“What does it mean when we start our history at slavery?” asks Adnan Shafi ’17, a Kenyan ALA alum who is asking these and other questions on his powerful educational podcast – Pariah Nation. This pertinent question gives a glimpse into the overarching aim of Adnan’s podcast: and that is to empower Africans.
More specifically, Pariah Nation seeks to empower African youth by providing a platform for discussion, learning, and solution-building around issues that affect them. “Pariah refers to a group of people who are usually outcast and I use it to refer to the youth in general,” explains Adnan. “Often I hear people saying ‘leaders of tomorrow’ which implies that young people have to grow before they can take roles of leadership, but in reality the youth are the ones who are changing the world – we have always changed the world.”
Adnan, who is currently a law student at Cardiff University in the United Kingdom, is changing the world in the best way he knows how: through researching (a skill he thanks ALA greatly for) and facilitating much needed discussions. Some topics that Pariah Nations explores (sometimes with guests from across the world) are: Blackness, African identity, pan -Africanism, political consciousness, pre-colonial African history, and more.
So far, the response to these topics has been great and far reaching. In fact, Adnan has brilliantly transmuted the knowledge he shares on his podcast to video social media app Tik Tok. There, the Pariah Nation account serves content to a solid following of 31 000 people, and has garnered 1 million likes across all of his informative, challenging, and sometimes comedic videos. The podcast itself has reached just over 3500 listens on Spotify and is being consumed by the exact target audience Adnan created it for: young people from the continent and the diaspora.
Though Adnan sees podcasting as a great outlet for people to digest information easily, the vision, for him, is much bigger. “Pariah Nation is more than a podcast,” he says. Beyond the audio offering and the Tik Tok videos, Adnan looks forward to creating more educational resources through other mediums. “Perhaps even hosting camps where we can educate people on pre-colonial African history, or letting people in on the similarities that unite us as a people across the different continents,” he says. First prize for Adnan would be the opportunity to contribute to resources that guide ALA’s African Studies classes – and this is a prospect that has us at ALA incredibly excited and hopeful for the future indeed.
We wish Adnan all the best!
Pariah Nation is available on all podcasting platforms. Start your listening journey here: https://linktr.ee/Adnanshafi
Follow Pariah Nation on all social media platforms
@pariahnation- Tik Tok and Instagram