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We've all heard the African proverb "It takes a village to raise a child." But what happens when you're thousands of kilometres away from your mothers, sisters, aunties and grandmothers? You simply join our podcast village!

We are VANAMAI, African mothers in Australia, exploring what the role of MAI (mother) means to us. Listen as we discuss relationships, business and careers, health, creativity, faith and of course, VANA (children). We want to love and support you through the joyous ups and #nofilter downs of motherhood. Welcome...we're here for you.
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Mother's Day Podcast with Malaika's Tshedi Mholo
Our special guest for our Mother’s Day episode is singer Tshedi Mholo, from the award-winning South African group Malaika. We’ve gotten down to their music at countless African engagement parties, weddings and baby showers in Australia. It seems only fitting to ask Tshedi about her experience of motherhood and relationships. Watch the full interview on Youtube at or on our IGTV channel at Tshedi's songs are also on all music streaming platforms and you can follow her daily adventures at We'd also like to thank our friend DJ Chris NG for curating our Mother’s Day Afro house playlist. VANAMAI Vibes Vol 1 is out now, featuring our fave female African musicians, including Tshedi. We hope you have a wonderful day full of laughter, love and dancing!
May 7, 2020
How do you talk to your child about their identity?
Lucie Cutting, co-founder of The Pin, is on the show sharing memories from her childhood growing up with a Nigerian mother and an Anglo father. She also reveals what inspired her blog post ‘Black and pregnant in the Australian health system’, and how she’d like to discuss identity with her young son. The Pin is a discussion platform centred around representing multinational and multicultural people in a diverse range of conversations about race, identity, and culture within the Australian narrative. If you’d like to pitch them a story or be part of their conversations, contact Lucie and Nkechi at hello(at) or via Instagram at Song feature: Ugali by The Tony Benson Sextet
May 4, 2020
See you in Season 2!
Wow — we did it! One season of sharing stories, laughing, almost-crying, learning, listening and growing friendship with YOU, our listeners and guests. Thanks for your incredible support and we can't wait to share more magic with you in Season 2! Love from Rita and Taku. P.s. If any episodes resonate with you, share them with a friend or two and continue the conversation!
April 22, 2020
How do you feel about sex, celibacy and dating?
No spoilers — Taku, Jacqui and Primrose discuss it all in this episode. Taku’s aunty in Zimbabwe also leaves an epic 6-minute voicemail with her thoughts on sex in marriage. Friendly manners: this episode is not suitable for young ears — please find a good distraction for any kids around you, or don some headphones. Visit our village at or leave us a voicemail with your questions and comments at
April 21, 2020
How does the label of mother, wife, divorcée or aunty make you feel?
Rita, Mai Kayla or Mwana waHenry? Mai Maya, Ms Mbudzi or Taku? We’re discussing the different labels society gives us when we become mothers, get married, get divorced or are single. We also discuss maiden names and whether to take our husbands’ names when we get married. Song feature: Ndihamba Name by Mafikizolo. Visit our village at or leave us a voicemail with your questions and comments at
April 17, 2020
Have you ever heard of uterine fibroids?
In this episode, Taku shares her experience of having a grapefruit-sized fibroid that degenerated during her pregnancy last year. Friendly manners: this episode might not be suitable for little ears. Also, this is one person’s experience — please seek expert medical advice for your own circumstances. Song feature: Higher Ground by UB40. Visit our village at or leave us a voicemail with your questions and comments at
April 14, 2020
How does your faith influence your approach to motherhood?
So ladies, can you really watch Cardi B straight after church sermons? Can you try out Buddhism if you’re Catholic? How does true love grow if your partner is Jewish and you’re Christian? Tune in as co-hosts Rita Nita and Taku chat candidly to Perth blogger/YouTuber Mirembe Wakholi-Serugga about faith, religion and everything in between. They discuss how their beliefs impact them personally and professionally, and offer funny anecdotes about what they’re still learning. Find Mirembe’s writings and videos about faith and motherhood via A very special shout-out to her cute toddler Moses who’ll you hear in the episode too. Song feature: O’Nkosi Yam by The Soweto Gospel Choir. Visit our village at or leave us a voicemail with your questions and comments at
April 10, 2020
How did you budget and save to buy your first house?
Our special guests Jacqui Kairu and Tecla Ngoma explain how they started their individual property portfolios. They also share their personal money philosophies, lessons learnt and useful tips for handling your family finances. Song feature: Ain’t Nothin’ Goin’ On But The Rent by Gwen Guthrie. Visit our village at or leave us a voicemail with your questions and comments at
April 7, 2020
How do you charge for your time and talent in your business?
Your co-hosts Rita Nita and Taku Mbudzi discuss how they manage money in their separate businesses. Rita Nita is an award-winning dancer, choreographer and director of Èlan Dance Establishment in Perth, Western Australia; Taku is a Melbourne-based writer, comedian and podcaster with over ten years‘ experience as an inspirational speaker. She’s currently developing a kids’ TV show and shares what she’s learning about that on her podcast ‘Two Words with Taku’; Song feature: Ugali by The Tony Benson Sextet
April 3, 2020
How’s pregnancy without your mother by your side?
In this episode, expectant mothers Rita Nita and Jacqui Kairu discuss what it’s like not having their mums around. Listen as they laugh through the joys and challenges of figuring pregnancy out on their own. Song feature: Motherland by Yvonne Chaka Chaka
March 31, 2020
How’re you coping with the coronavirus pandemic?
In this episode, meet your podcast co-hosts Taku Mbudzi in Melbourne and Rita Nita in Broome. We also ask the mothers in our podcast village, “How’re you coping with the coronavirus pandemic?” Follow our podcast at and send your questions, feedback and voice messages to vanamaivillage(at) We can’t wait to hear from you!
March 27, 2020