In the US, Australia and Asia, podcasts have seen tremendous growth over the past decade. The appeal has steadily risen, thanks to increased creativity and connectivity.

From current events to pop culture, true crime and fiction, if you have a niche interest, it’s likely a podcast has already been created about it.

Podcasts are downloadable and streamable wherever you’re most comfortable listening – ​Apple’s podcast app, iTunes, SoundCloud, Spotify and Google Play, to name a few.

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And, as streaming becomes more accessible to South Africans, podcasting is likely to find its own local flavour.

Here are five podcast favourites from around the world to get you started:

I Think You’re Interesting

Based in the US, Vox’s mission is to explain the news. The platform does this in various ways, including a prolific YouTube presence and an innovative approach to podcast series.

In particular, I Think You’re Interesting is a weekly deep dive into the minds and methods of today’s pop-culture creators, hosted by Vox's Todd VanDerWerff.

Some well-known and some up-and-coming, VanDerWerff’s weekly guests include culture makers of almost every format conceivable, and their interviews feel like an insider’s guide to creativity.


Caliphate is The Times’s first documentary audio series. It follows veteran journalist Rukmini Callimachi, a foreign correspondent who interviews an alleged former Islamic State member as part of her exploration into the most feared terrorist organisation in the world.

The 10-part series hangs on one central question: Who are they?

Callimachi skillfully and empathetically takes listeners into a world that has far been obscured by fear, misinformation and global politics.

It also provides insights into the life of a conflict journalist. The human behind the story is often removed from the day-to-day reporting from a crisis zone, but in Caliphate listeners are invited into the process that drives this interesting and often life-threatening pursuit of the truth.

The 200-Year-Old

While the non-fiction genres such as true crime and current events are undeniably owning the podcast space, there has been a rise in fiction, and most notably the way fiction is told within the confines of an audio-only format. In The 200-Year-Old, listeners are treated to a taste of both genres.

One of the most downloaded podcasts in SA, the locally made series draws on science, trend research and carefully scripted storytelling to paint a picture of a world 200 years from now.

Set in 2218, it tells the story of the world’s first 200-year-old person, named Lesedi, who some scientists predict has already been born. What will work be like, what will love be like when ageing is no longer a factor?

2 Dope Queens

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Hosted by comedians Phoebe Robinson and Jessica Williams, 2 Dope Queens is a perfect example of something many of us already know: diverse content is good content.

It’s raw, funny and topical. Listeners can expect candid conversations about sex, romance, race, hair journeys and more, with female comedians, comedians of color, and comedians from the LGBTQ community.

While the episodes are taped live in Brooklyn, each one is edited for easily digestible hilarity.

Afropop Worldwide

Now in its third season, Afropop Worldwide is an internationally syndicated podcast that unpacks current affairs such as Fees Must Fall to the sounds of Brooklyn through the lense of music from Africa and the African diaspora.

From the past to the present, Afropop combines music, history and culture to tells stories from the African continent.

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