Ugandan Journalist, Shaka Ssali, Host of VOA’s Straight Talk Africa

Ugandan Journalist, Shaka Ssali, Host of VOA’s Straight Talk Africa

April 06 07:20 2011 Visitors ~ 127,016 views Print This Article

Shaka, a Ugandan born American journalist, 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 presidents and prime ministers. Among them: General Olusegun Obasanjo, Former President, Nigeria; Levy Patrick Mwanawasa; Former President, Zambia; Tony Blair, Former Prime Minister, United Kingdom; Botswana President Seretse Khama Ian Khama; Ghana President John Evans Atta Mills; Tanzania President Jakaya Kikwete; Ellen Johnson Sirleaf, President, Liberia; Hifikepunye Pohamba, President, Namibia; Uganda President Yoweri Museveni; Joseph Kabila, President, DRC; Rwanda President Paul Kagame; and General Salva Kiir, First Vice President, and president of the government of Southern Sudan.

He has also hosted newsmakers and policy makers who interact with Africa, including: Norbert Mao, President, Uganda Democratic Party; Johnnie Carson, U.S. Assistant Secretary of State for African Affairs; Donald Yamamoto, Principal Deputy Assistant Secretary of State for African Affairs; Donald Kaberuka, President, African Development Bank; South African jazz legend Hugh Masekela; Nobel Peace Prize laureate Wangari Maathai; Luis Moreno-Ocampo, Chief Prosecutor, International Criminal Court; Mo Ibrahim, Chairman Mo Ibrahim Foundation; Nobel Literature laureate Wole Soyinka; Professor Muna Ndulo, Cornell Law School; Professor Ali Mazrui, SUNY; Professor George Ayittey, American University; Professor Sulayman Nyang, Howard University; Uganda Supreme Court Justice George Kanyeihamba; Dr. Rebecca Nyandeing de Mabior, a Southern Sudan government official and widow of former SPLA leader Dr. John Garang; Jeff Sharlet, author, The Family; Bob Hunter, Associate, Fellowship Foundation; Mbulelo Rakwena, former South African Ambassador to Brazil; Baffour Ankomah, Editor, NewAfrican magazine.

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Ugandan Diaspora Team
Ugandan Diaspora Team

The Uganda Diaspora Network is a forum aimed at bringing together Ugandans who live and work abroad by celebrating their contributions overseas and also encouraging them to give of their time, talents, ideas and expertise whilst inspiring the next generation of Ugandan leaders. Every year the Ugandan Diaspora Network will organize an annual Social Networking Gala and will also produce a quarterly publication highlighting the successes of the various Ugandans residing overseas. Please send us those inspirational stories and philanthropic work involving Ugandans abroad. We shall share these stories using this platform that is rapidly growing and expanding. The Next Diaspora Social Networking Gala will be Held on 30th December 2016 at The Kampala Serena Hotel.

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    September 30, 08:20 #1 AINEBYOONA EMMANUEL

    Dr. Shaka happens to be my icon in the world for he has tried to shape the globe by promoting interaction between Africa and the lest of the world. Am really looking up to him as the next Martin LUTHER.

    Reply to this comment
    December 04, 01:48 #2 JIMMY M.JAPAN

    sir, i appreciate the great job you are doing,it is pretty interesting.I always listen to your show a bout( straight talk Africa) over the radio, it is rill very enjoyable,you are hosting a lot of very important persons,that shows your potential, and confidentiality. So,it is nice to be in A America for and encourage you to keep up.Other wise wish you a long live in America.

    Reply to this comment
  3. abba maina kayeri
    January 09, 16:18 #3 abba maina kayeri

    hello shaka ssali,i had been waiting for this moment for so long since 1998,iam one among millions of young africans who listing your voice via their small two small batery radio’s ina small village inside a small hat room,but iam today oppotuined to see your face on the internet,thank god mr. shaka ssali

    Reply to this comment
    March 09, 07:58 #4 JOHN PETER WANJALA

    its great to know such people like you are out there trying to show what Uganda is exactly and above all raise our flags up…Thanks for the big work.

    Reply to this comment
  5. Mr. Willy Ntege
    September 20, 09:49 #5 Mr. Willy Ntege

    Hello Shaka, I always see you on the VOA Programme in Uganda on WBS TV, tackling Africa’s Political -Social Problems. thanks for rendering us a service even while in the Diaspora, hope all goes well with you. However , I thought since you are in a media fraternity, you could be of help. Is there a Ugandan in the Diaspora who would be interested in buying a existing FM Radio in the Middle of Kampala on 103.4 MHz? Cost is $250,000.00. Call back on +256 702 324 406

    Reply to this comment
    • Susana
      November 16, 21:46 Susana

      The hope that is raised in the cieldrhn’s lives as they see someone giving them school supplies, smiling at them, carrying them is indescribable. Thank you all Michael, Terry, Trina, Elizabeth, Janat and Asia for ensuring that the dreams of these cieldrhn stay alive. I know that for a fact.

      Reply to this comment
  6. ARON
    October 20, 08:15 #6 ARON

    Shaka you are my inspirational figure ., i do like to listen your show whether TV or listern to the radio you are so potentia Shaka keep it up

    Reply to this comment
  7. musoga
    April 04, 19:25 #7 musoga

    Shaka… Hi. i am one of your ardent followers but with a difference; I seem to consider you as a person specialized or can i call it assigned, to make Uganda look so bad in the eyes of an ignorant or a bad wisher of Uganda, you have given your global audience the impression that Uganda is horrible or possibly a gory dictatorship. you deliberately forget where we have come from as country, and the ‘tolerance with responsibility’ culture, that we are meticulously building under the able leadership of Yoweri Museveni. You seem so obsessed with Dr Besigye whom you have helped to masquerade as a democrat; this is a man who is so intolerant that whenever there is a semblance of political sanity in the country he hits the road with his antics.
    This is a man who ordered his supporters not to buy any news paper that writes unfavorably about him [have you ever heard of press freedom?], a man who could not respect the guests of the state when he blocked the heads of states leaving for their respective countries after the swearing in of the new president whose victory he could not legitimately contest
    Since you have portrayed Uganda as a dictatorship and you seem to have successfully portrayed our country as such; how come Besigye is engaged in successful businesses in Uganda, how about the opposition members who are among the most free, economically sound, they appear on all local radio and TV stations insulting the person of the president with impunity, and of course getting away with it, this is unprecedented in Uganda Mr Shaka.
    You seem so obsessed with Ghana that even when it swears in a president who is contested you portray that as mature democracy and an example to be emulated by other African countries; yet in Uganda constitutionally a president is sworn in after 30 days to ensure that any query about his election is cleared before he/she is installed as a president. In Uganda many politicians have successfully or unsuccessfully challenged electoral results in the courts of law, and come out satisfied with the verdict – this too is unprecedented Dr Shaka .
    You are so bent on term limits as if they are a magic bullet to all political ills; what happened in Kenya 2007/8? was there no term limits?, aren’t you aware that term limit in your foster country was introduced not by the people but by the greedy political aristocracy – by the way doctor, are you aware that the USA is a modern day oligarchy run by aristocrats and a tutelary democracy?………….i can go ranting on and on but…. ‘olupapula si mupiira’

    Finally Shaka, what i beg of you is to look at Uganda’s political metamorphosis within a context and to know that it took the USA over 100 years to practice bonafide democracy, yet all along it was masquerading as a democracy….Let Uganda too cultivate its customized democracy without foreign interference just like the USA did…..PLEASE LIVE AND LET LIVE…… for God and my country

    Reply to this comment
    • Castro
      February 17, 03:37 Castro

      Your comment. Shaka i appriciate your effort to make Africa better but i think you should not be too biast of African leaders instead appriciate their achivements and also call upon USA to stop interfering in our politics because we not interfering in theirs wish you the best

      Reply to this comment
    • chery
      February 17, 05:46 chery

      musoga ..i see you are frudently and immensely not ugandan wth a differnce as u seem to articulate in uo lines above.but wat shaka shows about uganda is d truth..nthng bt the truth that we n u know off..are we better off in tht situation..come on n see your intellect beyond marginalisation…i really get mesmerised wen u say shaka is obssesed wd shows u how naive you are..we are headed to the polls tommorow..but look at you good regime..dnt blame shaka for his bravery and urge to see the political turmoil n impunity exposed ..than you.anonymus

      Reply to this comment
    • mesech
      May 24, 03:45 mesech

      Your comment..its a great time whenever i watch on television

      Reply to this comment
    • lecturer
      February 13, 05:46 lecturer

      What Mr.Shaka SAYS is exactly true.we dont have democracy in Uganda.though you try to high light some Ideas, it only shows that you support our “poor” government leadership

      Reply to this comment
    • gandaman
      August 13, 16:07 gandaman

      Dat z like making a bible. Too wordy wat z bad will remain bad. No matter done by who!

      Reply to this comment
    April 10, 11:34 #8 WARUKANGA RONALD

    I appreciate the work you are doing Mr Shaka, I always listen to your show about Africa, am a Ugandan from Kabale and i cant miss your programmes . I like it when you are talking about my country uganda, keep it up.
    Barham University

    Reply to this comment
  9. Nahabwe Milton Tusingwire
    June 13, 07:50 #9 Nahabwe Milton Tusingwire

    Thank you so much shaka,my fello Musiniya,thank you for bringing close the global issues and helping us listen to urbanisation ideas among others.

    Reply to this comment
  10. Dr. Samanya bulhan
    November 20, 13:57 #10 Dr. Samanya bulhan

    iam very much pleased with shaka activities on VOA but im concerned with one interesting issue how much have you prepared people like you . very enchanting , vision clear and afro-centric minded

    Reply to this comment
  11. shaka Ambrose
    November 27, 01:01 #11 shaka Ambrose

    i love this man shaka of VOA because of his encuraging word to the world i wish to see him one day physically and share with him some important issues for betterment of my ayoung journalist from hoima working on radio spice fm hoima uganda

    Reply to this comment
  12. Nambuba Mariam Shanny
    December 27, 03:55 #12 Nambuba Mariam Shanny

    Hi mr.ssali,i am a Registered Nurse,is it possible to get a job that side,please i beg u help me if possible,i wil be very greatful.thx.

    Reply to this comment
  13. Nambuba Mariam Shanny
    December 27, 03:59 #13 Nambuba Mariam Shanny

    Hi mr.ssali,i am a Registered Nurse,is it possible to get a job that side,please i beg u help me if possible,i wil be very greatful.thx. Contacts,0702344448,0776344448

    Reply to this comment
  14. Mwesigye David
    March 05, 10:12 #14 Mwesigye David

    Hello i have appreciated you work realy yo have presented our nation world wide. am sure we all desire to be like you but the most important thing that i would like you to do for me is to design aprogramme about NRM factionaries and MUsevenis future

    Reply to this comment
  15. Tatyabala Michael
    March 20, 06:27 #15 Tatyabala Michael

    Hi Shaka,thanks man for enlightening the world and exposing the dirt among many leaders on the shows you host …as one African proverb goes that “…its the wizards who fear daylight…” many of our very own leaders shudder at your shows, but most importantly thanks inspiring us to keep the African hopes …awake!

    Reply to this comment
    April 11, 09:41 #16 KWIZERA ABEL

    Dear Shaka. we are proud of you. Your presence in international media has put Kigezi region and Uganda in general on the world map. With great sincerity i would like to thank you very much for the work well done in the political talk shows . Thank you once again

    Reply to this comment
  17. samanya bulhan
    April 15, 10:43 #17 samanya bulhan

    i feel like participating in your shows but on phone , what is the procedeer

    Reply to this comment
  18. samanya bulhan
    June 03, 08:38 #18 samanya bulhan

    Shaka im a lecturer at Kampala international University , i normally interact with people that seem to have liberated minds on international affairs while travelling to kabale and more especially in kings and manihatan hotels . there is a growing concern that china is at the helm of overtaking the united states in economic affairs after decades of the demise of pro-west and pro-east polarisation of the world . then such a gap makes us to pity ourselves and more especially our leaders on the notion of sense of direction . so our beloved brother whom we strongly believe to have a wider binoculars , please put more light on that in any of your discussions .

    Reply to this comment
  19. fuck
    October 16, 05:08 #19 fuck

    Hello to all, it’s genuinely a nice for me
    to pay a visit this site, it consists of valuable Information.

    Reply to this comment
  20. joseph laizer
    February 25, 13:56 #20 joseph laizer

    Dear shaka, you have been among the journalist that made ma happy whenever I watch VOA. Your the grate man.

    Reply to this comment
  21. Eunice Drew
    March 11, 05:53 #21 Eunice Drew

    Mr Shaka you are a great man. You are my idol. I live in UK and I enjoy watching VOA on my television. My God bless you and your family

    Reply to this comment
  22. wambie Malata
    March 26, 08:33 #22 wambie Malata

    I am pleased with your interviews and conversation with Africans all over the world
    be blessed

    Reply to this comment
  23. Pauline B
    June 25, 14:47 #23 Pauline B

    Shaka your interview with Mbabazi was spot on. You looked distiguished very impressive! Iloved it

    Reply to this comment
  24. Eustachio
    August 20, 11:43 #24 Eustachio

    Dr. Shaka, a well accomplished and inspirational journalist who happens to be an epitome of many myself inclusive. Go on rising high the Uganda’s Flag and always make the black race genius. Remember ” Gatagata munonga gatebirwe owabeene mbeho”

    Reply to this comment
  25. vedasto
    January 09, 14:34 #25 vedasto

    shakka sali is african ambassador outside (diasora)

    Reply to this comment
  26. Ogwang adwari
    February 13, 14:59 #26 Ogwang adwari

    shaka,you are really a great man,you always inspire alot of people to follow your way.Ask God to always protect you and keep you safe because you are a very peaceful man.May you live longer..

    Reply to this comment
  27. Ehrons Ettena
    February 15, 13:22 #27 Ehrons Ettena

    Thanks to God for always protecting Dr Shaka. Though ” Sacked democrasy” in many African Countries is still a blockage to your inevitable role as witnessed recently with an intellectual in-look at a Presidential debate, remember your are a Blessing to Africa. It is more painful to abandon a life time call than do it within limitation(s). Warm Greetings! Aron, Uganda.

    Reply to this comment
  28. Ehrons Ettena
    February 15, 13:39 #28 Ehrons Ettena

    Lets consider the people not individuals in order to have a clear picture of Ugandan leadership. I mean the few “agents, mind-pocketed” doing well should not make us forget the poor, marginalised, made poor women, orphans, inequitable education and health services in Uganda to have the majority blind-folded!

    Reply to this comment
  29. Ezera
    February 17, 02:27 #29 Ezera

    I would like to thank shaka for his recent ugandan visit

    Reply to this comment
  30. Crescent Katuramu
    February 17, 04:17 #30 Crescent Katuramu

    I have followed you Dr. Shaka since my childhood I can say you inspire me. Though is disappointed when you were restricted not to screw Mr. Museveni during #UgDebate16

    Reply to this comment
  31. Wilber
    February 17, 05:03 #31 Wilber

    Thankx Shaka For Your Courage Especially Handling African Issues! But Was Disappointed By Your Moderation In Uganda’s Presidential Debate! Having Been Restricted From Interogating Mr Museven, With drawing From Moderation Would Have Been The Best Option To me.

    Reply to this comment
  32. Shadrack naz Nambuha
    February 21, 16:10 #32 Shadrack naz Nambuha

    Thanks Dr. Shaka for your visit in Uganda, I listened to your interview with Simeon Kashatta on Capital FM Talent Desert Dicks on Sunday 21 Feb 16, your are very inspirational.

    Reply to this comment
  33. kalange collins
    February 24, 09:11 #33 kalange collins

    Shaka, l really appreciate the work you are doing especially concerning the politics of our home country Uganda,please keep it up. may the lord empower you more.

    Reply to this comment
  34. Kevin K Spetnaz
    April 04, 01:20 #34 Kevin K Spetnaz

    Thanks Our Man Dr Shaka.Keep The Fire Burning.

    Reply to this comment
  35. samex
    April 13, 15:19 #35 samex

    Shaka im real grateful of ICC objectives and mission in bringing justice to the voiceless around the world . however the act of being colour- blind to acts of world class politicians to me leaves a question mark. is it genetic principle of predestination that African heads of states and some other weak say European states that deserve this ? . When shall we see people from first world countries face the same treatment ?

    Reply to this comment
  36. samanya bulhan
    April 13, 15:21 #36 samanya bulhan

    Shaka im real grateful of ICC objectives and mission in bringing justice to the voiceless around the world . however the act of being colour- blind to acts of world class politicians to me leaves a question mark. is it genetic principle of predestination that African heads of states and some other weak say European states that deserve this ? . When shall we see people from first world countries face the same treatment ? – See more at:

    Reply to this comment
  37. Chileya Noah
    August 13, 13:35 #37 Chileya Noah

    You are not on air some time now. Dr shake ssali i ask for you make communication to me .

    Reply to this comment
  38. Dr Jean Claude Nzabonitegeka
    September 15, 09:34 #38 Dr Jean Claude Nzabonitegeka

    Ask for an interview on the role of democracy in Rwanda reconcilation ,security ,strategic standing of the country …I am 47 years Rwandese national ,medical doctor who studied in mozambique ,Rwanda states universities ….I am a writer .< Politics in Rwanda as unusual in ACADEMIA …I ask for VOA to host me since is committed to democracy …you can send me your email so that I shall share with you the content of my topic


    Dr Jean Claude NZABONITEGEKA
    Nairobi Kenya

    Reply to this comment
  39. Elia Niryoitungo
    September 20, 04:26 #39 Elia Niryoitungo

    shaka thank you for whatever your doing but even in Mathew 12:36 says on the day of judgement everyone will have to give an account of the useless word he or she has ever spoken they will declare you either guilty or innocent. proceed with your games to shape your own future but mind you Uganda is our country. I want to ask you, your blaming our leaders mostly our President what have you done for Uganda? to show justice even you don’t know where Uganda came from we cannot have regime without a History NRM has shown history to every citizens.

    Reply to this comment
  40. lecturer
    October 18, 05:46 #40 lecturer

    Thank you mr.Shaka for the work you do.we always listen to you here in kabale-your motherland.

    Reply to this comment
  41. The Voice
    November 23, 15:21 #41 The Voice

    Dr. Shaka Ssali is an inspiration, a rock, a bridge built where there was a boundary, an eye, a voice and a vision that connects people from different horizons with different perceptions to believe, conceive and achieve.

    Reply to this comment
    December 27, 05:13 #42 MEDIATOR

    I ask ndugu Shaka to prepare a motion and host a program on THE RELATIONSHIP BETWEEN AFRICAN AMERICANS AND TYPICAL AFRICANS.

    I advise you to invite main speakers from the two sides.

    I am very eager to share my views because I find that the two sides are not in good terms.

    Reply to this comment
  43. cholli dauda balna
    February 08, 10:53 #43 cholli dauda balna

    Shaka,i am very proud of you because i am your regular listener of a programed straight talk Africa.
    The programme is inspiring ,educative and encouraging.
    As you are passionate about Africa’s development
    we assure you that we the youth of Africa will never let you down. Continue with your Good work Skye is our limit sir,
    Thank you and God bless you and your family.CHOLLI DAUDA BALNA.

    Reply to this comment
  44. Bisuti
    August 22, 11:36 #44 Bisuti

    Mr.shaka,l first appreciate your work:,we have never missed the programme(straight talk africa) at our our homeland..

    Reply to this comment
  45. Elderp
    September 23, 01:20 #45 Elderp

    Kudos Saka Ssali. We love you brodaman.

    Reply to this comment
    October 05, 14:55 #46 TWIZEYE JULIAS


    Reply to this comment
  47. enga Alfred
    October 11, 12:34 #47 enga Alfred

    Your comment..I’m ever following your beautiful shows since my child hood I was encouraged by late father who dearly told me that you are a few of Ugandans that I should keep following and gave me the motivation love becoming a journalist which I think will be lasting profession

    Reply to this comment
  48. Mocus
    March 07, 14:45 #48 Mocus

    Am Julius from Uganda country Africa and I have been following your shows on straight talk Africa, here we miss you #Shaka ssalis,,,l was told that you are mukyiga from #kabale district which is interesting for our area kabale village.
    My OB at butobire college in kigezi
    We love you!!! #shaka ssalis

    Reply to this comment
  49. ahebwa frank
    July 03, 07:19 #49 ahebwa frank

    i will one time met u our revolutionist Mr shaka here in Uganda and we love you so much.

    Reply to this comment
  50. Eki Pato
    September 13, 06:28 #50 Eki Pato

    Hi Ssali, Iam Eki Pato A Ugandan! I Wish You Could Fix Another Day To Host Our Mp Robert Kyagulanyi S, Such Tht Ugandan Get Hear Frm The Mp Hw He Was Totured.

    Reply to this comment
  51. Joy Ruth Acheng
    September 13, 10:11 #51 Joy Ruth Acheng

    Am the High Commissioner of Uganda to Canada and I would you to host me on straight talk Africa about the current situation .Please contact me at your convenience. Thanks again

    Reply to this comment
  52. Chuti
    October 27, 08:57 #52 Chuti

    Shaka Ssali,Hi I’am Kuany Jacob South Sudanese, who time spoke to while I was still in Makerere University,Currently I’m in South Sudan in particular Jonglei State-Bor.I still enjoy your straight talk Africa.
    My contact: +211 928884772/ 914453545

    Reply to this comment
    • Kuany Jacob
      October 27, 09:58 Kuany Jacob

      It is long time since 2006 we last spoke on phone .remember the time you interview Sudan Ambassador to USA a Chuluk for ethnic.That was before referendum of South Sudan,That day I requested you to sent me tape for interviews.

      Reply to this comment
  53. Petero Rubuuzibwamahano
    March 02, 04:07 #53 Petero Rubuuzibwamahano

    I have been fortunate enough to stumble on this website. I am a retired – but still requied clergyman
    in theDiocese of Kigezi. I read Theology at Wyclife
    Hall, The University of Oxford, And Human Communication Practice, The University of Wales,
    Cardiff, UK
    I will keep reading the posts. Thank you. Do you have a Chaplain of Ugandans in the Diaspora. In case you don’t have one would it be of any harm for me to become one. I am 65 years
    Rev. Canon Peter Rwabyoma

    Reply to this comment
    March 27, 02:28 #55 DONN BASH

    Shaka is really an inspiration icon to the whole of Africa especially Uganda, may Allah reward him abundantly for his endless efforts to connect Africa to the rest of the world.

    Reply to this comment
  55. Sama
    September 06, 17:14 #56 Sama

    Certainly shaka is Among Giants African journalist most defendable and reliable media VOA more wisdom’s

    Reply to this comment
  56. Tiharihondi stuart
    December 22, 00:38 #57 Tiharihondi stuart

    I would like to inform Mr., Dr.SHAKA SSALI that come 2025 and we vote u as uganda’s president please stop hiding in USA when u can help ur people #shaka #ugandan next #president 2026 please😢😢😢 come back home u can make

    Reply to this comment
  57. Mark
    January 04, 16:06 #58 Mark

    Have a poem to share.
    Is this the right fora??

    Reply to this comment
  58. Henryrax
    August 31, 15:45 #59 Henryrax

    Доброго времени суток,

    Нашел профи автосервис по обслуживанию своего автомобиля по Одессе..

    с карбюратора на инжектор ваз 2109

    Выполнили свою работу быстро!!
    Отличный автосервис ORANGE-AUTO в Одессе..

    Reply to this comment

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