PROFILE: Shaka Ssali retires from Voice of America after years of hosting Straight Talk Africa

Shaka Ssali retires from Voice of America (PHOTO/Courtesy).

Shaka Ssali, host and managing editor of Voice of America’s TV and radio program Straight Talk Africa, is set to retire from the US-based channel capping 23 years of hosting the popular weekly show Straight Talk Africa.

“Shaka is retiring at the end of May after over 20 years of hosting STA,” Voice of America said in a short statement.

The statement added: “We want to celebrate his career with you. What do you think is Shaka’s legacy? Send us a video here in the comments section or through Facebook Messenger”.

Sources close to the veteran journalist told this website that Shaka, will turn his focus on motivational speaking and inspire young people in Africa.

Shaka is expected to take a few days off and retire to his birthplace in Kabale District, South western Uganda, before he can embark on his new chapter.

On the program, Ssali and his guests have examined the controversies and opportunities facing Africa.

Everyone gets to express an opinion or share a thought – from special guests, newsmakers, and politicians, to ordinary people who call, email, tweet, or use Facebook to participate in the discussion.

Ssali, a Ugandan-born U.S. citizen, holds a doctorate in cross-cultural communication and history from the University of California at Los Angeles (UCLA) and is a former Ford Foundation Fellow.

Ssali has also received a number of awards including a United Nations Peacekeeping Special Achievement Award in International Journalism and VOA’s Best Journalist Award.

Since Straight Talk Africa first went on the air, Ssali has interviewed leaders from around the world, including former Nigerian President Olusegun Obasanjo, former Zambian President Levy Patrick Mwanawasa, and former British Prime Minister Tony Blair.

Others include Botswana President Seretse Khama Ian Khama; Ghana President John Evans Atta Mills; Tanzania President Jakaya Kikwete; Ellen Johnson Sirleaf, President, Liberia; Hifikepunye Pohamba, President, Namibia; Uganda President Yoweri Museveni; Joseph Kabila, President, DRC; Rwanda President Paul Kagame; and General Salva Kiir, First Vice President, and president of the government of Southern Sudan.

Straight Talk Africa airs every Wednesday at 1830-1930 UTC and is simulcast to millions of audience members on radio, television, and the internet.

VOA’s English-to-Africa Service is one of the most successful international broadcast operations in Africa, delivering dynamic multimedia programming, and timely news and information.

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