This episode is a conversation between Helen, Habiiba and Geofrey Njovu. Geofrey is a Zambian Pestalozzi alumnus and Mastercard Foundation Scholar at the University of Edinburgh where he studies Chemistry.
Geofrey is a self-proclaimed learner. Helen asks him how he developed this passion for learning within the Zambian school system which is largely exam focussed. Geofrey suggests that his academic success during high school gave him the drive to gain knowledge on an array of topics. Today, he pushes himself to keep reading and learning. Habiiba reflects on a similar experience and says that films have opened the door to a world of politics and learning for her.
Habiiba then asks Geofrey about his experience at Pestalozzi, an organisation she also attended. The multi-cultural and multi-faith community that Pestalozzi created shaped both Geofrey and Habiiba’s views and experiences, allowing both a breaking down of barriers, and the building of respect and tolerance for a diverse range of views. Habiiba’s experience at Pestalozzi has shaped her relationship to her faith. She discusses the significance of wearing or not wearing a hijab in the contexts of the UK, US and at home in Uganda.
Dialogue then moves on to Geofrey’s infamous involvement in so many activities and projects. One such project is the Ekasi Podcast which he runs along with other Mastercard Foundation Scholars at the University of Edinburgh. They discuss how Ekasi started and the meaning of its name.
The last big topic of discussion is on the opportunities created by COVID. Along with the cancellation of Geofrey’s exams, the free time created by the pandemic has created a space for Geofrey to engage in conversations with other Zambians in the diaspora and at home. Topics discussed include politics, religion, and the scramble for Africa. This enabled Geofrey to respond in his own way to the pressures of the Black Lives Matter movement. It created an opportunity to discuss with other Africans, the African experience. Habiiba shares her experience during the height of the BLM movement and how it was initially ignored in her classes at UC Berkeley. She then helped to organise a community event to discuss BLM between other Africans at the university and to open up the conversation to wider issues of colonisation and decolonial movements.
The podcast ends with a quick-fire round with some fantastic recommendations from Geofrey. Listen here
If you enjoyed listening to the podcast, be sure to share it on social media. We also recommend listening to the Ekasi podcast to hear more from Geofrey