Baby people, it’s the end of an era. After 280 episodes, Kelechi Okafor released the last ever episode of Say Your Mind this week. In the final episode, Kelechi speaks to her brother Sadiq about saying goodbye to SYM and social media.
To mark the moment, we’re returning to our Issue #017 cover star interview. This is the Gospel According To Kelechi Okafor…
Actor? Director? Dance innovator? Social commenter? D*ckhead in recovery? Baby girl? Kelechi Okafor wears many hats and as her podcast grew she built herself the perfect platform to show each one off in all its glory. We caught up with the Say Your Mind host back in October 2021 to chat all things podcasting…
PB: TELL US ALL ABOUT YOUR SHOW! WHAT’S YOUR PODCAST ELEVATOR PITCH?
KO: Say Your Mind is the current affairs podcast that you might not want to listen to on loudspeaker at work, but you definitely want to listen to regardless. The podcast expertly combines tarot, current affairs and pop culture into one expletive filled fun time and is delivered to you from the perspective of a Nigerian-British Baby Girl. I am the Baby Girl FYI.
WHY PODCASTING? WHAT IS IT ABOUT THE FORMAT THAT APPEALS TO YOU?
I enjoy podcasting a lot because I love sharing my thoughts and I find it much easier than typing, although I am pretty mean on the keyboard when it comes to tweeting! On the subject of tweeting though, the thoughts you share can be taken down at any time and that’s why I like podcasting because I am in control.
WHAT‘S THE SECRET TO BEING A GOOD PODCAST HOST?
A good podcast host should be able to tell you something you already knew but deliver it to you in such a way that you think you’re hearing that thing for the first time. It is about having a fresh, confident attitude about whatever it is that you’re discussing and ultimately wanting your listener to already miss you the moment that episode is done.
IF YOU COULD GO BACK TO BEFORE YOU STARTED OUT AND GIVE YOURSELF ONE PIECE OF ADVICE, WHAT WOULD IT BE?
Be patient! That is the number one piece of advice I would give myself and anybody else who is starting out as a podcaster. I worried so much about whether people would listen to Say Your Mind, and then I worried about when I would get enough listeners to enable me to have live read sponsors etc. I spent a lot of time being impatient about getting to the markers of what makes a “successful” podcast that I just stressed myself out for no reason. Now I have these grey hairs! Once I just started going with the flow and being proud of whichever stage I was at, the things I was so fixated on attaining came to me naturally.
HOW DID YOU FIND PODCASTING DURING THE PANDEMIC RELATED LOCKDOWNS?
I found podcasting to be really therapeutic during the lockdowns. I definitely didn’t have to worry about whether people would listen to the episodes or not. Ha! Honestly, I felt purposeful because I knew listeners needed to hear me reassure them that things would be okay in one way or another, while making them aware of other things that were happening in the world. Hearing me swear and laugh as I talked my way through each subject, also gave listeners permission to feel their own feelings. It was also really nice to spend so much time with my brother Sadiq because he joined me as a guest in residence on the podcast since we were already in a bubble. Getting to share my podcast with him will always be one of my best memories of an otherwise rather challenging time in all our lives.
DO YOU HAVE A DREAM GUEST OR GUESTS WHO YOU’D LOVE TO HAVE ON THE PODCAST SOME DAY?
I would fall on the floor if I could get Viola Davis on the podcast. I admire her acting skills so much and I fear that if I were to have her on as a guest, I would just breathe heavily into the mic and forget what I wanted to ask her. I would also like to interview afrobeats artist Wizkid, mainly so I could show him my dance moves to each of his songs. Finally I think I would like to have Lewis Hamilton on the podcast now that I have added a new segment to the podcast called Start Your Motors to complement my love of Formula 1. I don’t think he’d accept though, my swearing and random song breaks might lead him to believe that I’m a tad unhinged.
WHICH EPISODE OR EPISODES OF YOUR PODCAST MEAN THE MOST TO YOU?
Probably Episode 21: What now? This was the first episode after my pregnancy loss and I can’t believe how early it was in my podcasting journey yet I still insisted on being vulnerable and transparent while showing up to record. Episode 55: Easter Special – Baby Girl and a Baby was great because I announced I was expecting a baby and it was lovely to be able to have such a beautiful and intimate experience to share with my listeners.
WHICH PODCASTS OR PODCAST HOSTS INSPIRE YOU?
I know I have said this before because I love talking to you all! (Kelechi was our Podcast Disciple back in Issue #008!) but it would definitely be The Read with Kid Fury & Crissle. Their podcast is the reason I even thought being a host of my own podcast could be a reality. I love their openness while maintaining their personal boundaries. It is such a hilarious and well presented podcast, I really have no choice but to stan.
FINALLY, WHAT ARE YOUR CURRENT FAVOURITE PODCASTS?
I love listening to The Receipts podcast because they’re really wonderful women and funny as hell. I really like Who We Be TALKS_ too. Harry and Henrie are really youthful and vibrant hosts. I was a guest on their podcast a while back and I left proper feeling like they were my new friends, and that speaks volumes about their hosting skills!
Get your tickets for the last ever Say Your Mind live show! In person Saturday April 13th, Conway Hall, London or live-streamed anywhere in the world. Find out more >>