I have to admit, once the Nigerian advertising industry sank its claws into CNN’s African Voices, it lost much of its edge as a platform highlighting innovation and courage across the continent.
Sure, there were the occasional good stories, but by and large, African Voices while helmed by capable journalists, simply didn’t have the nuance or range to really convince audiences that it really understood what to highlight about the continent and how to highlight it.
It seems CNN has been listening to the numbers because they have just announced, they are changing the format for African Voices by narrowing its focus to highlighting the work of ‘game changers’ and they’re bringing a new host to helm the show.
@menoword will be the new host of #AfricanVoices as we begin a new chapter focusing on Changemakers on the continent. African Voices Changemakers debuts tomorrow. #cnnAVC @CNNAfrica @cnni pic.twitter.com/GnGJvfju7Z
— Earl Nurse (@EarlCNN) August 8, 2019
Arit Okpo needs little introduction to anyone who is in the literary or journalistic scene in Nigeria.
I first saw her work her magic at the 2017 Ake Book and Arts Festival, where she felt at ease beside literary greats like Amaa Ata Aidoo as she was with emerging writers like Olutimehin Adegboye.
She also has extensive experience in television presenting, creating and hosting the now rested Ebony Life TV show, The Crunch as well as the work she has done under her own production company, Menoword Media.
Such is her commitment to telling all kinds of stories, that she has hosted the youtube show Untold Facts, that focuses on the issues of gender and sexual minorities.
And this announcement only affirms the work she has already been doing on African Voices as its voice-over narrator.
There isn’t a lot of information online on how exactly this new iteration of CNN’s African Voices will work, but we won’t have to wait long to find out.
Arit’s first episode as the person in charge at African Voices airs tonight.
So set your reminders.