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Covid-19 – The Africa Story – A Podcast

By Nelly Kalu| September 24, 2021

You’ve probably heard the Covid story before. But have you heard it from the African perspective?

We’ll hear the voices of people who don’t believe the virus exists. As well as those in the frontline of the battle to convince people that the whole thing isn’t a hoax.We’ll look at how misinformation, disinformation and downright lies have infected Kenya and Nigeria. The influence of religion, and foreign money.

My name is Nelly Kalu, and over the next six weeks, Covid-19: the Africa Story, will take you on a journey. From Lagos megachurches to the deserts of the Kenya Somalia border, where al Shabaab terrorists deny the existence of the disease: but kidnap the women they secretly suspect of bringing it into the country. We’ll look at some of the strangest rumours about the disease – from garlic to vampires. And we’ll show you the tips and tricks that professionals use to spot fake coronavirus information on the Internet.

Covid-19: the Africa Story, was produced as part of IWPR’s Africa Resilience Network (ARN) programme, administered in partnership with the Centre for Information Resilience (CIR), the International Centre for Investigative Reporting (ICIR), and Africa Uncensored.

The podcast features Nigerian, Kenyan, and international experts and is aimed at a general audience although will be of particular interest to community leaders, health professionals, and concerned citizens looking for the truth about the global pandemic.


Episode 1: Intro: Vampires, Priests, and Health Journalism

In Nigeria and Kenya, where people didn’t always trust the media, nor doctors, in the first place, WhatsApp and Facebook had over recent years led to social media becoming one of the most important sources of health information.

“Why listen to health reporters with a higher degree in science when Karen, or Makena, on Facebook, can tell you straight?”

This has led to a range of wild conspiracy theories; but who is behind them?  What links a failed British doctor, yoga moms, and al Shabab? And just why would Bill Gates want to wipe out Africans?

Presented by Nelly Kalu. Written and produced by Nick Raistrick and Nelly Kalu for IWPR, Music and sound engineering by Lee Sparey.

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