Lee Kasumba

Lee is the host of Africa State of Mind Podcast Series. A radio and TV presenter – and writer, Lee Kasumba, is the quintessential pan-African. She’s Ugandan by origin, raised in South Africa and somehow manages to feel at home anywhere on the continent. She views herself as an African first, before any nationality.

She started broadcasting at the age of 19, while doing a full-time BA in Dramatic Arts at Wits University. She was also the youngest and longest standing magazine editor for YMAG. Since then, she has presented African radio shows in Norway, co-hosted the BBC’s “World Have Your Say” (broadcast to over 20 million people worldwide) and worked with radio stations in the Netherlands.

As head of Channel O Africa from 2011 – 2015 she gained experience in production and management teams. Those skills came to good use when Lee joined the Big Brother Africa executive team ensuring African authenticity of the show.

Her insights into the African continent are unequalled, as is evidenced by her soft spot for Ethiopian fashion and a fully developed palate for Tilapia – especially the way they make it in Ghana! Other favourites include Moi Moi – a bean-like dish from Nigeria; Pilau from Tanzania, and Matooke with Binyebwa sauce from Uganda (biased much perhaps).

Lee has served as a TV host for Emcee Africa. She also hosted the African Live 8 music concert, and presented the keynote address to the United Nations at the Global African Hip-Hop Summit. Her radio show, “Arambe” was the biggest radio show to come out of South Africa and the first to actively promote and support South African nationals.

She has broadcast internationally, presenting African radio shows in Norway, has co-hosted the BBC’s “World Have Your Say” with Ross Atkins (broadcast to over 20 million people worldwide) and was a regular panellist on the show. Lee has also worked with radio stations in Netherlands on a show called ‘This Is Africa’ – their biggest hip-hop programme.

Among so many achievements, Lee:

  • has been labelled the ‘First Lady of Hip hop’ in South Africa
  • has hosted several hip-hop battles in South Africa
  • has travelled The Continent as TV host for Emcee Africa
  • has exclusively interviewed various International hip hop acts including Damian Marley, K’naan, Ludacris, Snoop Dogg, Missy Elliott, Eve and Praz of the Fugees
  • hosted the Live 8 and the “Mixtape Interviews” with Missy Elliott
  • is the First African woman to be featured in XXL Magazine
  • emceed Beyoncé’s concert in South Africa
  • has been a judge at the BET awards, South Africa Music Awards and Hype Magazine’s Hip Hop Awards.

As a singer and songwriter, Lee performed at Alicia Key’s Banquet and has performed backup vocals for a number of award-winning albums.