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Quirky News and More with What's Up Africa

Ikenna Azuike is a popular African YouTuber asking the question “What’s Up Africa,” his YouTube platform where serious social, religious, political and human rights issues concerning Africa are addressed using satire as a vehicle.

Born in Lagos to a Nigerian father and German-Ukrainian mother, the now Netherlands-based Ikenna was seven when he was brought by his parents back to the United Kingdom (where the couple met). He studied law in the UK and practiced there before moving to the United States to work as a lawyer in the American branch of a company he worked with in London.

Unhappy with his legal profession, he made the unlikely career switch to his early love, comedy, finding inspiration in satirical news shows to deliver thought-provoking yet hilarious commentaries on a wide range of grave subjects such as famine, slavery, gender (in)equality, child marriage, female genital mutilation, overstaying political leaders, to everyday but no less serious issues like disingenuous millionaire self-appointed pastors, road safety (or lack of it), and police inaction, to name a few.

What’s Up Africa was launched in 2011 (Ikenna, using a different username, joined YouTube in 2007), and quickly adapted to the digital generation using fast-paced and emphatic visual storytelling that has evolved into a satirical news show.

Despite Ikenna’s trepidations that Africans might not be receptive to his approach, style and content, What’s Up Africa has proven to be quite relatable, gaining almost 25,000 subscribers and more than 5.4 million views since its launch, making it one of the most popular YouTube channels in Africa. Outside of the continent, the show has not gone unnoticed among the African diaspora, especially in Europe: BBC World News has picked it up and broadcasts it twice weekly.