NEW YORK – Ugandan-born US journalist Shaka Ssali, is set to retire from Voice of America (VOA), capping over 20 years of hosting popular weekly show Straight Talk Africa.
Sources close to the veteran journalist told this website that Shaka, who is the managing editor of VOA’s English to Africa service, will turn his focus on motivational speaking and inspire young people in Africa.
Shaka is expected to take a few days off and retire to his birthplace in Kabale District, South western Uganda, before he can embark on his new chapter.
Shaka holds a doctorate in cross cultural communication and history from UCLA in California. He is a former Ford Foundation Fellow and has received numerous honors, including a United Nations Peacekeeping Special Achievement Award in International Journalism. Other awards include VOA’s Best Journalist Award and Kigezi College Butobere’s first ever Highest Achievement Award in International Human Communication. Butobere is located in Kabale, southwestern Uganda, and is Shaka’s alma mater.
During his career, Shaka has interviewed and hosted many presidents and prime ministers. Among them: General Olusegun Obasanjo, Former President, Nigeria; Levy Patrick Mwanawasa; Former President, Zambia; Tony Blair, Former Prime Minister, United Kingdom; Botswana President Seretse Khama Ian Khama; Ghana President John Evans Atta Mills; Tanzania President Jakaya Kikwete; Ellen Johnson Sirleaf, President, Liberia; Hifikepunye Pohamba, President, Namibia; Uganda President Yoweri Museveni; Joseph Kabila, President, DRC; Rwanda President Paul Kagame; and General Salva Kiir, First Vice President, and president of the government of Southern Sudan.