The Comb

By BBC World Service

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Combing Africa for stories about the unseen forces that bind us together and tear us apart. A single story, every week. Hosted by Kim Chakanetsa. #thecomb

Episode Date
Motherhood, mania and me
1718
‘She’s not my baby’: How giving birth triggered a woman’s mental health crisis, leaving her desperate, delusional and detached from reality. Chebet found herself on a journey of illness and recovery, after her ‘baby blues’ morphed into something much darker. How do women embrace motherhood after postpartum psychosis? Thanks for listening. Let us know what you think. #TheComb Get in touch: thecomb@bbc.com
Feb 03, 2023
Mogadishu’s daughter
1634
Ready to run: Aisha’s story of a childhood shaped by conflict in Somalia, and her complicated journey to finding herself and finding peace. How do you navigate a normal life after a childhood of “chaos and conflict”? Thanks for listening. Let us know what you think. #TheComb Get in touch: thecomb@bbc.com
Jan 27, 2023
Who is Shebeleza?
1612
Unmasking online hate: How the courage of a domestic abuse survivor won her an unlikely alliance in the fight against misogyny and gender-based violence in Namibia. Thanks for listening. Let us know what you think. #TheComb Get in touch: thecomb@bbc.com
Jan 20, 2023
The promise
1585
Righting an historic wrong: How a quest to reclaim the sacred Ngonnso statue, taken from the Nso community 120 years earlier, led Vernyuy on an emotional journey to reconnect with her Cameroonian roots – and resolve a crisis of identity. Thanks for listening. Let us know what you think. #TheComb Get in touch: thecomb@bbc.com
Jan 13, 2023
The Comb: Back soon!
97
Unpicking stories that matter to you. The Comb returns on 13 January 2023 Here's a peak at some of our upcoming stories #TheComb
Dec 30, 2022
Confronting colourism
1860
“I was trapped in my own skin”: The illegal trade which preys on prejudice. How skin colour discrimination is still exploited with harmful black market products. Ellen’s skin bleaching nightmare had a devastating impact on her - both physically and mentally. And the prejudice which drives many to take drastic measures hasn’t gone away. Mercy tells how her dark skinned daughter wants to look like Elsa, a white Disney princess. So why does she want her skin to be ‘peach’ not ‘black’? Thanks for listening. Let us know what you think. #TheComb Get in touch: thecomb@bbc.com
Jun 30, 2022
Orphaned: Vasco’s story
1657
‘I was scared of the night’: When Vasco's parents died in a car accident, his childhood was transformed into a struggle to survive. He started as a young child sleeping at his father's grave, but ended up in a spiral of gangland crime and violence on the streets. Why are more children in Zambia ending up on the streets? Thanks for listening. Let us know what you think. #TheComb Get in touch: thecomb@bbc.com
Jun 23, 2022
Orphaned: Mutuna’s story
1757
‘I would have been lost’: When Mutuna was orphaned at a young age, his extended family stepped in to help. Now as an adult, he sees more and more children begging on the streets, and wonders how their lives ended up differently Thanks for listening. Let us know what you think. #TheComb Get in touch: thecomb@bbc.com
Jun 16, 2022
Guest episode: On the Podium
1430
How a rower's victory became a symbol of hope in post-apartheid South Africa. Sizwe Ndlovu became the first black African to win an Olympic rowing gold. Sizwe says that day changed the rest of his life. This is a guest episode from the World Service show, On The Podium, which brings you the stories behind the medals, originally released on 30 June 2021. The second season of On the Podium begins 18 June 2022. Search for On The Podium wherever you found this podcast.
Jun 09, 2022
Losing Grace
1733
Misinformation and miracle cures: After being diagnosed with breast cancer, Grace Ajuma Gift was told about many different treatments and cures which ranged from herbal remedies to starch-free diets - Grace tried many of them. The misleading advice she received may have cost Grace her life. A Kenyan oncologist talks about the prevalence and perils of cancer misinformation. Thanks for listening. Let us know what you think. #TheComb Get in touch: thecomb@bbc.com
Jun 02, 2022
Born a slave
1768
‘I ran away’: For many years, Brahim and Maymouna were enslaved. They were born into Mauritania’s slave caste - the Haratin and denied their liberty, even though slavery has been officially banned. It was only when Brahim was a teenager that he gradually began to question and resist his circumstances. From an early age, Maymouna’s life revolved around serving a master who treated her badly. Maymouna eventually escaped and has started to build a new life for herself. Thanks for listening. Let us know what you think. #TheComb Get in touch: thecomb@bbc.com
May 26, 2022
Unlearning a dictatorship
1631
Making the invisible visible: After her father was abducted and killed in the Gambia, Nana-Jo Ndow, and her cousin Sirra started an organisation to raise awareness of the issue and set up a memorialisation centre. Now, survivors are starting to heal by sharing their stories and young people can learn about human rights. It’s usually men who are forcibly disappeared during dictatorships but women who are left behind to try to pick up the pieces - and they often risk their lives searching for answers. Thanks for listening. Let us know what you think. #TheComb Get in touch: thecomb@bbc.com
May 19, 2022
Permanent darkness
1738
‘I can’t just go down like this’: As a young entrepreneur, Eve Kibare had big dreams of growing her business and travelling the world but that all changed when she lost her sight. Now she is on a journey of adjustment and relearning, determined to live life on her own terms. And Eve shares her experiences on social media Thanks for listening. Let us know what you think. #TheComb Get in touch: thecomb@bbc.com
May 12, 2022
Decolonising tourism
1559
‘There were no locals at all’: Reckoning with race, history and access in Kenya’s tourism industry. For much of his career as a tour guide in Kenya, Felix Migoya would have clients from the United States and Europe but no Kenyans. Safari was seen as the preserve of white people, a ‘mzungu affair’. Alex Kamau is part of a new generation of young Kenyans who are reimagining what it means to explore and enjoy the country’s natural heritage on their own terms. Thanks for listening. Let us know what you think. #TheComb Get in touch: thecomb@bbc.com
May 06, 2022
Escaping the city
1801
‘Slow down and struggle less’: Never-ending hustle, changing city spaces and the lure of the countryside. More people seem to be talking about moving out of Nairobi, to a simpler way of life. Mugambi is at a crossroads, deciding if it’s time to move, while Leslie and her family are already building their dream home in the hills. Thanks for listening. Let us know what you think. #TheComb Get in touch: thecomb@bbc.com
Apr 28, 2022
Guest episode: Dear Daughter
1664
‘Fly bird, fly’: An episode from BBC World Service podcast ‘Dear Daughter’, with Namulanta Kombo, winner of the BBC’s International Podcast Competition 2021. Your letters to your daughters. Search for Dear Daughter wherever you find your podcasts. Thanks for listening. Let us know what you think.
Apr 21, 2022
My autistic child
1694
‘African fathers don’t talk about it’: When Duncan’s son Luka was diagnosed with autism, Duncan knew very little about the condition. His journey to better understand the condition would lead him to reimagine what it means to be a father and to create a space for fathers with children who have special needs. For Richard, learning about his son’s non-verbal autism has reshaped his approach to fatherhood and life. Thanks for listening. Let us know what you think. #TheComb Get in touch: thecomb@bbc.com
Apr 14, 2022
My sexual education
1767
Discovery and recovery: The journeys of two Kenyan women navigating trauma and social expectations to reach sexual empowerment. Kaz Lucas broke new ground in Kenya with candid conversations defying age-old taboos around sex on her podcast ‘The Spread’, while Lucy fought to reclaim ownership of her sexual identity as a survivor of FGM. Thanks for listening. Let us know what you think. #TheComb Get in touch: thecomb@bbc.com
Apr 07, 2022
Mourning my father
1774
“We all have to learn how to cry”: Takunda considered his father to be invincible like Superman but after contracting Covid, Takunda’s father died suddenly. Two years on, Takunda is still reeling from the loss and the inability to mourn properly. Ami Dokli is a professional mourner from Ghana. She attends funerals on behalf of strangers to support their families and to help them cry. Exploring the process of grief and grieving through the eyes of Ami and Takunda. Thanks for listening. Let us know what you think. #TheComb Get in touch: thecomb@bbc.com
Mar 31, 2022
Naked power
1731
Our weapon is our nakedness: Exploring the meaning and history of women drawing on the power of the feminine form. Stella Nyanzi has become well known for her radical nude protests in Uganda, and Naminata Diabate has written about the phenomenon after witnessing the power of naked threats in Côte D’Ivoire. Thanks for listening. Let us know what you think. #TheComb Get in touch: thecomb@bbc.com
Mar 25, 2022
Back soon!
147
We're back on 26 March unpicking more stories that matter, including some special episodes from in and around Nairobi. Here’s a sneak preview of what’s to come!
Mar 19, 2022
When cultures collide
1754
Spicy food and stereotypes: When Tuvie, who is Nigerian met Colombe, who is Rwandan - sparks flew. It marked the start of an ongoing conversation about everything from surnames to seasoning. Busayo had never travelled outside of Nigeria when she first arrived in China. Seven years later Busayo has learnt to navigate the cultural challenges and opportunities that come with living in a different country. Thanks for listening. Let us know what you think. #TheComb Get in touch: thecomb@bbc.com
Mar 04, 2022
Climate of danger: My mother’s murder
1424
‘She was not going to keep quiet’’: Fikile Ntshangase was one of 227 environmental defenders killed in 2020, after she opposed the expansion of a coal mine in her home area. As the battle against climate change grows more intense, defending the environment is an increasingly dangerous role. Thanks for listening. Let us know what you think. #TheComb Get in touch: thecomb@bbc.com
Feb 25, 2022
Climate of danger: Exile
1461
Death threats and exile: Local environmental defenders are the front line of the climate crisis - protecting the land they live on when it’s threatened by powerful business interests. But as the battle against climate change grows more intense, it’s becoming an increasingly dangerous role. Global Witness recorded 227 killings of land and environmental defenders around the world in 2020, including 18 in Africa. Alfred Brownell is an environmental lawyer and activist and was forced to flee his home in Liberia for his own safety, after mounting threats from people opposed to his work. Thanks for listening. Let us know what you think. #TheComb Get in touch: thecomb@bbc.com
Feb 18, 2022
Bringing back God
1525
‘The fire has gone out’: African evangelists are working to revitalise Christianity in Europe, a continent that is increasingly turning away from religion. Harvey Kwiyani grew up in Malawi, where church was central to daily life. It was only after he left for Switzerland that he realised how different the religious landscape was in Europe. He’s part of a new generation of African missionaries trying to bring God back to Europe. Thanks for listening. Let us know what you think. #TheComb Get in touch: thecomb@bbc.com
Feb 11, 2022
Without a trace
1442
Grief without closure: Tens of thousands of families in Africa live with the agony of a missing loved one. Kenny Chikonka disappeared without trace nearly 30 years ago. His family have been searching for answers ever since. Thanks for listening. Let us know what you think. #TheComb Get in touch: thecomb@bbc.com
Feb 04, 2022
Stay away!
1545
“He just starts touching me”: The grim and lonely reality of sexual harassment in the workplace, through the eyes of two women in Kenya. As an intern, Lupita* was excited to start a new role but she quickly had to come to terms with unwelcome sexual advances. Sofia Rajab wanted to find a way to shatter the silence around sexual harassment within the legal profession. Her solution? Dear Law - a podcast that takes a frank look at the issue. This episode includes discussions about sexual harrassment, including women candidly discussing their experiences. Thanks for listening. Let us know what you think. #TheComb Get in touch: thecomb@bbc.com
Jan 28, 2022
The Comb: Back Soon!
127
Unpicking stories that matter to you. The Comb returns on 28 January 2022
Jan 14, 2022
Caught in a crypto scam
1710
Scams, hustles, and cyber fraud: What happens when you think you’ve struck gold, only to lose it all? Cryptocurrencies are on the rise in Africa, but as more people get on board, cyber criminals smell an opportunity. Vivienne and Daniel both thought they were making sensible investments for their families. But hope and excitement turned to devastation when they learned they had handed their savings to scammers. Thanks for listening. Let us know what you think. #TheComb Get in touch: thecomb@bbc.com
Nov 05, 2021
My South African identity
1557
‘I am African first’: Exploring race and identity for South Africans of Indian descent. Karnie Sharp has spent years discussing the complex crisis of identity that many feel in modern South Africa. In the wake of rising tensions between communities, and vitriolic statements from some political leaders, how can people from different backgrounds build bridges with their fellow citizens? Thanks for listening. Let us know what you think. #TheComb Get in touch: thecomb@bbc.com
Oct 29, 2021
Goodbye Nigeria
1603
‘The evil you have done is enough’: One year after the EndSARS protests, some young Nigerians say they no longer recognise their country and are choosing to leave. Olivia, Tolu and Benjamin contemplate joining their friends who are now scattered across the world. Thanks for listening. Let us know what you think. #TheComb Get in touch: thecomb@bbc.com
Oct 21, 2021
Hippo wars
1660
Lurking in the lake: What’s driving hippos to attack and kill fishermen on Lake Naivasha? As climate change alters our planet, animals and humans are coming into conflict, competing over the same diminishing natural resources. Thanks for listening. Let us know what you think. #TheComb Get in touch: thecomb@bbc.com
Oct 14, 2021
Equal before the law?
1760
The vendor who changed Malawi: Mayeso Gwanda took the state to court after his arrest for an outdated and vague petty crime. While he was successful in changing the law, the African Union is calling for more to be done. Enforcing these sorts of minor offences leads to lifelong consequences for the continent’s most poor and vulnerable people. Thanks for listening. Let us know what you think. #TheComb Get in touch: thecomb@bbc.com
Oct 08, 2021
Class of 2020 revisited
1081
What happened to the class of 2020? We’re catching up with The Comb’s first ever guests - students whose studies were disrupted by Covid-19. Have their dreams and ambitions weathered the challenges of the global pandemic? Thanks for listening. Let us know what you think. #TheComb Get in touch: thecomb@bbc.com
Sep 30, 2021
Generation jobless
1586
Young, educated and broke: almost a year since Kananelo left university in South Africa, she has been struggling to find work. Kananelo is part of a generation of graduates who find themselves unemployed and living with their parents. After struggling to find a suitable job in Nigeria, Agu Raphael Chibuke decided to strike out on his own. He now juggles numerous freelance roles and says young people are no longer waiting on the government when it comes to finding work. Thanks for listening. Let us know what you think. #TheComb Get in touch: thecomb@bbc.com
Sep 23, 2021
The secret
1747
‘Neither a girl nor a boy’: Baby John Musamba was born with a rare sexual disorder which stopped her from developing either male or female reproductive organs. She was raised as a girl, and hid her truth for 26 years until finally telling her friends and the world, on a very public platform. Thanks for listening. Let us know what you think. #TheComb Get in touch: thecomb@bbc.com
Sep 16, 2021
Confronting infertility: His story
1720
‘H’ in Cameroon always dreamt of having kids but after he got married he quickly realised that his journey to parenthood would not be straightforward. In Uganda, Phiona and Derick Ngoga were hoping to have a family of five but found themselves struggling to conceive. Now they are challenging the silence and shame that surround infertility. Stories of heartache, hope and happiness. Thanks for listening. Let us know what you think. #TheComb Get in touch: thecomb@bbc.com
Sep 09, 2021
Confronting infertility: Her story
1747
Blame and heartache: Exploring the emotional and physical burden of being unable to conceive. Why do women still bear the brunt of infertility? And why is the issue still shrouded in silence and shame?
Sep 02, 2021
Forgetting your family
1669
Lost memories and strange behaviour: As Africa’s elderly population grows, more families are dealing with Alzheimer’s and dementia. But there is still misunderstanding and stigma attached to the conditions. After losing her father, Elizabeth started a mission to raise awareness about the illness and help families still dealing with it. Thanks for listening. Let us know what you think. #TheComb Get in touch: thecomb@bbc.com
Aug 26, 2021
The secret life of your phone
1745
How criminals and corporations use hidden software to control smartphones without the owners’ knowledge. Malware and bloatware are two of the tools that are used, but there are steps you can take to keep your phone safe. This week we’re in Nigeria and Kenya to meet mobile malware victims, those seeking to educate about cyber hygiene, and an activist pushing for more privacy and data protections on cheap devices. Thanks for listening. Let us know what you think. #TheComb Get in touch: thecomb@bbc.com
Aug 19, 2021
‘Raised like a white person’
1586
A story of race, wealth and family. Sam is a black South African who was brought up by her mother’s white employers. Meanwhile, her biological sister Ziyanda stayed at home to be raised by her mother. In a country where things are often seen through a black and white lens, what can their experiences tell us about South Africa’s often tempestuous relationship with race? And what is more important for shaping our identity - our nature or our nurture? Thanks for listening. Let us know what you think. #TheComb Get in touch: thecomb@bbc.com
Aug 12, 2021
Reclaiming my name
1616
‘This is me’: Embracing my African identity. At birth Ciku Kimeria was given the name Carrie, but it was a name that never quite fitted. She later would reject it for her Kikuyu name, Wanjiku or Ciku. When Ehi Ekhator was younger, he thought swapping his Nigerian name for an English one would make his life easier but he later came to realise the value of his African name. Thanks for listening. Let us know what you think. #TheComb Get in touch: thecomb@bbc.com
Aug 05, 2021
In slavery’s shadow
1696
Enslaved by the past: Hamden Atig Dali went to court to remove a painful reference to slavery from his name. 175 years after abolition, the legacy of slavery still impacts on black Tunisians. But a new generation are demanding better. Thanks for listening. Let us know what you think. #thecomb Get in touch: thecomb@bbc.com
Jul 29, 2021
The job scam
1710
Tempted and trapped: How promising job offers abroad turned into a horror story for two young men. Athi from South Africa and Douglas from Kenya both thought they’d found great opportunities for work overseas, but the experience turned into a nightmare. Thanks for listening. Let us know what you think. #thecomb Get in touch: thecomb@bbc.com
Jul 22, 2021
Young and divorced
1649
‘Everyone deserves to be happy’: As lives and lifestyles change, so have views on relationships and the role and rights of women in them. A new generation are more accepting than ever of divorce, but many still suffer in silence when their marriages fall apart. Two women, from Nigeria and Egypt, share their stories. Thanks for listening. Let us know what you think. #thecomb Get in touch: thecomb@bbc.com
Jul 15, 2021
‘The worst betrayal’: Revenge porn
1565
Humiliated and harassed: What happens when your private images are shared online without your consent? How ‘revenge porn’ changed the lives of two women in Uganda and Kenya. And why there is often little sympathy for victims. Thanks for listening. Let us know what you think. #thecomb Get in touch: thecomb@bbc.com
Jul 08, 2021
The Comb: Back Soon!
76
Combing Africa for stories about the unseen forces that bind us together and tear us apart. A single story, every week. Hosted by Kim Chakanetsa. #thecomb
Jul 02, 2021
Losing my language
1644
‘A linguistic famine’: More than 2000 languages are spoken across Africa, but young Africans are often told that they need to speak English or French in order to succeed. In the process, native languages are being marginalised. Three people who have been pressured to adopt a different language reveal the impact on their lives and relationships. Thanks for listening. Let us know what you think. #thecomb Get in touch: thecomb@bbc.com
May 06, 2021
Morocco: Art as activism
1510
‘Because you’re a girl’: For women in Morocco, a lot of things are ‘Hashouma’ - shameful. But some women are using art to tackle these taboos. A rapper and an illustrator explain how sexism at home and at work inspired them to express themselves freely through their art. Thanks for listening. Let us know what you think. #thecomb Get in touch: thecomb@bbc.com
Apr 28, 2021
PTSD and me
1603
‘I can remember every detail’. Victoria Uwonkunda’s childhood was shaped by death, genocide and displacement. Years later, she is still dealing with the impact of these traumatic events. She regularly experiences panic attacks - a symptom of Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD). In Sierra Leone, Dr Rebecca Esliker is helping to build a mental health service in a country recovering from war, Ebola, mudslides and floods. She says mass exposure to trauma has had a long lasting effect on Sierra Leoneans. Thanks for listening. Let us know what you think. #thecomb Get in touch: thecomb@bbc.com
Apr 22, 2021
Coming up...
122
Combing Africa for stories about the unseen forces that bind us together and tear us apart. A single story, every week. Hosted by Kim Chakanetsa. #thecomb
Apr 15, 2021
‘A child like mine’ Part 2
1611
“Our children are in danger”: After Solome’s child was publicly outed as being transgender she first felt shame and anger. It also set her on a journey of learning and acceptance that transformed their relationship. Her priority now is protecting her daughter, and teaching other parents in Uganda to accept their LGBTI children. Thanks for listening. Let us know what you think. #thecomb Get in touch: thecomb@bbc.com
Apr 09, 2021
‘A child like mine’ Part 1
1378
From anger to acceptance: For parents in Uganda, having a child come out or be exposed as gay, lesbian, or trans can be traumatic and shameful. Many are caught between widespread homophobia, and the love they have for their child. But a new support group is trying to make things easier. Thanks for listening. Let us know what you think. #thecomb Get in touch: thecomb@bbc.com
Apr 08, 2021
Left behind
1062
Senegal’s missing men: The other side of the migrant crisis. Ndeye lost contact with her husband once he reached Europe. Yayi’s son died at sea when he embarked on the same journey. For those left behind it can be a life filled with loss and longing. It also means fighting the stigma associated with women whose husbands and sons are ‘missing’. Thanks for listening. Let us know what you think. #thecomb Get in touch: thecomb@bbc.com
Apr 01, 2021
Black in white skin
1565
Living with albinism: Navigating issues of identity, race and beauty. An intimate journey through the eyes of Perpetua and Anneline, two women living with albinism. The prejudice they face and the pride they feel when it comes to their identity. Thanks for listening. Let us know what you think. #thecomb Get in touch: thecomb@bbc.com
Mar 26, 2021
Tunisia: Life after revolution
1106
From hope to disappointment. It's been a decade since 26-year-old Mohamed Bouazizi set himself on fire to protest against the Tunisian police. This sparked an uprising that transformed the country. But how much has actually changed for the better? Dhouha and Sahar are now the same age Mohamed was when he took that desperate action. They reflect on their lives before and after the revolution.
Mar 19, 2021
Epilepsy, not a curse
1413
Myths, misconceptions and superstitions. Why is epilepsy still so misunderstood? After Lawrence had his first epileptic seizure at the age of eight, his family began to search for a cure. They tried clinics, prophets, witchdoctors and prayers. When, as an adult, he finally got a medical diagnosis, it changed his life. Thanks for listening. Let us know what you think. #thecomb Get in touch: thecomb@bbc.com
Mar 12, 2021
Identity is the key
1334
More African governments are building digital ID systems. In Kenya, the government is assigning a unique identification number to each citizen. The Huduma Namba will soon be the single key needed to unlock access to a range of government services. The process requires getting the finger prints and faces of every Kenyan scanned. But many people born in Kenya don’t have the documents they need to prove citizenship and critics of the Huduma Namba system are worried that, as the IDs become essential to accessing services such as health and education, minority communities risk being further marginalised. We explore the risks and benefits of this new digital ID system, looking at the experiences of the Nubian community in Kenya, and ask what can be done to make this move towards digitisation more inclusive. Thanks for listening. Let us know what you think. #thecomb Get in touch: thecomb@bbc.com
Mar 05, 2021
The list
1526
‘A second chance at life’. South Africa’s organ donation waiting list is long but donors are in short supply. Sandrisha has been waiting for a donor for seven years, whereas Nomsa’s life was saved by her twin sister donating her kidney. Through their stories, we explore why organ donation is still a difficult subject for many in Africa. Thanks for listening. Let us know what you think. #thecomb Get in touch: thecomb@bbc.com
Feb 25, 2021
Tigray: Separated by silence
1641
The agony of not knowing. As Tigray stood on the brink of war, contact was severed between families and their loved ones in the diaspora around the world. What’s it like to be cut off from your family when they’re at their most vulnerable? Thanks for listening. Let us know what you think. #thecomb Get in touch: thecomb@bbc.com
Feb 19, 2021
When are you getting married?
1464
Pressure, prayers and persistent questions: Damilola Oduolowu is turning thirty. His aunt Muti thinks he should be married by now. Through a conversation with his aunt and his friends in Tanzania and Sierra Leone, Damilola explores the social pressures and stigma that come with turning 30 before you've tied the knot. Thanks for listening. Let us know what you think. #thecomb Get in touch: thecomb@bbc.com
Feb 12, 2021
Angola, my family’s story
1336
The family she didn’t know. When Marcia was four she left Angola with her mother, losing touch with her father. 16 years later, she received a Facebook message from someone claiming to be her uncle. In the quest to reconnect with her long lost family, Marcia discovers why understanding her past is crucial for her future. Thanks for listening. Let us know what you think. #thecomb Get in touch: thecomb@bbc.com
Feb 05, 2021
Our climate awakening
1472
‘It’s a survival issue for us’. The creeping threat of climate change is catching up with all of us, and more lives than ever are being transformed by the reality of climate change in Africa. Nirere in Uganda and Adenike in Nigeria can’t ignore what they’ve witnessed. They are fighting for their future. Thanks for listening. Let us know what you think. #thecomb Get in touch: thecomb@bbc.com
Jan 29, 2021
Tricked and shipped
1580
Tricked by their parents into going back to Africa. Growing up in the UK, Hannah was told by her parents that if she didn’t behave they would send her back home. When she was 11, Hannah found herself at a rural boarding school in Nigeria. Arif thought he was going on holiday but ended up back in Uganda. The experience had a long-lasting impact on them both. We ask Arif’s father why he chose to trick and ship his son. Thanks for listening. Let us know what you think. #thecomb Get in touch: thecomb@bbc.com
Jan 22, 2021
Black tax
1387
An unfair burden or a necessary responsibility? Many young professionals feel obliged to financially support extended family members who may be less fortunate, but it can be a stressful burden and leave people trapped in debt. The impact of black tax on three young professionals in South Africa, Ghana and Nigeria. Thanks for listening. Let us know what you think. #thecomb Get in touch: thecomb@bbc.com
Jan 15, 2021
Abortion: Breaking the silence
1602
A ‘dark secret’ shared by many. Every year, dozens of Kenyan women die from unsafe abortions. Why is it still so difficult to talk about? In Kenya, one woman is trying to challenge the taboo by talking about her abortion. This episode includes frank discussions about abortion, including women candidly discussing their experiences. Thanks for listening. Let us know what you think. #thecomb Get in touch: thecomb@bbc.com
Jan 08, 2021
The Comb: Back soon!
103
Combing Africa for stories about the unseen forces that bind us together and tear us apart. A single story, every week. Hosted by Kim Chakanetsa. #thecomb
Dec 23, 2020
African in America
1891
The American dream? Three Africans from Botswana, Kenya and The Democratic Republic of the Congo, who are now living in the US, explain how the racial justice movement of 2020 has reshaped their identity and sense of self. Thanks for listening. Let us know what you think. #thecomb
Oct 30, 2020
Adopted overseas
1567
Love, security, and a crisis of identity - the promises and the cost of international adoption. What’s it like growing up a world away from where you were born? And why are African countries turning their backs on the practice? Two women share their experiences of being adopted by foreign families. Thanks for listening. Let us know what you think. #thecomb
Oct 22, 2020
Women in gangs
1454
Guns, drugs and brutal violence - What happens when women are sucked into the macho world of gangs? What draws them in, in the first place? And what happens when they leave? The world of Cape Town’s gangs through the eyes of two women. Thanks for listening. Let us know what you think. #thecomb
Oct 15, 2020
Darfur: Seeking justice
1703
Does Sudan's new dawn finally mean a chance for justice? The country’s former president, Omar al-Bashir, is charged with war crimes, crimes against humanity and genocide in Darfur. Having lost power, he’s finally facing trial. But after so long, what does it mean to the victims? Thanks for listening. Let us know what you think. #thecomb
Oct 08, 2020
Access denied? Travelling on an African passport
1603
Money, time and stigma - the cost of travelling on an African passport. Your passport should be a window to the world – but if you’re from a country in Africa, visa queues, fees and expensive airline tickets mean crossing the continent can be tough. What happened to Africa’s borderless dream? And when travelling internationally, are visa denials more common for Africans? You can join The Comb's Facebook group here: https://www.facebook.com/groups/bbcthecomb Thanks for listening and let us know what you think. #thecomb
Oct 01, 2020
Chagos Islands: Africa’s last British colony?
1482
Evicted from paradise. Fifty years ago, the UK forced the Chagossian people to leave their island homes, to make way for a US military base. Will they ever be allowed to return for good? This is the story of eviction, exile, and the long-running battle over the Chagos islands. Thanks for listening. Let us know what you think. #thecomb
Sep 24, 2020
Lesotho's murder mystery
1435
Murder in the mountains. A feud, a former first lady dead and another on the run. How the mysterious killing of Lipolelo Thabane, Lesotho’s former first lady, transformed the country’s political landscape. Thanks for listening. Let us know what you think. #thecomb Get in touch: thecomb@bbc.com
Sep 17, 2020
Single women not welcome?
1464
‘You probably have to lie that you are married and your husband had to be out of town’. Being a young, single woman can be a heavy burden when trying to find somewhere to live in Nigeria. Why do landlords keep saying ’no’? Thanks for listening. Let us know what you think. #thecomb Get in touch: thecomb@bbc.com
Sep 10, 2020
Easing pain
1648
Confronting the realities of care for patients with the most severe illnesses. Palliative care focuses on relieving patients’ pain, and helping families to cope. Why is this aspect of healthcare so misunderstood? Thanks for listening. Let us know what you think. #thecomb Get in touch: thecomb@bbc.com
Sep 03, 2020
Racist AI
1352
Can computers be racist? The unseen forces shaping our reality. Artificial intelligence is embedded in our lives in ways we may not even notice. With numerous examples of AI appearing ‘racist’, how can we stop building computer systems with prejudices that deepen social inequality? Thanks for listening. Let us know what you think. #thecomb Get in touch:thecomb@bbc.com
Aug 27, 2020
Rethinking religion
1323
Taking the leap away from faith: Stories of losing and embracing new spiritual beliefs. What happens when you lose faith in the religion you were brought up to believe in? And, how can embracing new spiritual beliefs change your life? Thanks for listening. Let us know what you think. #thecomb Get in touch: thecomb@bbc.com
Aug 21, 2020
Stopping the lies
1221
Lies spread online can reach millions in an instant: ruining lives, stoking hatreds and inciting violence. Do you know what you’re sharing? Facebook’s new Oversight Board is trying to stop the lies, but will it make a difference? Thanks for listening. Let us know what you think. #thecomb Get in touch: thecomb@bbc.com
Aug 13, 2020
Two sisters
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Raised apart in Ghana and Germany, sisters Nana and Adjoa had very different childhoods. Now, Adjoa has sacrificed opportunities in Europe to come home to Ghana, but Nana can't understand why. Whilst many still dream of a life in the west, more and more of Africa’s diaspora are returning home to the continent. Is the grass always greener? #thecomb Get in touch: thecomb@bbc.com
Aug 07, 2020
Sand wars
1146
Killing for sand: a village shaken by one of the biggest and least-reported resource battles of our time. From buildings and roads, to glass and paper, sand is a crucial ingredient in modern civilisation. But we’re running out and a black market is thriving. In The Gambia, the demand for sand has already proven deadly. Thanks for listening. Let us know what you think. #thecomb Get in touch: thecomb@bbc.com
Jul 30, 2020
Digital debt trap
1134
Easy lending, easy debt? It takes less than five minutes to get a small digital loan, and advocates say that lending apps are providing financial inclusion for the ‘unbanked’. But some young Kenyans are getting caught out by the high interest rates and small print.
Jul 23, 2020
Home in a pandemic
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Is home a place or a feeling? Leaving home to pursue your dream job is often seen as the best route to success. What happens when a pandemic closes borders, shuts down travel and you are stuck far away from everything you know? Thanks for listening. Where you can, please leave ratings and reviews. #thecomb Get in touch: thecomb@bbc.com
Jul 16, 2020
Decoding our DNA
1210
African DNA is missing from most genetic studies. Sally lives with pain because of an illness that' is still poorly understood. She has sickle cell - a disease that mainly affects Africans. Scientists in Nigeria are trying to fix the problem. Thanks for listening. Let us know what you think. #thecomb Get in touch: thecomb@bbc.com
Jul 09, 2020
Class of 2020
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A global pandemic disrupts your university life - what happens next? Coronavirus has closed campuses and put courses on hold. Graduation celebrations have been cancelled. #thecomb Thanks for listening to our first episode. Get in touch: thecomb@bbc.com
Jul 02, 2020
Introducing The Comb
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Stories that matter to you. A new podcast for Africa, unpicking one story every week. Kim Chakanetsa is here to tell you all about it. Join us from 3 July 2020. #thecomb
Jun 19, 2020