CD in 2007. I have organised & hosted live music events with The Art Beat Movement, Art Effects, Balisto & Route 64 most during the Nat Arts Festival in Ght. The latest show I hosted was in 2016 in New Street. I have published some of my poetry on different publications like the New Coin, Jiggered, Grocotts, Oppikoppi Festival’s Ons Klyntji publication 2011 & 15
[19/03/2018, 12:15 PM] Chengetai Chikadaya: One sentence on your goal with AAN, especially if you get the resources to keep it going…..
[19/03/2018, 12:17 PM] Andile Skawara: “African Agenda News was born out of African pride. The interest is to instil pride in fellow Africans & those living in Africa.”