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My Time in Public Office

Two former politicians reveal the realities of life in public office. They talk to Kim Chakanetsa about why they went into politics, what impact they had and why a thick skin is absolutely critical. Dr Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala is a Nigerian economist who served two terms as finance minister of Nigeria from 2003 to 2006 and from 2011 to 2015, having previously been a managing director at the World Bank. But holding political office was never part of her plan. Instead she was appointed to the role...

Duration: 00:27:07


The ancient art of falconry holds a magical appeal for our guests this week. They talk to Kim Chakanetsa about why they were drawn to this ancient tradition, the unique relationship they form with their birds, and the concerns of those who consider it cruel. Helen Macdonald from the UK is the bestselling author of H is for Hawk, a moving account of the year she spent training Mabel the goshawk after her father's death. As a child Helen was obsessed by birds of prey and was determined to...

Duration: 00:27:12

Gymnasts: Simone Biles & Nadia Comaneci

Legendary gymnasts Simone Biles and Nadia Comaneci get together with Kim Chakanetsa for a frank discussion of the highs and lows of their sport. At the Montreal Olympics in 1976, aged just 14, Nadia Comaneci became the first gymnast in history to be awarded a perfect 10 for her routine on the uneven bars. Nadia went on to win 25 medals during her gymnastic career, including five Olympic gold medals. Originally from Romania, Nadia defected to the US in 1989 and now runs a gymnastics school...

Duration: 00:27:19

The Changing Role of Charity

Running an international charity in today's changing world is the task taken on by our two guests, who talk to Kim Chakanetsa about how their organisations are adjusting to the changing demands of those in need. Winnie Byanyima is Executive Director of Oxfam International, which works to alleviate global poverty. Born in Uganda, Winnie has been a trailblazer and an activist from the beginning - as a student protester she was forced to flee the country at the age of 17. Later, she became a...

Duration: 00:27:04

Editors in Chief

Being in charge of Huffpost and The Guardian - Kim Chakanetsa brings together two women who are re-shaping their international news publications. Lydia Polgreen is Global Editor in Chief of HuffPost. She took over from founder Ariana Huffington in 2016, after spending 15 years at the New York Times, where she had postings across Africa and Asia. The child of an Ethiopian mother and an American father, Lydia was raised in neither country, growing up mainly in Kenya and Ghana. She says...

Duration: 00:27:16

Running a Museum

Two women who run museums that document the lives and legacies of iconic figures of twentieth century history: Anne Frank and Nelson Mandela. Garance Reus-Deelder is Managing Director of the Anne Frank House in Amsterdam, which welcomes 1.3 million visitors every year and faces numerous challenges due to the cramped nature of the space. Garance herself was born in the Netherlands but grew up in Zambia, where she remembers visiting memorials rather than museums. She first went into business...

Duration: 00:27:10


Spectacular volcanic eruptions on earth and in space - Kim Chakanetsa unites two women who share a deep love of volcanoes. Janine Krippner is from New Zealand, and as a child visited Ngauruhoe - the volcano made famous as Mount Doom in the Lord of the Rings films - and had an intense feeling that this is where she belonged. Years later she found herself inside the crater collecting research data. Janine is now based at the University of Pittsburgh and studies remote volcanoes in Russia and...

Duration: 00:27:24

HIV-AIDS Doctors

Two doctors at the epicentre of the AIDS crisis - Glenda Gray and Wafaa El-Sadr - have worked tirelessly to care for those affected by the virus, to combat its spread, and to get the drugs to those who need it. Glenda Gray is a South African paediatrician and world-renowned scientist who currently directs the HIV Vaccine Trials study, which is the largest of its kind ever conducted in South Africa. Thanks in part to her work on mother-to-child transmission, the number of babies born with...

Duration: 00:27:25

Cities After Dark

Cities that come alive at night, with two women who know where to go and what to do. Kim Chakanetsa speaks to a DJ from Lebanon and a singer-songwriter from China who take her on a virtual tour of their favourite nightlife scenes. Nicole Moudaber is a Nigerian-born Lebanese DJ and music producer. Nicole began exploring Beirut's nightlife as a promoter, hosting successful club nights for years before turning her hands to the decks. She has since been described as one of the best techno DJs...

Duration: 00:26:54

Diving into the Past

Two archaeologists take us on an underwater adventure to uncover secrets about our past. Between them they've explored wooden vessels dating back hundreds of years, discovered Roman statues in the Mediterranean and Chinese ceramics in the Gulf of Thailand, and even stumbled upon what may be an Aboriginal rubbish dump. Pornnatcha 'Jo' Sankhaprasit is Thailand's first ever female underwater archaeologist. She grew up in the Thai mountains and didn't even see the sea until she was nine years...

Duration: 00:27:03


Anoushka Shankar on sitar and Kasiva Mutua on drums...two celebrated female musicians talk to Kim Chakanetsa about their paths to mastering instruments more traditionally played by men. Anoushka Shankar's father, the legendary Indian sitar player Ravi Shankar taught her to play the instrument from the age of 9. She first performed in public with her father at 13 and got a recording contract as soon as she finished school. She says growing up surrounded by music actually meant she had a...

Duration: 00:26:45

Women in Animation

Forget the wicked witch or the pretty princess - a new generation of women in animation are doing away with cartoon cliches. Kim Chakanetsa talks to two women doing their bit to ensure that female characters are accurately drawn from life, rather than stereotypes. Niki Yang grew up in South Korea visiting comic book rooms and watching Japanese anime on TV - which helped her realise her passion for drawing and storytelling. Niki established her own career in animation when she moved to Los...

Duration: 00:26:58

Maths is Fun

Calculator tricks and baking cakes - how two female mathematicians help people have fun with maths. Eugenia Cheng's aim is to rid the world of 'math phobia' and she uses baking to explain complex mathematical ideas to the general public, via her books and YouTube channel. For instance, she makes puff pastry to reveal how exponential growth works. Eugenia has taught Pure Mathematics at universities in the UK, France and US and is currently Scientist in Residence at the School of the Art...

Duration: 00:27:20

Daughters of Political Icons

Growing up with a name that has resonance around the world - and a father with a towering reputation. That's been the experience of Samia Nkrumah and Noo Saro-Wiwa. We'll hear about the pride and burdens they carry with them, and how their fathers' untimely deaths have shaped their lives. Samia Nkrumah is the daughter of Ghana's first president, Kwame Nkrumah - the man who led his country to independence in 1957, and became an international symbol of freedom as the leader of the first...

Duration: 00:26:59


What draws women to motorbikes, whether it's weaving them through traffic or seeing the world from one? Kim Chakanetsa asks two women from Poland and Kenya who spend their lives in the saddle. Aleksandra 'Ola' Trzaskowska's love of motorbikes is not about the machine itself - it's about the thrill of seeing new places from the best vantage point. She used to be a lawyer in Warsaw but gave it up to do what she loves. Ola now runs tours on two wheels to Asia, North Africa and both American...

Duration: 00:26:59

Finding my Voice Through Art

The power of art to change lives. Two women talk to Kim Chakanetsa about how they use art to enable refugees, asylum seekers and young women to find their creative voice. Isha Fofana is a Gambian artist who set up an art centre in her country to encourage young women to pursue their artistic talents. Although she showed an interest in art at a young age, she was not fully able to explore it until she was much older. Her canvasses are often large and extremely colourful, capturing the joy...

Duration: 00:26:40

Women in Cults

Prayers and preparation for the apocalypse - two women share with Kim Chakanetsa their experiences of life in strict religious communities they would call cults. Natacha Tormey was born into an international evangelical group and led a highly regimented life in communes in Thailand, Indonesia and France. She says physical discipline and sexual abuse were common, and as children they were separated from their parents. As a teenager she began to question the ideas of the leaders, and at 18...

Duration: 00:27:01

Where Women Rule

What's life like when women are in charge? Kim Chakanetsa talks to two women who've formed close ties with matriarchal communities in China and India, and who've gone onto document their experiences. Choo Waihong is a former high-flying lawyer from Singapore who quit her job to move to a remote part of China to live with the Mosuo tribe. This is one of the last matrilineal and matriarchal societies on earth. That means that the family descends from the female bloodline, and that women also...

Duration: 00:27:24

Being Open About Breast Cancer

'I will ride cancer; cancer will not ride me'. An Indian dancer and a Jamaican athlete who were diagnosed with breast cancer at the peak of their physical condition tell Kim Chakanetsa how they got through their treatment by focussing on their passions. Novlene Williams-Mills is an exceptional Jamaican sprinter who has competed - and won medals - in four Olympic Games. In 2012, just before the London Olympics, she found out she had breast cancer. Despite the diagnosis, she decided to...

Duration: 00:26:51


Female interpreters discuss being voices for vulnerable people. Kim Chakanetsa brings together two women, one who interprets for medical patients, and one who helps refugees apply for asylum. They talk about the pressures and the joys of what they say is an under-valued job. Teodora Manea Hauskeller is a Romanian who works as a medical interpreter in the UK, easing understanding between doctors and patients who don't speak English. She is present in the room when potentially scary...

Duration: 00:27:05

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