By BBC World Service International Publicity
Published January 16, 2015
Multi-media broadcaster, BBC, is on January 16, 2015 launching a weekly satire segment in its Focus on Africa television news programme.
The slot, called Whatâ€™s Up Africa, is to be presented by Nigerian-born vlogger Ikenna Azuike. It will also be broadcast on BBC’s partner stations besides being shared across social media through which it is expected to cater for digitally-connected Africans who donâ€™t often engage with traditional news outlets.
Azuike, named in New African magazineâ€™s list of Most Influential Africans of 2014, uses humour and satire to connect with audiences, offering a fresh and alternative perspective on African news. The Whatâ€™s Up Africa vlog, which started life on YouTube, has racked up nearly 2.5 million views to date.
The new 11-part series created especially for BBC, is a co-production between BBC and Radio Netherlands Worldwide.
A lawyer turned journalist, Azuike created Whatâ€™s Up Africa while working as a producer at Radio Netherlands Worldwide.
â€œI started Whatâ€™s Up Africa because I felt that a lot of the coverage of my home continent was either too focused on presenting images of war, famine and general disorder, or sugar coated reports of Africa’s progress,” Azuike says. “BBC is a very impressive organisation which covers Africa in depth. I am so pleased that they feel my contribution can add value for their huge audiences across Africa.â€
Kathy Harcombe, producer of Whatâ€™s Up Africa, says, â€œFocus on Africa has always been pioneering, looking for new ways to engage with our audiences across a range of different platforms. Whatâ€™s up Africa fits perfectly with this ethos, it is irreverent and inventive and aims to give an alternative view of the continent. It opens up debate on topical issues. It is not just three minutes of video – it’s the start of a conversation. We think that existing viewers will enjoy this new slot and hope it will also appeal to new audiences.â€
Whatâ€™s up Africa will be broadcast every Friday on Focus on Africa from 17.30GMT on BBC World News and on the BBCâ€™s partner stations; Canal 2 in Cameroon; MetroTV in Ghana; Power TV in Liberia; MBC in Malawi; One Africa Television in Namibia; SBLC in Sierra Leone, Star TV in Tanzania; Urban TV and TV West in Uganda; and ZNBC TV in Zambia.
The episode can also be viewed across a range of the BBCâ€™s social media platforms including Facebook.com/bbcafrica, on Twitter @BBCAfrica and online at bbc.com/Africa.