Accessibility links

Breaking News

VOA Names New Anchor for Flagship English to Africa Television Program

Shaka Ssali, long time anchor of Straight Talk Africa is retiring as Haydé Adams is named anchor.
Shaka Ssali, long time anchor of Straight Talk Africa is retiring as Haydé Adams is named anchor.

The Voice of America named Haydé Adams as the new anchor for “Straight Talk Africa”, an hour-long Pan-African news and talk show. Adams takes over from long time host and veteran VOA journalist, Shaka Ssali, who retires at the end of May.

Launched by Ssali in August 2000, “Straight Talk Africa” was VOA’s first TV offering on the continent. The weekly program topics range from politics and economic development to social issues, press freedom and conflict resolution. World leaders and local newsmakers alike regularly appear on the program.

Born and raised in South Africa during apartheid, Adams trained as first a radio and then television journalist in Cape Town and elsewhere in southern Africa before moving to the U.S. in 2010 and then joining the VOA English to Africa news team in 2016.

“My goal, really, is to look at the human angle, and the human consequence and the human impact,” said Adams on her move to the Straight Talk Africa anchor desk. “So we can hear these stories first hand from the people who are in the thick of things and on the front lines.” Adams sees Straight Talk as covering “what’s now and what’s next for Africa,” the society, the culture and diversity on the continent and in the global African diaspora.

“Haydé's success as one of the original co-anchors of VOA’s Our Voices program – our first continent-wide TV show by and for women, will be a tremendous asset as she takes the reins at Straight Talk from Shaka,” said Acting VOA Director Yolanda López. “The entire VOA family applauds Shaka’s pioneering efforts to launch the program more than two decades ago, while anticipating the next steps for Straight Talk with Haydé at the helm.”

Straight Talk Africa is available on single market and national broadcast affiliates across Africa - 53 television affiliates in 18 countries and 54 radio affiliates in 12 countries.

To interview Adams or any other VOA Expert, please contact