#StraightTalkAfrica: Final Sub; Shaka Out, Haydé In

Veteran International Journalist, Shaka Ssali has officially retired from the Voice Of America (VOA) in Washington D.C., following an illustrious journalism career.


After 29 years at the Voice of America and 20 years at the helm of Straight Talk Africa, a talkshow he started, the renowned african international journalist and talk show host finally called it a day yesterday, Wednesday May19, 2021.

Shaka introduced and handed the baton over to new Straight Talk Africa hostess, Haydé Adams, when he was guest on the special “Salute To Shaka” edition of the program.



Haydé Adams is from Cape Town, South Africa and has extensively covered political and social realities on the continent for local and international media. Most recently, she was co-host of VOA’s Our Voices. Haydé will talk about her career and her vision for Straight Talk Africa.

In his last episode, Shaka’s colleagues at the VOA and fans from the continent took turns to recount fond memories and to honour and appreciate the ace broadcaster.

Shaka himself also talked about his life and career and his plans following his retirement.

The Ugandan-born American has been the face of VOA’s weekly talk show program Straight Talk Africa since 2000.

The show which is now popular amongst Africans especially around the world, focuses mainly on the happenings in Africa is a simulcast program broadcast live every Wednesday from 1830-1930 UTC/GMT on radio, television and the Internet.

Through out his career, Shaka has strived to tell the African story and to bring the best news and information to Africans on the continent and beyond.

As the host and managing editor of the program, he interacted with many African heads of state both past and present, religious leaders, political leaders, world leaders, as well as insurgents on pertinent issues.

The celebrated media personality on the significance of Straight Talk Africa a couple of weeks back:

“I think that the significance of the Straight Talk Africa in my view is that, first and foremost, we have survived it.

“Mind you, we actually went on air for the first time on August the 2nd 2000. And beyond merely surviving, Peter, the program has in fact become a sort of show of record so far as the African continent and the diaspora are concerned, to such an extent, Peter, that it has inspired a lot of youth… a lot of people who can’t wait to be journalists… and in fact, become a sort of Shaka Ssali.”

The Program’s twitter handle has since been changed from #VOAShaka to @VOAStraightTalk following Shaka Ssali’s retirement and Haydé Adams announcement as the new host.


Born in Kabale District, South western Uganda, Shaka, 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.

Watch his final show here:


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