Ugandan-born US journalist Shaka Ssali, is set to retire from broadcasting after 20 years of hosting popular show –Straight Talk Africa on Voice of America.
Shaka’s plan to move on has been confirmed by VOA after the Washington DC-based station announced special episodes that will showcase the legacy of Uganda’s most successful talk-show host.
“Shaka is retiring at the end of May after 20 years of hosting #StraightTalkAfrica. What do you think is his legacy? Upload a short video with @VOAShaka or send it to us as a message. Your video may be used in Shaka’s farewell episode!” VOA posted on their social media platform on Saturday.
Bold, yet calm and collected, Shaka has demonstrated distinct quality, consistency and precision in his hard-hitting interviews with eminent persons from almost all spheres of life.
Upon retirement, Shaka is expected to take a few days off to his birthplace in Kabale District, South western Uganda, before he can embark on his new chapter.
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 Shaka is an alumni of the school.
During his career, Shaka has interviewed and hosted many presidents and prime ministers. Among them: General Olusegun Obasanjo, Former President, Nigeria; Levy Patrick Mwanawasa; Former President, Zambia; Tony Blair, Former Prime Minister, United Kingdom; Botswana President Seretse Khama Ian Khama; Ghana President John Evans Atta Mills; Tanzania President Jakaya Kikwete; Ellen Johnson Sirleaf, President, Liberia; Hifikepunye Pohamba, President, Namibia; Uganda President Yoweri Museveni; Joseph Kabila, President, DRC; Rwanda President Paul Kagame; and General Salva Kiir, First Vice President, and president of the government of Southern Sudan.