BBC World Services Launches The Comb

The BBC World Service The Comb a brand new weekly podcast for young listeners in Africa, presented by Zimbabwean journalist Kim Chakanesta. As the name suggests, Kim and her team will be combing through the continent for the stories that matter.

The podcast’s mission is to unearth surprising, fascinating and relevant stories. They won’t be shying away from tackling tough subjects. The Comb is made by the team behind the continent’s leading radio brand, BBC Focus on Africa – known for its unrivaled coverage of the continent. The debut episode of The Comb will be looking at the impact of the coronavirus pandemic particularly on students and those starting out in their careers.

Presenter Kim Chakenesta said: “The Comb is a thrilling opportunity for us to seek out stories and voices that might otherwise go unreported or unheard. It allows us to combine the depth of BBC Africa’s journalism and the curiosity of our listeners.”

The Comb will tackle a wide range of topics and reflect a broad geographic spread across the countries of Africa. Typical questions will include: ‘What happens when a pandemic turns your life and the world upside down? Is African data missing from scientific studies? Why can’t we talk about sex?’ Listeners will be invited to suggest stories for discussion and investigation.

The Comb wants to hear their views – The Comb is their podcast. Bringing the best of BBC journalism, the podcast is available free from the BBC and most podcasts apps. It will meet the needs of young mobile audiences across Africa and the diaspora.

Bilkisu Labaran, Editor BBC Africa News & Current Affairs said: “On behalf of BBC Africa, we at Focus on Africa are so proud to be the home of the first BBC podcast in English specifically for a younger African audience. Focus on Africa has continued to serve and connect our audiences on the Radio for 60 years, so we are very excited at the prospect of reaching a new audience through this podcast”

The Comb’s theme music is composed by Kenyan music producer Eric Musyoka. The artwork is designed by Fred Martins, a Nigerian graphic designer.

Mary Hockaday, Controller, BBC World Service English said: “This is an exciting and extremely important podcast for the BBC. We’re looking forward to reaching new young audiences – those who may not yet listen to the BBC or are new to podcasts. The brilliant team from Focus on Africa has been working very hard to share their expertise and fresh perspective on stories from Africa and we very much hope The Comb will be loved and owned by its community of listeners who will help guide the stories which are told and investigated”.