neville-2An important part of Afrika Connexions, from its inception, was broadcasting news on the situation in South Africa. The need for a different type of news was made necessary by the mainstream media’s superficial coverage of the struggle and its penchant for presenting stories about the hunger and poverty of Africa—a model that still prevails today.

The presenters of Afrika Connexion recognized that African people in Australia, who were so far away from home, deserved access to information about the struggle and situation back home. Remember, this was all happening before the Internet, meaning that other sources of information were not easily accessible so email and skype couldn’t be used to simply contact your friends and family back home.

zephaniamothopengWhen the program began in 1985, presenters used a public telex service in Sydney to receive information. They got press releases from the PAC headquarters in Dar Es Salaam, the UN Centre Against Apartheid in New York and of course from within South Africa itself. They also found sources from within the Australian media, with friends passing on information from AAP wire services. Gathering the news during this time was a collaborative and community effort with friends and family bringing back newspapers from South Africa rather than gifts. There was also contact with the black sailors who came on cargo ships to Australia, offering everything from newspapers, the ships manifest and themselves as sources of information. The ship's manifest provided vital information for the boycott campaign against South Africa.

Of course as time and technology progressed gathering the news changed. The introduction of a fax machine and eventually computers meant that finding information to broadcast could be a lot easier.

In later years, Frederic Naboya was a dedicated volunteer who came from Burundi bringing his experience in journalism. Fred put together a bulletin every week dropped in at the station and presented the news segment without missing a beat. For a long time Fred was famous at Skid Row for being the only person from Burundi in Sydney.We haven't found Fred so if you are out there send us an email, brother!

Despite the Internet, the need for the news remains unchanged today. Still, every week people tune in to hear news from Africa read by someone who has a strong bond with the continent.

The Stories

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The Guests

Over the years Afrika Connexions has interviewed some of Africa’s most prominent figures.Musicians such as Hugh Masakela and Ladysmith Black Mambazo appeared on the program, as did performers and actors such as Kenyan, WanjikeWa Kiarie and South African, John Kani. Notable political guests included the Women’s Coordinator of the PAC, Maude Jackson, Patricia De Lille, who is now mayor of Cape Town… Read more...
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Program Highlights

Over the last 25 years, Afrika Connexions has produced some amazing radio programs including interviews with musicians, artists, politicians, activists from overseas as well as within the African community in Sydney. We are currently going through the huge archive of material from the show and putting it online here for a whole new audience as well as those people who might want to remember how… Read more...
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The Hugh Masakela Interview - 1987

In 1987, Neville Legge interviewed then-exiled South African musician, Hugh Masekela. Performing with Paul Simon on his epic Graceland World Tour, Masekela spoke with Neville about his youth under Apartheid, his musical aspirations and intentions and the implications of the cultural boycott on South African musicians. He talks about the criticism of his involvement in the Graceland tour. We found… Read more...
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The News

An important part of Afrika Connexions, from its inception, was broadcasting news on the situation in South Africa. The need for a different type of news was made necessary by the mainstream media’s superficial coverage of the struggle and its penchant for presenting stories about the hunger and poverty of Africa—a model that still prevails today. The presenters of Afrika Connexion recognized… Read more...
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Maxwell Nemadzivhanani

This interview first went on air in 1985 as part of an Afrika Connexions news segment.which was at 1pm every Sunday. Maxwell Nemadzivhanani was virtually a member of the Afrikan Connexions team- although his primary role was the chief representative of the Pan African Congress of Azania. He travelled extensively in the position attending meetings of the Non Aligned Movement as well as meetings of… Read more...
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African Dawn - An Interview with Wanjiku Wa Kiarie

Early listeners of Afrika Connexions will remember the music of The African Dawn. A beautiful mix of politics, poetry and traditional instruments, African Dawn represented a growing Pan African movement which had established itself in London rallying alongside the liberation struggles around the world. In 1986, Kenyan actress and poet Wanjiku Wa Kiarie performed her play Black Woman at the South… Read more...
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South African John Kani on Dreaming Under Apartheid

One of South Africa's most famous actors talks with Paul Thusi in 1994. “It’s a pleasure to be with you today, and I would like to say it is a great honour for me to tell you I have a real live native here at the studio with me, from South Africa, by the name of John Kani. But I am bound by custom and tradition not to address him by John Kani, since he saw the sun before I did. So customarily I… Read more...

The Music

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We Want a Leader- Sonny Okosuns

Sonny Okosuns (sometimes spelt without the "s") was born in Nigeria in 1947. His reggae…
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Ava Sati Va Lomu - Mingas and Orchestra…

Born in Mozambique, Mingas began singing at a young age in her church. Throughout the…
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U Shaka - Miriam Makeba

Miriam Makeba, or Mama Africa as she was known, was a prolific artist and anti-apartheid…
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Azania- African Dawn

African Dawn was a London-based ensemble made up of people from all over Africa and the…
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Zombie - Fela

Written and recorded in 1976, the song 'Zombie' is the musical manifestation of Fela's…
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Stimela - Hugh Masakela

Here we have a song that has probably been played by every single presenter of Afrikan…
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Malcolm X - Miriam Makeba

If you are a longtime listener of Afrikan Connexions then this song will definitely…
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Coffin for Head of State- Fela Kuti

Fela Anikulapu Kuti is the master of Afrobeat, the black president and a legend in both…
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Mona Ki Ngi Xiça - Bonga

An outspoken supporter of independence in Angola, Bonga was exiled in the early 1970s…
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Apartheid - Peter Tosh

There is a story that Peter Tosh learnt to play the guitar as a young boy by watching a…