Ep 06 - Chika Ezeanya-Esiobu - Indigenous Knowledge Systems

Brief intro

Chika Ezeanya-Esiobu  is a researcher, teacher, non-fiction and fiction writer, and a public intellectual. Chika holds a Ph.D. in African Development and Policy Studies from Howard University in Washington D.C.

I discovered Chika in a recent TED talk, where she talks about how Africa can use its traditional knowledge to make progress, and I immediately emailed her an invitation to join experimentQ podcast. I am a big believer in learning experiences crafted with respect to local identity and cultural context, and I was looking forward to Chika’s perspective.

This was the first distance / aka Skype recorded interview, between Mumbai and California, and I am immensely grateful for Chika who offered almost 2 hours of her time, for us to uncover stories leading to a career as indigenous knowledge expert, the current state of curriculum on the continent and a vision for the future of Africa, when it comes to education, dignity and progress.  


Show notes

03:25 - A life of asking questions. Chika's biography

05:05 - A question from Episode 05's guest

07:50 - On human beauty and truth

10:30 - Hashtags game: Seek - Believe 

12:00 - Why education?

14:40 - Wow learning experiences in 2017

17:15 - On competition in schools and communities

19:20 - African gift inspirations

20:40 - On failure and success

25:00 - The mission to build dignity for the Africans.

28:15  - On starting a career in Indigenous Knowledge Systems

33:40 - People who contributed to indigenous knowledge development

35:10 - From banking to a truth seeker

39:25 - Convictions about African curriculum over time

43:50 - On documenting and sharing indigenous knowledge

47:40 - How to bring African authenticity into the mainstream and youth culture?

54:30 - The tragedy of losing community knowledge

59:05 - Two scenarios for the future of education on the African continent

1:02:20 - Building space for kids’ self-awareness/discovery

1:04:50 - Learning environments for offline schools

1:06:55 - How can we recognise learning experience outside schools?

1:16:30 - Enlightened human beings

1:20:50 - The role of parents and communities for better learning

1:28:15 - Books and authors on African Indigenous Knowledge

1:32:10 - Advice for educators

1:34:10 - Advice for young students

1:36:00 - If I were the Minister of Education in an African country

1:39:00 - Open mic: Africa is blooming

1:41:10 - A question from the community member - Freddy



  1. Before We Set Sail

  2. The West and the rest of us

  3. Decolonising the African mind

  4. Whose Education for All?

  5. The Africans: A Triple Heritage



  1. Ali Mazrui

  2. Ngũgĩ wa Thiong'o

  3. Chinua Achebe

  4. Birgit Brock-Utne

  5. Chinweizu Ibekwe

  6. Mahatma Gandhi


Links / Resources

  1. ChikaforAfrica.com

  2. Chika's reading recommendations

  3. Chika on Twitter

  4. experimentQ on SoundCloud

  5. experimentQ on Patreon