54Lights is committed to elevating creatives of colour. We showcase Africa to the world, by lighting up great guests with roots in the 54 countries of the continent. We’re telling these under told stories from Africa to all corners of the globe. And because each guest has a unique and flavour-filled tale to tell, we will tell these stories with care. So that they can shape and reshape and reframe the narrative, one story at a time. Humbly hosted by Kondwani Mwase


March 9, 2023 26 min


Jimmy Baptiste is an artist based in Ottawa, Canada. He is also a father, educator, graphic artist and culture builder. Jimmy extends his art into the community in a profound and colourful way, working with students to create beautiful murals that discuss themes of race, youth and empowerment. In this episode, Jimmy takes us through his process, his triumphs and his motivations – which ultimately ...

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Prolific podcaster, Dr. Patience Adamu is the architect of several incredibly compelling shows - The Drip, BBW (Big, Beautiful and Winning), Hyphenated among them. The PhD graduate and an all-round super-creator joins your host, Kondwani Mwase, to talk about the work of podcasting, questions of culture and the complexities of identity. While the laughs roll in, the depth and deliberate co...

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January 27, 2023 48 min


Ricardo McRae returns to the 54Lights studios. Over the course of the conversation, Ricardo gives host Kondwani an update on his life post-pandemic including the life-affirming accident he was in. The two also delve deep into business, a "winning" mindset and wealth as well as the influence our lifestyles have on future generations. Underlying it all was a recognition that prioritizing people who ...

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November 24, 2022 36 min

Acclaimed actor, Karen Leblanc joins us in studio to talk about her ever-elevating career and path. As an independent and emerging artist, she rose to more popular fame after instrumental performances in Rent and impersonating the indomitable Tina Turner. Though her path has been laden with successes, many people were introduced to her through her performance on OWN’s Kings of Napa… a series backed and lauded by none other than Opr...

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October 27, 2022 32 min

Andrea McKenzie is a fearless entrepreneur who’s building an art empire…one piece at a time. The fierce visual artist has brought her Caribbean culture to the fore with her unique signature and style. Andrea creates unique pieces using glass, feathers and other materials to blend them and weaves them into “kaleidoscopic pieces”. She uniquely infused glass, feathers, acrylic and other materials on canvas which propelled her into ach...

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October 14, 2022 8 min

On this instalment of 54Bites...we get talk about getting giddy about guests. As an interviewer, I sat in the hot seat and stepped into some friendly family fire to talk about what impact my love of my guests has on the show. 

For the honest fireside chat, I sat down with my sister, Siphiwe Mwase, who's also the intro voice on this show.


Instagram – https://www.instagram.com/crowd54/

Email gues...

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September 29, 2022 32 min


In this episode, host Kondwani Mwase is joined by Rwandan urban music icon, Cassa. Cassa emerged from the music scene via private radio station Contact FM and has gone on to tour alongside the likes of Lupe Fiasco and Delasoul. He was also chosen specially to perform a tribute to Music Producer Quincy Jones!

Among other things, Cassa opened up about his musical journey, the source of his inspiratio...

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September 15, 2022 14 min

Language and meaning dissected, this week's bite-sized conversation is a crude attempt to explore a "universal" lingua franca for the continent. Complex, controversial and even confusing are some terms that come to mind when we wade into the fray. 

You'll hear from our guest Dr. Josephine Dzahene-Quarshie , professor of linguistics in Ghana, who's devoted to this concept and construct. An interesting and different way of thinki...

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September 1, 2022 35 min

Our guest, Jana Rae Yerxa, is one of our season's most inspirational guests. She's an activist, writer, poet, teacher and community leader. She not only embodies the spirit of the work we do but stands as a key model and shining light to learn from. 

From her insights on being a selfless, or selfish, activist to her guidance on how to protect oneself from the weight of deep work on racial justice, Jana-Rae exposed us to her wor...

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August 18, 2022 9 min

Our bite-sized conversations continue with superfan Natasha Soobramanie as our guest in studio. Taped on location, we spent some quick time reflecting on the work and import of the work of Calvert Jones. Our show focused on one central and perhaps contentious question - which work of art Calvert needs to tackle next???????


If you haven't already, listen to this episode of 54Lights to understand more about Ca...

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August 4, 2022 30 min

Artist Calvert Jones is best known for his stunningly bright and provocative works of art. This past year, I sat down with Calvert to talk about his work, its deep meaning and the ways in which the work blows beyond the canvas. Calvert, a hyper realist painter, sort to make a profound impact when he returned to his native home of St. Vincent. The motivation moved him to channel his culture’s paradise into his work…designing pieces...

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July 21, 2022 7 min

Our debut of 54Bites - our reflections on things said and unsaid from our previous episode. Today, we talk trailers...what's in, what's out and what there's to regret. 

In case you were wondering...we see the typo:-) 


Patinece Adamu is an inspirational and remarkable broadcaster. She's an EP on several works including;

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The opening curtain rises again on 54Lights podcast. 

This season, one unlike we've ever had, will unfold in a slow and stead burn. We will light up Africa by meeting (at least) 54 guests (daughters, sons and stars) with roots in (at least) 54 countries so that they can give us (at least) 54 heartfelt stories from the great continent.  

We're telling these under told stories from Africa (from Africans), to all corners ...

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February 2, 2022 5 min

We close Season III of 54Lights podcast with a short recap of the power of the season and an invitation to stay tuned for the next, and final, Season IV. 

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January 19, 2022 35 min

The next episode is our final guest-led conversation for Season III. It features the formidable poet, author and activist Rheima Robinson. We were privileged to have Rheima join us in our virtual studios and walk us through her work, approach and motivation. 

Rheima walked us through her early forays into writing - drawing inspiration and guidance from her mother and grandmother. As women and newcomers to the UK, they both helped p...

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As we near the end of Season IV of 54Lights, we sat down with one of the best and brightest Creative Directors in North America. Matt Rennick, a friend and fantastic ally of the African community, joined us in our virtual studios to talk about his philanthropic campaign to raise money for three Nigerian organizations. Compelled to act during the EndSARS unrest in Nigeria, Matt channeled his love and admiration of Fela Kuti, his cre...

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December 16, 2021 31 min

The Left Turn (Season3. Episode21..) is one of the most important in our season. It follows the work of guest musical composer for this show, Roland Best, while he takes us on a journey through his business venture. One that centers around a lifelong love of music. Through that, he’s built E-Rol Beats – a music downloading service that features original music that he’s composed and refined. His talents have been on full display on ...

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As we near the close of our third season of 54Lights, we’re dedicating the next few episodes on culture creators that are pushing our collective world ever forward. This next episode intercepts the prolific community activist Dr. Joseph Smith who, as you’ll hear in the conversation, is no average Joe. He’s a bold entrepreneur that has created youth programs, a speaking practice and continues to create conditions where people around...

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September 20, 2021 44 min

In a sublime departure from our regular programming, 54Lights host Kondwani Mwase sat down with singer songwriter Al Lee to talk about his poignant work – Revolution St. The album, the artist’s second release, is a deeply personal endeavour. From his home in Revelstoke BC, Al Lee broke down his early days in music and even shared that his original move to the mic (i.e. singing) was born of necessity rather than want. 

Al Lee a...

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In Part Two of our interview with FoodShare's Executive Director Paul Taylor, 54Lights podcast asks our guest to help explain the impetus and strategy of FoodShare. In his profoundly thoughtful responses, Paul Taylor takes us through the food system and how communities can find agency for advancement through food. Far from the only lever, food has a way of empowering and feeding (pardon the pun) the dis...

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