Menu Close
Welcome to Pasha, The Conversation Africa’s podcast
Welcome to Pasha, The Conversation Africa’s brand new podcast. In the spirit of The Conversation, Pasha – which means to inform in Swahili – will be bringing you some of the best and brightest research from academics across the continent. After nearly four years of publishing expert research, we’re thrilled to be bringing our own brand of smart journalism to a new audio format. Each episode will collect stories and commentary on a given theme.

Latest Episodes

Pasha 110: Johannesburg's romantic comedy revolution reimagines the city

The African romantic comedy genre is part of a trend in the cinema of the global South, projecting images of the "global city". In South Africa, most black romcoms are set in Johannesburg and they too portray it as a glamorous setting for affluent lifestyles and aspirations. But in their storylines and images the films also remind audiences of the city’s real social conflicts and socioeconomic inequalities…

1 Host: Pier Paolo Frassinelli

Pasha 109: Ecology research has a huge gap: the work of women and the global South

Ecology is the study of the relationships between living organisms, including humans, and the environment around them. It is an important branch of study, exploring how animals, plants, the land, climate and humans are interconnected. But a study of 13 leading journals in ecology over 75 years has shown that in this field, women researchers are seriously under-represented. So are countries in the global…

1 Host: Bea Maas

Pasha 108: Some good news in the fight against hepatitis C in Africa

Globally, there are around 71 million people with hepatitis C. In Africa, more than 10 million people are infected with the virus. The new oral therapies that have been developed to treat hepatitis C are much more effective and easier to take than the previous injections, and have fewer side effects. In high-income countries, these drugs are known to work well. But the number of strains of the virus…

2 Hosts: Elihu Aranday-Cortes and John McLauchlan

Pasha 107: Exploring the use of the moringa plant in South Africa

Moringa is a plant that offers many benefits. It is full of vitamins and other nutrients. It is also believed to have other pharmacological properties. Aside from food, parts of the moringa can be used for firewood, fencing, water purification and fertiliser. Moringa is also a drought tolerant and resistant crop. Cultivation has been rising in South Africa since it was introduced in 2006, but it has…

1 Host: Chuene Victor Mashamaite

Pasha 106: COVID-19 is increasing inequality in South Africa

Unemployment, poverty and hunger were issues South Africa knew all too well even before the COVID-19 pandemic. The pandemic has made them worse. Job losses have increased and unemployment has not been offset by a massive government economic stimulus package and wage compensation scheme. But the COVID-19 impact has been unequal for the most part. The worst affected sectors of the economy, like tourism…

2 Hosts: Ivan Turok and Justin Visagie

Pasha 105: Two academics weigh in on Botswana allowing elephant hunting

Botswana recently offered the rights to shoot around 300 elephants. There have been mixed feelings about this decision. Some say licensed hunting is ecologically necessary. They also say rural communities need revenue from hunting and are at risk of human-wildlife conflict. Others have criticised it heavily, disputing the claim that hunting is a solution to various problems and pointing to its negative…

2 Hosts: Peet Van Der Merwe and Ross Harvey

Pasha 104: The fascinating history of the Suez Canal

The Suez Canal was in the spotlight recently when the container vessel Ever Given became wedged diagonally across it, causing a massive backlog in shipping traffic. The idea of a canal connecting the Red Sea and the Mediterranean was a dream for many throughout history. The Egyptian Pharoahs, Persians, Romans and Ottomans all saw its potential benefits. The canal offers the shortest sea route between…

1 Host: Lucia Carminati

Pasha 103: Insights from female breadwinners in South Africa

In South Africa, about 6 million households have women as the breadwinners -- about 38% of all homes. Many of these women don't choose to be the primary financial provider but are forced into it by circumstances. And they are over-represented in the poorest paying and most unregulated sectors of the economy, such as service industries, domestic work and informal work. They also earn less than their…

1 Host: Bianca Parry

Pasha 102: Talking about malaria risk zones and climate change in South Africa

Malaria kills over 400,000 people a year across the world. Africa carries the highest burden, with 90% of these deaths occurring on the continent. In South Africa, close to 5 million people are at risk of contracting the disease. Malaria is mainly transmitted along the northern border areas of the country. Mapping malaria risk zones is therefore key to managing the spread. But changing weather patterns…

1 Host: Jennifer Fitchett

Pasha 101: Two researchers unpack extreme temperatures in South Africa

Extreme heat and extreme cold can both have an impact on human health. With a changing climate, these events are set to occur more often. They are also becoming increasingly difficult to predict. Extreme heat stress can result in heatstroke and can affect people's cardiovascular health. There are significant health concerns related to extreme heat events, particularly when people aren't prepared for…

2 Hosts: Adriaan Van Der Walt and Jennifer Fitchett

Pasha 100: Tackling banditry, terrorism and kidnapping in Nigeria

Insecurity is common throughout Nigeria. But the northern region is the worst affected because of attacks by the terror group Boko Haram, banditry, kidnappings and conflict between farmers and herdsmen. The chaos has led to the closure of some schools and a feeling of helplessness among citizens in states where attacks are on the increase. Sheriff Folarin, a professor of political science and a peace…

1 Host: Sheriff Folarin

Pasha 99: Why Patrice Motsepe is a good choice for the next CAF president

The president of the Confederation of African Football (CAF) has a tough job. It includes working with FIFA to run the sport in Africa, and overseeing the continent's tournaments and leagues. There are also issues of broadcast rights and improving the organisation's poor reputation. The latest to throw their name into the ring is South African billionaire Patrice Motsepe. The mining magnate is the…

1 Host: Chuka Onwumechili

Pasha 98: Why it's important to understand how much water is in the Nile river

The Nile river flows through 11 countries in Africa. It is a major source of water for millions of people. This makes it increasingly important that the river is used in a way that's equitable and fair to all. The starting point is to know how much water there is in the river system, and where -- including soil moisture. In today's episode of Pasha, Emad Hasan, a postdoctoral researcher in remote sensing…

1 Host: Emad Hasan

Pasha 97: Everything you need to know about ivermectin

Ivermectin has become one of the most talked about drugs in the world. A highly effective treatment for fighting parasites in animals, it was later also shown to be effective in humans. In 2015 the Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine was given to William Campbell and Satoshi Ōmura for discovering its use against infections caused by roundworm parasites. Interest in the drug has spiked following laboratory…

1 Host: Vinny Naidoo

Pasha 96: The impact of COVID-19 on Nigeria's oil dependent economy

In response to COVID-19, governments around the world, including Nigeria, adopted lockdown measures to curtail the spread of the coronavirus. As expected, these measures were generally unfavourable to businesses and livelihoods. Nigeria is yet to recover from the blows to its already faltering and largely informal economy. In today's episode of Pasha, Ndubuisi Nwokoma discusses the impact of COVID-19…

1 Host: Ndubisi Nwokoma

Pasha 95: Key questions answered on the results of the Novavax vaccine trials

Novavax vaccine trials run in South Africa and the UK indicate that its efficacy in the UK was 89% at least 7 days after individuals had received two doses of vaccine. In South Africa, the vaccine efficacy was 60% in people living without HIV. The trial is being viewed as highly significant because it is the first vaccine to be tested on a particular COVID-19 variant first identified in South Africa…

1 Host: Shabir A. Madhi

Pasha 94: Talking about masculinity with South African artist Nakhane

What is it to be a man? Through their role in the film Inxeba and the music videos from their albums, South African singer-songwriter, author and actor Nakhane presents themself as fiercely gender nonconforming. With a focus on queer identity and the complexities of manhood, Nakhane's work challenges conventional notions of masculinity. In today's episode of Pasha, Associate Professor Gibson Ncube…

1 Host: Gibson Ncube

Pasha 92: How we discovered two new giant radio galaxies

A telescope in South Africa by the name of MeerKAT enabled the discovery of two giant radio galaxies recently. Finding one radio galaxy is special. Finding two is fantastic. Radio galaxies get their name from the fact that they release huge beams, or "jets", of radio light. The find was made possible by the ability of a phenomenally powerful telescope called the MeerKAT to detect faint, diffuse light…

1 Host: Jacinta Delhaize

Pasha 93: Nigeria doesn't have a coherent COVID-19 vaccine plan. What's needed

Many countries are either buying or planning to buy COVID-19 vaccines to immunise their citizens. But there is not yet a coherent plan by the Nigerian government for how to get the vaccines. Public officials have announced different plans just as some state governments are also planning to get their own supply. Daniel Oladimeji Oluwayelu, a professor of virology at the University of Ibadan, offers…

1 Host: Daniel Oladimeji Oluwayelu

Pasha 91: Blunders that left South Africa trailing in the vaccine stakes

The South African government has announced plans to vaccinate about two-thirds of its population against COVID-19 by the end of the year. The aim is to do this in three phases, starting with healthcare workers in phase one, the elderly and those with co-morbidities in phase two and the rest of the population in phase three. But the plan has been vehemently attacked as lacking in any detail. In addition…

1 Host: Shabir A. Madhi

Pasha 90: How COVID-19 has hit the tourism sector

COVID-19 has affected most industries and sectors in some way. One of those hit the hardest is the tourism sector as a result of lockdowns, borders closing and the global pandemic. Hospitality, aviation and travel for sport and religion were all hit hard. But what steps have tourism industries taken to survive? How have these industries coped during this time? In today's episode of Pasha, Kaitano Dube…

3 Hosts: Dr David Chikodzi, Dr Kaitano Dube, and Prof Godwell Nhamo

Pasha 89: Talking about earthquakes in South Africa

Earthquakes are quite rare on the African continent. But that's not to say that one couldn't hit and be damaging. Recently the Western Cape region of South Africa saw some earthquake activity, though it's unusual and was low on the scale that measures earthquakes. There is always a risk that a larger one could hit the region. Why do they occur? Is South Africa prepared? What about potential damage…

1 Host: Ray Durrheim

Pasha 88: Lockdown and young people living on the streets of Harare, Zimbabwe

For many young people living on the streets, lockdown and the COVID-19 pandemic has made their situation worse. The city of Harare in Zimbabwe was no exception. Lockdown made it difficult for young people to find food and make money in the informal economy. Researchers set up a story map -- a map with text, images and multimedia content -- to hear their voices and understand their experiences. It's…

2 Hosts: Janine Hunter and Lorraine van Blerk

Pasha 87: Why de-escalation and dialogue is necessary for Ethiopia and Tigray

Tensions between Ethiopia's central government and its Tigray region escalated after Tigray disputed a decision by Ethiopian Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed to delay elections. Tigray held its own elections. Ahmed then launched a military offensive on Tigray. Mass casualties, suffering and regional conflict are likely. Ethiopia, which has a legacy of civil war, needs to work towards a peaceful resolution…

2 Hosts: Francesca Baldwin and Heike I Schmidt

Pasha 86: Why it's wrong to be pessimistic about democracy in Africa

The state of democracy on the continent is often depicted as generally negative. But the reality is more nuanced. African countries represent a spectrum, from relatively stable democracies like Botswana, Ghana and South Africa to problem spots where opposition and transfers of power are not tolerated. There is no single trend. Tanzania, Ivory Coast and Guinea may appear to be backsliding towards authoritarianism…

1 Host: Nic Cheeseman