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Trailblazing Across Africa: An Interview with Leslie Kasumba

Meet our guest Leslie Kasumba, a dynamic force in the African media and creative industry, blending talents across radio, music, and podcasting with unparalleled success. Born in Uganda and rooted in South Africa, their journey has been anything but conventional. From making waves in the SA hip-hop scene to shaping the African music landscape as the head of Channel O Africa, she has continually pushed boundaries. Now based in Ghana, they lead She Speaks Africa, their creative agency, while also making waves as an international award-winning voice-over artist. Her podcast, The Africa Whisperer, delves into the heart of African culture and creativity. Join us as we unravel the remarkable story and insights of this multi-talented individual.

Can you briefly introduce yourself and share a bit about your journey and work? 

Well I am Ugandan -South Africa, and I pretty much grew up in media was on radio from my first year out of high school and have worked across all aspects of media in Africa for most of my life. I started in the SA hiphop scene, I am actually in the SA Hiphop Hennesy Hall of Fame if you can believe that and I don’t rap! I was also the head of Channel O Africa spending most of my time in Nigeria with a focus on East, West and Central African music scene and now I am based in Ghana and have my own creative agency She Speaks Africa, I am the host and creator of the podcast – The Africa Whisperer and an international award winning voice over artists in the 2023 SOVAS (Society of Voice Arts and Science awards).

Looking back, was your journey relatively smooth or did you face significant obstacles? 

My path has NEVER been smooth I feel it has bene filled with twists and turns and so many of my very low moments were catalysts for the next big season. Also I have never really planned things I just opened myself up to different opportunities within the creative and cultural industry and that has allowed me to grow and have a pretty interesting and diverse career.

Can you highlight a few key milestones in your career that you consider pivotal moments? How did they shape your trajectory? 

This is tough because I have been blessed enough to have many and believe I will have many more. But most recently the international win at the SOVAS. I love being a Voice Over artist so to get a global award is so awesome. My work in the African music industry at Channel O being there are the start and foundations of some of the biggest African artists we see today in the world I am proud of that, most recently having the courage to start my own agency and create my own podcast it’s my first time stepping out on my own and its so nerve wracking but thrilling at the same time.

Can you tell our readers more about what you do and what you think sets you apart from others? 

I don’t know if anything sets me apart more than the fact that I don’t really watch what is happening I tend to shut out from trends and get quiet to find my own lane. 

Reflecting on your experiences, what important lessons have youlearned along the way? How have they influenced your approach to your work? 

This is a great question, I guess it would be sure to always follow your own God given purpose. Because when you are walking in your God given purpose even when things get tough there is something greater than you keeping you. Because the journey always has challenges and your why is what will keep you going.

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