Talking Heads

Why We Do It

Mainstream messages about Africa rarely articulate the nuance of contemporary Africa and its people. Negative clichés crowd out an understanding of the diversity of existence on the continent. People both outside and inside the continent lack access to the ideas and narratives of contemporary Africans.

This lack of access harms how Africans see themselves and how others see Africans, with broad consequences for identity, opportunity, and social justice.

How We Do It

Talking Heads identifies and showcases African thought leaders who are making meaningful contributions to their communities, their countries, the continent and the world. Our approach consists of live conversation events and the production of short videos and audiocasts. Our model is easily replicable across Africa.

Talking Heads Live Events place each thought leader in conversation with four audience members, enabling engagement and debate. 
These conversations encourage the exchange of ideas, and challenge definitions of expertise. They work toward breaking down cultural and interdisciplinary prejudice and encouraging collaboration.

Since 2008, the project has held 10 live events in Cape Town and Johannesburg. Guests move from table to table engaging in four intimate 20-minute conversations with over 40 “talking heads” experts in one evening.


Talking Heads Media produces short videos and audiocasts about the influential ideas of African thought leaders. These videos and audiocasts expand the reach of the live events to broader audiences.

We release new video and audiocasts on

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