The Africa Whisperer Podcast Season One

She Speaks Africa presents The Africa Whisperer podcast, a journey across Africa to explore the sons and daughters of the land making strides in the worlds of business, culture and international influence. Hosted by the multi-talented Lee Kasumba, each episode is an insightful study of how her illustrious guests have navigated life in Africa and applied their local perspectives to set global standards.

Season 1 of the podcast is inspired by the game of chess and considers the major moves it takes to excel on the continent and beyond. From understanding the African terrain to taking risks that challenge the status quo, Lee Kasumba uncovers the strategies and sacrifices of her guests’ paths to success. As the Africa Whisperer personified, Lee engages each of these grandmasters in honest conversations on vision, courage and the will to persevere in pursuit of a worthy dream.

The Africa Whisperer podcast launches on 25th May, 2022 and can be streamed from all major podcast platforms.

The Africa Whisperer…telling authentic African stories in a global way

Leslie ‘Lee’ Kasumba is the Africa Whisperer personified. As a versatile conversationalist and creative industry strategist, she has built an impressive career majoring in media, music and popular culture across Africa. She is a passionate advocate of showcasing the continent’s homegrown talent. Leslie is the founder of She Speaks Africa, a unique hub of bespoke projects designed to demonstrate the vast potential of Africa’s creative and cultural industry. Through She Speaks Africa, she leverages her rich experience and strong commitment to telling the beautifully nuanced African story in a way that celebrates its people, cultures and rightful place in the world.

The Africa Whisperer podcast is an original production of She Speaks Africa. It is Leslie’s first self-produced podcast and follows her success as host of “Africa State of Mind with Lee Kasumba” (2017 – 2020).

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S01E03 Victorine Sarr Awuah

The Africa Whisperer, Lee Kasumba, dives into the world of beauty in this third Chess Masters episode. We meet Victorine Sarr Awuah, the Senegalese creator of Lyvv Cosmetics. She never imagined becoming an entrepreneur, but taking the leap with Lyvv has been the most rewarding gamble of her life.

Victorine’s dream job was to work at Apple, and it felt unreal when that dream came true in Paris after graduate school. Starting at an entry-level position, she rose to a senior role in product marketing. After four years, she returned to Dakar as L’Oréal West Africa’s head of marketing and sales, and it was an insightful experience.

Then Victorine had a new dream: Lyvv Cosmetics. However, the decision to become an entrepreneur wasn’t welcomed by her family. Was the hustle and uncertainty of a new business worth the risk of abandoning her enviable corporate career? “My dad thought I was making the biggest mistake of my life,” Victorine shares, but her unrelenting conviction proved her right. Seven years later, her vision to create organic, high-quality makeup has evolved to include skincare. “People call me by my company name,” she muses. “Isn’t that crazy?”

Although Victorine’s story is one where defiant faith meets focused preparation, she also believes her success was made possible by connecting with the right people and opportunities. With a team that now operates from Ghana, Senegal, Côte d’Ivoire and France, her resilience in business continues to pay off. “I always wanted to make impact in my community…for me, the main thing in this industry is manufacturing, adding value to whatever you decide to do…I started with makeup, but skincare is actually the beginning…” The future of Lyvv Cosmetics is global, one that offers the world a first-rate African brand while celebrating melanated skin of all shades.

In this inspiring episode, join Lee Kasumba and Victorine Sarr Awuah to discover what happens when you dare to dream anew and give it your all.

S01E02 Chef Coco | The Africa Whisperer, Lee Kasumba

We take a second step in our Chess Masters journey with Chef Coco Reinarhz, the Burundian food entrepreneur creating diverse culinary experiences to reintroduce Africa through the palate. Passionately committed to advancing African cuisine on the international stage, Chef Coco shares his experience as one of its most visible culinary advocates.

Described by National Geographic as “advancing the culinary renaissance that is modern African cuisine”, Chef Coco believes there's no better time to elevate the experience of African food to a world-class level. “We are so proud of our music…of the way our African art is being regarded in the world…it is really about time we have the same achievements with food.” As one of a growing number of African chefs leading the evolution of their local food, Chef Coco employs a gourmet approach to transform perceptions of African cuisine. Whether at Épicure, his elegant restaurant in Sandton, Johannesburg or as one of the select chefs of Alkebulan, the world’s first African dining hall debuted at Expo 2020 Dubai, Chef Coco’s culinary portfolio is a luminous testament to the consistent investment he has made in distinguishing himself through authentic African food.

“I’ve always wanted to change the way Africa is seen”, Chef Coco shares, and one of his biggest dreams is for there to be cooking schools that are “100% dedicated to African cuisine”. He is an enthusiastic proponent of a new vision for African food and of making steady progress towards the exciting goal of taking it all over the globe.

This episode of The Africa Whisperer, Lee Kasumba presents an insightful look at Chef Coco‘s mission to tell authentic African stories through the food its people know and love. Meet the chef who considers his work a calling, pursues his commitment to crafting “food journeys” with conviction and is making a distinct contribution to the growing international recognition of African cuisine.
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Episode 1. Lee & Lady Dentaa

The Africa Whisperer, Lee Kasumba has an insightful chat with Lady Dentaa Amoateng MBE, the British-Ghanaian multihyphenate who’s blazed trails for the recognition of African achievements within its diaspora with the GUBA Awards since 2009. From instilling a sense of pride in her children as Africans —“It’s important that we teach our kids to love themselves at a very young age” — to sharing a sincere love for her work as a nurse, this episode takes a close look at this dynamic powerhouse of a woman who believes Africa’s greatest asset is its people.

4 episodes