The Cheeky Natives is a literary podcast primarily focused on the review, curatorship, and archiving of black literature. It was co-founded by Dr. Alma-Nalisha Cele and Letlhogonolo Mokgoroane both of who are from South Africa. Afrobloggers engaged with the duo to gain insights into what it takes to run a successful podcast that is loved by both the authors and their readers
What factors do you consider when choosing a guest? Have you ever avoided inviting certain black authors on your podcast for any other reason?
Our choices are multi-factorial. We are influenced by our mission to create a canon of critical engagement with Black writers. We believe that the personal is political, so authors who are transphobic, queerphobic, anti-Black, and the like are not welcome on our platform.
Listening to your podcast one easily picks up the sense of comfort in the air. How do you manage to make your guest so comfortable? What preparation precedes the interview?
Preparation is key to having successful interviews. It’s also a sign of respect for the authors and their work to read, critically analyze and engage with their work. We discuss all work prior to the interview and also refer to reviews and interviews. We also let the author know that it is a conversation and necessarily a question and answer session.
Lets talk podcasting
What influenced your choice of medium? Why did you choose to do podcasting?
At the time we established the podcast, it was motivated by what we felt was a dearth of critical engagement with the work of Black writers. There would be these reviews of white authors in large newspapers and the same medium would publish two lines of uncritical reviews for Black authors. We realized we wanted to have critical engagement in a medium that was easily accessible and podcasts provided that. We also saw that people were reading fewer print media and not we would be the company that people want to keep as they drive to work, do their work, and do other living things.
Considering that Podcasting is a new phenomenon at least in Africa and taking into account high data costs, are there other (online or offline) ways you are engaging your audience or using to meet your objectives?
You are able to download our podcasts for offline listening, which saves a lot of data. So, that is one way in which we have ensured that people access the podcast.
Let’s move to sustainability…
How are you sourcing resources to sustain your podcast? How can those willing to assist you, contribute?
This podcast is in many ways a labor of love and so we’ve used many personal resources to sustain it. We have registered as a company that provides a number of services, which people can buy for. We are also selling merchandise, so people can support us in that way. We also encourage people to support our ventures such as the Live Literature Market
Share the vision of what a successful and fully-fledged Cheeky Natives will look like in 5years.
We’re sitting having this interview in The Cheeky Natives Bookshop that is a space for music, poetry, and book lovers. We have expanded the Live Literature Market into different provinces. We also hope to do a lot more live conversations.