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The Cipher

The Cipher

By The Cipher
Discover podcasts and global creatives who are reclaiming cultural narratives about the African diaspora - and succeeding. Award-winning journalist, podcasting expert & diaspora kid, Christabel Nsiah-Buadi has helped listeners find cultural connections where they'd least expect it. That's not surprising when you consider she has roots in Ghana, was born in the UK, and now lives in the US, by way of the Caribbean. In this series, she talks to Diasporan creatives who are leaning into their roots, to reclaim old narratives of the global Black experience. Visit to learn more.
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Episode Two: Sylvia Arthur, "We Stand Here As Legacy To Our Parents"

The Cipher

Travis De Vries: “I want to create a system and a groundswell of Mob supporting each other" in Australia
On 'The Cipher' (formerly (de)CIPHERed,) development expert, mentor, and writer Christabel Nsiah-Buadi speaks to Black artists and thinkers worldwide, who are creating new spaces for all of us by leaning into their roots. In this episode, Christabel asks Travis De Vries, a creator from 'down under' and the founder of the podcast company Awesome Black,  'What's Blakfella? Why did you just call that guy that, and surely not everyone can say THAT?!' Tune in to discover Travis' answer - and how they both met. You'll also hear Travis break down the roots of the ‘Blackfella’ identity further. He'll share his thoughts on the impact of the US Black Lives Matter movement on the Australian media industry and how he uses creativity to fight ‘the bureaurocratization’ of First Nation cultures. Check out Travis De Vries on The Cipher podcast! Trust us; it's worth your time! --- More about Travis De Vries and Awesome Black: Awesome Black develops original First Nations talent and creates unique storytelling content across various mediums. Before starting that company, Travis worked with the Sydney Opera House. He has also worked with Rhoda Roberts, one of the first First Nation women in Australian radio. And HEY! We have a NEWSLETTER! Visit and subscribe to join our community of creatives! Discover pods from Africa and the diaspora that have caught our attention - AND get exclusive tips from our community of experts. Follow Travis: On Instagram at @travishdevries On Twitter at @Traveedee --- Then follow us: On Twitter at @ciphermag On Instagram at @thecipherblog
June 30, 2022
Felicia Pride: Creating as Freedom Work
In this episode, Christabel talks to author, TV, and film writer Felicia Pride. From Baltimore to the big time, her TV and film credits include GREY’S ANATOMY, tender, Really Love, and Queen Sugar. She has established a space for her creative storytelling and a platform for other black creatives to explore their craft. She’s also the co-host of a new podcast called Chile, Please! It’s aimed at sharing the stories of the good, bad, and downright outrageous of 40-something Black women. We talk about the vulnerability needed to share those stories and why a show like hers is needed. Her production company, HONEY CHILE, tells the stories, from the good to the bad, to the downright outrageous of 40-something black women. Delivering a podcast devoted to black female voices, she covers with wit, vivacity, and keen analysis the trials of being a black female in a world not ready to embrace their experiences. Tune in to find out what makes a creative with the hugely popular Grey’s Anatomy in her TV credits, tick. ---- And HEY! We have a NEWSLETTER! Go to THE-DASH-CIPHER-DOT-COM to subscribe. You’ll get reviews of great pods from Africa and the diaspora and exclusive podcasting tips from industry insiders. Then follow us: On Twitter at @ciphermag On Instagram at @thecipherblog
May 11, 2022
Tolu Farinto: Master Your Brief.
This episode's guest, Tolu Farinto, says knowing what you're talking about and talking to the right people is critical if you want to shift perceptions and change minds through storytelling. Not doing this could cause more harm than good.  Wise words. Tolu Farinto is the Partner & Ethnicity Lead of Utopia, an award-winning culture change company. He's also the founder of Limitless Live, a music festival that launches on April 16th, 2022, at The Roundhouse in Camden, London, in the UK. He shares why this festival will help reach, inspire and connect traditionally disenfranchised people with companies in authentic ways.  Follow Tolu Farinto on IG: @t_farinto and on Twitter: @tfarinto90. Also, follow Limitless Live via IG @limitl8ss.
April 07, 2022
Garvia Bailey is 'Strong and Free!'
'What does it feel like to reclaim your family's part in your nation's history?' Host Christabel Nsiah-Buadi talks to award-winning journalist and co-founder of Media Girlfriends Garvia Bailey. In this episode, they discuss the impact of discovering personal stories on family relationships, the responsibility of sharing them - and getting told off by your family for wanting to record their discussions in this episode of (de)CIPHERed. Bailey also highlights the ways immigrants from Africa and the Caribbean shaped modern Canada, as outlined in her groundbreaking podcast (co-hosted by Josiane Blanc) Strong and Free.
March 02, 2022
Lola Akinmade Åkerström: 'I have my own way of telling stories!'
In this episode, Christabel talks about emotional connection, travel, and culture with the award-winning visual storyteller, international bestselling author Lola Akinmade Åkerström about her debut novel, 'In Every Mirror She's Black.' The book is about three Black women navigating life in Sweden, all with different results. It's an arresting, haunting, sexy, and powerful read. Here's a fun fact: 'In Every Mirror She's Black' was rejected SEVENTY times before it found a publisher. Now it's loved by readers all over the world. There are other fun things in the works for the book, but you'll have to listen to the podcast to find out.  Her previous books include 'Due North' and the bestseller 'Lagoms.' Her photography work has featured in National Geographic, New York Times, The Guardian, BBC, CNN, Travel Channel, Travel + Leisure, Lonely Planet, Forbes, and more. In addition, she has collaborated with Dove, Mercedes Benz, and the National Geographic Channel. Because she likes to stay busy, Lola also runs Geotraveler Media Academy, dedicated to visual storytelling and helping the next generation of travel storytellers put the heart back into the craft. --- After you enjoy this episode, show us some love wherever you listen to your podcasts and subscribe to our feed to get updates!
January 26, 2022
Episode Two: Sylvia Arthur, "We Stand Here As Legacy To Our Parents"
(de)Ciphered, is the audio companion to the newsletter, The Cipher. On this show, hear Christabel Nsiah-Buadi speak to African British artists and thinkers who - by leaning into their roots - are creating new spaces for all of us. Christabel talks to Sylvia Arthur, the founder of The Library of Africa and the African Diaspora, based in the heart of Accra. The library has thousands of books written by writers from the African Diaspora, it also hosts writing events. Part of LOATAD’s mission is to help address the literacy challenges some communities across the continent face, but, as the conversation reveals, their approach is decolonized and inclusive. Listen to this conversation, originally taped in the summer of 2020 to find out about Arthur’s journey from London to the heart of Accra and the library’s mission. ---- To get more Afro-British perspectives on global black culture, subscribe to The Cipher newsletter. Then follow us: On Twitter @ciphermag On Instagram @theciphernewsletter
June 25, 2021
S1 E1 - Michael Olatuja: "The Pain You Feel Will Propel You Into Your Destiny”
On the first episode of (de)Ciphered, host Christabel Nsiah-Buadi speaks to London-born, Lagos-raised, and New York-based electric and acoustic bassist and composer Michael Olatuja. The conversation took place in mid-2020 when the realities of the COVID and the ongoing protests against anti-Black racism shook the world into reality. Listen as they talk about Michael’s most recent album, ‘Lagos Pepper Soup’ and his impressive career, which has taken him across continents. Olatuja also pays homage to UK Hip Hop legend TY, and talked about how to navigate emotionally difficult times. Don't forget to subscribe to The Cipher newsletter to get more Afro-British takes on global black culture, then join the social media community on: Twitter: @ciphermag Instagram: @theciphernewsletter
May 27, 2021