After more than 20 years of dedicated service, Ugandan born journalist, Shaka Ssali, is set to retire from Voice of America (VOA).

Xclusive UG can reliably reveal that Ndugu Shaka- as he’s popularly known- will leave VOA in September this year (2020).


Shaka has been hosting the popular weekly program, Straight Talk Africa, for the last 20 years.

And as a tribute, VOA will televise the last segment- dubbed the Souvenir show- of his Straight Talk Africa from his birthplace in Kabale, in South western Uganda.
On his final day at VOA, his book; “Defying the Odds: The Story of the Kabale Kid’s Journey from Kabale to Washington” will be launched.

Ndugu Shaka will then embark on an Africa tour as a motivational speaker, and to do book signings as well.

“Ndugu Shaka has done his bit. He started the Straight Talk Africa show himself 20 years ago. Now that it’s the signature show for Voice of America, he can gracefully retire and concentrate on some of his other life passions, like reading books as well as speaking

to and sharing wealth of knowledge with the youth across Africa,” a VOA source told Xclusive UG.

Ndugu Shaka Ssali is a Ugandan-born American journalist who has worked for the Voice of America for over 23 years. He is the managing editor of Voice of America’s English to Africa service and the host of “Straight Talk Africa.”

On his show, Shaka and his guests discuss topics of interest to Africans and the African diaspora including politics, good governance, rule of law, economic development, press freedom, health, social issues, climate and conflict resolution.

He holds a doctorate in cross cultural communication and history from UCLA in California.
He is a former Ford Foundation Fellow and has received numerous honors, including a United Nations Peacekeeping Special Achievement Award in International Journalism.
Other awards include VOA’s Best Journalist Award and Kigezi College Butobere’s first ever Highest Achievement Award in International Human Communication. Butobere is located in Kabale, southwestern Uganda, and is Shaka’s alma mater.

Straight Talk Africa is broadcast live every Wednesday from 1830-1930 UTC/GMT simultaneously on radio, television and the Internet.

During his career, Shaka has interviewed and hosted many top African dignitaries including presidents among others.

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