Let’s Talk Human Rights

Let’s Talk Human Rights – A podcast investigating the current state of human rights in Africa.

Even in democratic constitutional states, human rights violations occur on a regular basis. However, emerging and developing countries, like most African countries, are particularly affected. 

This podcast series takes us on a journey through sub-Saharan Africa and together, we will meet witnesses from East, West and Southern Africa.

These witnesses will share their current experiences, looking specifically at human rights violations with regards to education, women and children rights, racism, xenophobia, LGBT+ rights and press freedom, to name a few.

A special thank you goes to the Ugandan musician, opposition leader and presidential candidate Robert Kyagulanyi Ssentamu, popularly known as “Bobi Wine”, who generously made his song "Situka!" available to our podcast, –“Let’s Talk Human Rights”.
Proudly brought to you by the Friedrich Naumann Foundation for Freedom in sub-Saharan Africa.

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S01.E01 - South Africa's Dark Past and Present with Judge Edwin Cameron

In this very first episode, we start our journey in South Africa. We interview the well renowned South African lawyer and retired judge from South Africa’s Constitutional Court, Judge Edwin Cameron, who is in conversation with Nangamso Kwinana of the Africa Liberal Network.
Judge Cameron gives us deep insights into South Africa's dark past and discusses the current human rights problems. Listen to his fascinating personal journey in the judiciary and his perspective of the country’s history.
If you are interested in our activities, follow us on Instagram, Facebook and Twitter.
Simply search for "Freedom Foundation Africa” on all platforms.

Sources and references:
News Sound Bites:
SABCNews - African governments urged to uphold human rights
ENCA - Equatorial Guinea holds worst human rights record in Africa
SABCNews - Zimbabwe government denies violating human rights
ENCA - Uganda's anti-gay laws raise questions about human rights in Africa
SABCNews - Human Rights must guide response to COVID -19
ENCA - #Africa | Africa human rights day
ENCA - Journalists allegedly tortured | Zimbabwe on the edge
A Home for Justice – touring South Africa’s Constitutional Court with Albie Sachs
Learn more about the Friedrich Naumann Foundation for Freedom in Africa

S01.E02 - Zimbabwe After Mugabe with David Coltart and Dumisani Muleya

Today on the second episode of Let’s Talk Human Rights podcast, we travel to Zimbabwe. About a year ago, the former president, Robert Mugabe, passed away at the age of 95. After 37 years in power, he was overthrown in a military coup only two years earlier, in 2017.

Mugabe's successor Emmerson Mnangagwa spoke of reforms for the country in that he now affectionately refers to as a new dispensation and second republic. We shall take a closer look at the situation on the ground and try to unpack some of the critical and relevant questions regarding Zimbabwe.
For this, we are joined by two very interesting guests from Zimbabwe. Senator David Coltart, opposition politician, human rights lawyer and current MDC Alliance Treasurer General, and Dumisani Muleya, international award winning investigative journalist, who is also a strong critic of the Mnangagwa regime.

News Sound Bites:

BBC Africa

Africa News

Friedrich Naumann Foundation for Freedom in Africa

S01.E03 - 16 Days of Activism for No Violence Against Women and Children

As you may have noticed, 16 days of activism for no violence against women and children starts today. We want to take this opportunity to dedicate today's podcast episode to women in Africa. The Friedrich Naumann Foundation for Freedom has set itself the mandate of advancing women rights causes in Sub-Saharan Africa and across the globe. The proportion of women in leading positions in business and politics is alarmingly low. Today we find ourselves in East Africa, more precisely in Moshi, the Kilimanjaro region of Tanzania. Activist Elizabeth Minde joins host Nangamso Kwinana. Elizabeth is a legal practitioner and an advocate of the high court of Tanzania, as well as managing director of Kilimanjaro Women Information Exchange and Community Organisation or KWIECO. Elizabeth and her organisation provide legal counselling to marginalised women in rural communities. Their vision is for a society that takes responsibility to protect all human rights.

Sources and references:


The Friedrich Naumann Foundation for Freedom in Africa

S01.E04 - International Human Rights Day Special with Bobi Wine & Nicholas Opiyo

In our fourth episode, we have two guests from Uganda visiting us. Nicholas Opiyo, a leading human rights lawyer and founder of Chapter Four Uganda, an organisation that provides research, advocacy, and outreach services to contribute to laws, policies, and practices in the interest of civil liberties and human rights. Since 2005, Opiyo has worked tirelessly to promote civil liberties in Uganda, often on pro bono. He is the recipient of the 2017 German Africa Prize, the 2015 Voices for Justice Award from Human Rights Watch and the European Union Parliament Sakharov Fellows Prize recipient for 2016. He will explain to us his view of Uganda’s legal system.
We also have the pleasure and honour of engaging Hon. Robert Kyagulanyi Ssentamu! We are very pleased that Hon. Robert Kyagulanyi Ssentamu has taken the time to join our podcast. He is better known under his stage name H. E. Bobi Wine.
Bobi Wine is a Ugandan politician, Presidential candidate, activist, singer, actor, businessperson and philanthropist. As of 11 July 2017, he serves as Member of Parliament representing Kyadondo East constituency in Wakiso District, in Uganda's Central Region. We invite Hon. Robert Kyagulanyi Ssentamu to share his views and reflect on his experiences of leading the opposition in Uganda, advocating for the protection of the rule of law and democracy.

Audio sources [SABC News]:
Let's Talk Human Rights, Podcast

S01.E05 - Mali's Human Rights Crisis

Have you ever thought about what it is like to grow up or live in place that is in a constant crisis? Terrible reports of war, terror and human rights violations?
Today, we want to take you on a trip to West Africa. More precisely, to Mali. Unfortunately, we often associate Mali with war, terrorism, ethnic tension and crisis. However, today, we would like to paint a clearer picture of the situation on the ground.
Our host Nangamso Kwinana is joined by Alioune Tine, who is, amongst many other roles, the current United Nations independent expert on the situation of human rights in Mali since 2018.

Audio sources:

BBC Africa : https://youtu.be/PyNrhvVjinY
TC: 0:00 - 0:15

Africa News : https://youtu.be/FY6P94N6pu0
TC: 0:03 - 0:11

Aljazeera : https://youtu.be/V_7RaVKZDaw
TC: 0:30 - 0:38

SABC News: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ThO73waCuJQ
TC: 0:55-1:14

SABC News: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZZ3cvso587Y
TC: 0:00-0:07
FNF Africa

S02.E01 - The Anglophone Crisis in Cameroon - Part 1

Our next series of episodes will introduce you to the very people who actively stand up for human rights in Africa despite strong headwinds, and the work they do as Human Rights Defenders. We will meet Human Rights Defenders from different countries, listen to their stories, and learn what motivated them to become Human Rights Defenders in the first place.

Host Nangamso Kwinana is joined by Elvis Wepngong and Nora Shuyeh from Cameroon as well as Dr Michaela Lissowsky who is a Senior Advisor for Human Rights, Politics and the Rule of Law at the Friedrich Naumann Foundation. Dr Lissowsky features first in the episode however, to explain the concept of Human Rights Defenders in more detail.

Audio sources:
France 24
Friedrich Naumann Foundation for Freedom's Website

S02.E02 - Rwanda and Human Rights Since the 1994 Genocide

Today, we find ourselves in Rwanda.
Rwanda, officially the Republic of Rwanda, is also known as the land of a thousand hills. Rwanda shares borders with Uganda, Tanzania, Burundi and the Democratic Republic of Congo.
In 2017, President Paul Kagame was elected to a third seven-year term. According to official figures he received 99 percent of the vote.
As we already pointed out in our previous episodes, even in democratic constitutional states, human rights violations occur on a regular basis. However, emerging and developing countries, such as African countries are particularly affected. In Rwanda, significant human rights issues include serious restrictions on free expressions like violence against journalists, censorship and website blocking; torture; forced disappearance; acts of violence and criminalisation on sexual orientation; substantial interference with the rights of peaceful assembly and restrictions on political participation. Host Nangamso Kwinana is joined by Louis Busingye who is a Human Rights Lawyer living in Rwanda. He has a Master’s degree in International Human Rights Law from Lancaster University (UK) and a postgraduate degree in Public International Law from the Independent University of Kigali. He is an Alumni of Uganda Christian University where he graduated with a Bachelor’s degree in Law. He currently serves as the Strategic Associate at Interconnected Justice, a pan African organization that advocates for the dignity of African persons and heritage. Prior to this appointment, he was the Programs Coordinator at Human Rights First Rwanda Association – a national organisation that promotes Human Rights and Access to Justice for marginalised persons in Rwanda.
Friedrich Naumann Foundation in Sub-Saharan Africa

S02.E03 - Do Kenyan female human rights defenders get the protection they need?

In today's episode, we will be focusing on Kenya. Unfortunately, arbitrary arrests, police violence, forced disappearances and intimidation attempts against the civilian population are part of the sad everyday life in Kenya. In recent years, an increasing number of reports has noted the growing difficulties of human rights organizations in Kenya. The scope for action is shrinking. Particularly, legislative proposals have restricted the scope of action of Kenyan civil society in recent years. The criminalization of human rights defenders has intensified, especially for women. Arbitrary arrests and lengthy court proceedings have made the work of human rights defenders in marginalised settlements more difficult.

Host Nangamso Kwinana has two guests from Kenya joining her. First up is Rachael Mwikali who is a grassroots woman human rights defender, Pan African Feminist, community organiser, Gender Justice and SRHR activist.
With her is Juliet Wanjira. Juliet is co-founder of Mathare Social Justice Centre and one time convener of women in social a justice centre. She is a grassroots human rights defender and social justice activist. Listen in to hear their story.
Friedrich Naumann Foundation for Freedom Sub-Saharan Africa

S02.E04 - 16 Days of Activism with Barbara Itungo Kyagulanyi

As you may know, 16 Days of Activism against Gender-based Violence starts today. We want to take this opportunity to dedicate today's podcast episode to women in Africa. This is the second time that we feature a special episode on 16 Days of Activism. If you missed last year’s special episode, hosting Elizabeth Maro Minde from Tanzania as our guest, do listen to it wherever you listen to your podcasts.
The Friedrich Naumann Foundation has set itself the goal to strengthen
women in sub-Saharan Africa. Particularly in rural areas, women and girls
often battle hard times and suffer from discrimination by men.
Not only in Africa, but especially in Africa, the proportion of women in leading
positions in business and politics is alarmingly low.
Today, we find ourselves in East Africa again. More precisely, in Uganda. In our previous episodes, we have visited Uganda twice and talked to Human Rights Lawyer and Director of Chapter Four Uganda Nicholas Opyio as well as Ugandan politician, singer, actor and businessman Robert Kyagulanyi Ssentamu, better known by his stage name Bobi Wine. In this episode, host Nangamso Kwinana is joined by Barbara Itungo Kyagulanyi, the force behind Bobi Wine.
Barbara is a women and children, particularly the girl child activist focusing on encouraging young women and girls to prioritise their education. Her non-profit organisation, Caring Hearts Uganda focuses on initiatives in rural Uganda, working to shape and empower the youth to walk the straight and narrow since in life, only great foundations can guarantee a virtuous future. Since 2013 Caring Hearts Uganda has been on a mission to raise the living standards of young people through the promotion of proper menstrual healthcare, personal development and entrepreneurial skills.
Friedrich Naumann Foundation for Freedom - Sub Saharan Africa

S02.E05 - International Human Rights Day Special II with Bobi Wine

On this International Human Rights Day, we are very pleased that Hon. Robert Kyagulanyi Ssentamu has taken the time to join our podcast for a second time. He is better known under his stage name H. E. Bobi Wine. Bobi Wine is a Ugandan politician, Presidential Candidate, activist, singer, actor, businessperson and philanthropist. As of 11 July 2017, he serves as Member of Parliament representing Kyadondo East constituency in Wakiso District, in Uganda's Central Region.
Today, we invite Hon. Robert Kyagulanyi Ssentamu to share his views and reflect on the previous presidential election, advocating for the protection of the rule of law and democracy.
What is the situation on the ground in Uganda?
The presidential elections took place in January 2021. President Yoweri Museveni, who has ruled for the last 34 years, started his sixth term in office. In 2005, the provision limiting the head of state's term of office to two terms was lifted and instead an age limit of 75 years for presidential candidates was introduced. In 2017, the parliament passed a controversial constitutional amendment by a two-thirds majority that abolishes even the age limit. These amendments paved the way for President Museveni’s candidacy in the elections in January 2021.
Human rights violations are rising in Uganda. Violations of freedom of speech, press and assembly are at the core of the said agenda by the incumbent ruling party.
Friedrich Naumann Foundation For Freedom

S03.E01 - The Anglophone Crisis in Cameroon - Part 2

Our journey is taking us back to Cameroon. If you missed our previous Cameroon episode, please listen in.
Our last episode explored the anglophone crisis in Cameroon. In this episode, we want to look at how things are going in Cameroon these days. Currently the two English speaking regions of Cameroon are witnessing an escalation of violence that has led to the death of several people. This is a result of violent confrontations between Cameroon’s military and the defence forces of Ambazonia (an independent state in the Anglophone regions of Southern Cameroon) since AFCON, the main international men's association football competition in Africa, started. There has been a rise in kidnappings, mass arrests, detentions as well as attacks on educational establishments, just to name a few issues.
To this end, we are very pleased that human rights activists Ester Oman and Agbor Bala have joined in the latest feature!
We invite our two guests to share their views and reflect on the previous escalation of violence in Cameroon, advocating for the protection of the rule of law and democracy. This episode is hosted by the new host of the podcast, Masechaba Mdaka.
Friedrich Naumann Foundation for Freedom

S03.E02 - The Battle for the Soul of South Sudan

The oil rich South Sudan has been engulfed in ethnic violence since December 2013 and over 400 000 people have died since the conflict started.
Numerous attempts to build peace have failed, including the pact that saw opposition leader Riek Machar return as Vice President in 2016, only to run away as fighting didn’t stop. A second peace settlement was signed in 2018, which mainly held with warring parties forming a coalition in 2020 and Salva Kiir and Riek Machar trying one more time to run as the country's President and Vice-President respectively.
Yet here we are again at the other end of another ceasefire and peace agreement. Will there be a different outcome? To answer this question our new Let's Talk Human Rights podcast host Masechaba Mdaka is joined by two South Sudanese human rights advocates, Hon. Ms Animu A Risasi Amitai and Ms Merekaje Lorna Nanjia.
Friedrich Naumann Foundation for Freedom in Africa

17 episodes

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