Spotlight: Reflecting on the Ekasi Podcast

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In this seventh post of the Voices of Movers and Shakers Spotlight series, the authors reflect on the process of creating season one of the Ekasi Podcast on the inspiring stories of students from the Mastercard Foundation Program…


The 26th of October 2020 marked a special day for the Ekasi Podcast. This is especially so because on that specific day, Ekasi officially wrapped up its debut season. What began as a rough sketch of an idea almost a year ago has come to life in the most beautiful and inspirational way. Having had the privilege to not only witness, but also be part of the team that enabled this transformation through concerted efforts has been extremely humbling to each and every one of Ekasi’s team members. The debut season consists of eight episodes hosted by Julian Mashingaidze (Zimbabwe) and Geofrey Njovu (Zambia), both Mastercard Foundation Scholars at the University of Edinburgh. In these eight episodes, Ekasi has had the privilege to engage a myriad of voices ranging from the University’s current Principal and Vice chancellor, Peter Mathieson, to fellow students whose stories have blown us away. Additionally, following the warm welcome from its audience, Ekasi decided to include a bonus episode in which Ayanda Ngobeni, a Mastercard Foundation Scholar from South Africa engages in a critical conversation with Professor Pumla Gobodo-Madikizela (University of Stellenbosch, South Africa) about the state of post-apartheid South African politics.

With the first season ending, here are some brief reflections from various members of the team:

Geofrey Njovu – Podcast Host and Technical Editor

 I look back with so much joy and pride to what has been the highlight of a peculiar year. With internship opportunities thwarted and a semester cut short, being part of this project helped me salvage some skills and experience amidst uncertainty. To my arsenal, I have now added audio editing skills (Audacity software), consistency and perseverance. Even more importantly, I have gotten to know more about more Mastercard Foundation scholars.

 Julian Mashingaidze – Podcast Host and Head of Podcast Image and Branding

Almost a year on, I must say that this has been one of the greatest experiences of my life. We did face a number of challenges when it came to the production, team and episode setup. However, the team was resilient every time there was a stumbling block, we would get up and leap even higher than before. For every team member we lost, we found our resolve and determination increasing exponentially…

Blossom Kafumbata – Head of Internal Communications and Marketing

Being part of the Ekasi Podcast Team has been one of the most rewarding experiences since getting into university in September 2019. l have learnt that there is so much that can be done through teamwork and resilience. In the initial stages when we were formulating what the podcast was going to be about, we did not have an idea of where and how to start off: whether we needed to get recording equipment of our own or use a recording studio; whether we would manage to convince people to be guests on our podcast or not; which platforms we would use to host the podcast down to what content we wanted to bring to our future valuable listeners. These are all big questions that could have discouraged us, and we could have quit. But we didn’t. We kept moving.

Jesse Solomon – Ekasi Project Coordinator

 Being a project coordinator has stretched my mental capacity in numerous, unimaginable ways. My time at Ekasi can only be characterised, to be apt, by a steep and exponential growth curve. I have honed my critical thinking skills through constant personal and team-based reflections. Additionally, I have learnt to be a better listener – to not only receive but also implement feedback from the team in order to ensure Ekasi’s success. I have also learnt how to manage pressure – especially during the project’s momentous instances such as its launch that happened earlier in August 2020.

Conclusion

Right from its inception, Ekasi’s aim has been to create a platform upon which people could connect with each other through sharing stories of their lived experiences. Sandra Garwe, the Zimbabwean Mastercard Foundation Alumni and founder of the Ekasi Podcast says, ‘everyone loves stories and I realised that as scholars we have plenty of those to share.’ As Ekasi charts the path into its second season, it is clear that people and stories have been and will continue to be the its driving force.

The Ekasi Team is eternally grateful to the contributions made by all the people who lent their skills, expertise and time towards realizing its successful debut season. A special mention to Ifeanyichukwu Ezinmadu, a Mastercard Foundation scholar from Nigeria who provided us with the iconic soundtrack. Additionally, many thanks to the Edinburgh Global Team (specifically Fiona Murray and Nic Cameron) for their assistance in podcast’s branding and communication efforts, the Centre for African Studies, the RaceEd, the Mastercard Global Team and the Mastercard Foundation at the University of Edinburgh for holding our hands through the somewhat turbulent times that marked our first season. Thank you to our guests for taking the time to talk to us, and for trusting us to not only engage them but also package and disseminate their stories in the most truthful and impactful manner. Lastly and most importantly, thank you to our guests. For always tuning in. For laughing and for crying with us every other Friday as we released a new episode.

Stay tuned for Ekasi, Season Two.

Listen to the podcast here: https://www.stitcher.com/show/ekasi-podcast


photograph of the authorGeofrey Njovu

Geofrey is a musical, calm and reflective Mastercard foundation scholar with supreme interest in learning and intellectual conversations. He is currently in his third year of Medicinal and biological Chemistry.


photograph of the authorJulian Mashingaidze

Julian Mashingaidze (Zimbabwe) is a Mastercard foundation scholar at the University of Edinburgh, who is currently pursuing a BSc in Global Agriculture and Food Security. His main passions are the policies around sustainable food production and climate change. Currently to date he has a couple of papers written in partnership with the Global Academy in Edinburgh on agricultural industry in sub-Saharan Africa and the food insecurity crisis. Julian is also currently the head of the Food Security and Sustainability Society based in Edinburgh. At the present moment he is seeking a career that can be a launching platform for him into policy.


photograph of the authorJesse Solomon

Jesse is currently a second year Mastercard Foundation Scholar at the University of Edinburgh where he is pursuing his degree in Electronics and Electrical Engineering. Additionally, he is an alumnus of the African Leadership Academy, South Africa. Outside his academic major, Jesse enjoys reading and engaging in conversations with family and friends. He is a believer in people and the power of storytelling as a tool for change. At Ekasi, Jesse served as the Project Coordinator. He is originally from Kenya.


photograph of the authorBlossom Kafumbata

Blossom Kafumbata is a Mastercard scholar in second year doing a Bachelor(Hons) in Chemical Engineering. Her career goals are centred around making the process plant designs used in Africa more efficient and sustainable. This is because she believes that Africa with its abundant natural resources would stand to gain more if it exported more processed goods instead of raw materials. Outside of school she likes visiting new places, going to the gym and writing poetry. In the Ekasi Podcast team she was the Marketing and Advertising lead, a job she thoroughly enjoyed doing

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