Podcast 'Up/Root' celebrates 1st anniversary

It explores identity through race, religion and language

In Summary

•Event will go down at trademark hotel

Lilly Bekele-Piper
Lilly Bekele-Piper
Image: Courtesy

Up/Root, a podcast about identity, culture and global living, is marking its first anniversary at the Trademark Hotel on Wednesday.

Ahead of the ceremony, Word Is spoke to the creator and executive producer Lilly Bekele-Piper, an Ethiopian-American immigrant living in Nairobi.

"I left my home country of Ethiopia when I was one year old. I returned there to live when I was 30," she said.

"During the three intervening decades, my identity was shaped by many overlapping inputs: my Ethiopian family, American culture, gender, race, being an immigrant. I have discovered that my culture and identity are rooted in many places and experiences.

"I created this show to explore topics I am passionate about that are linked by the common experiences of the diaspora, African nationals, immigrants and anyone who feels at home in many places — or none. It creates space to tell the stories of multi-everything people as well as promote the rich and dynamic history and people of the continent. That's my focus."


This time round, Piper will be speaking on issues that cut across race, religion and language, with guests including Sam Imende, Dr Huwaida Bulhan-Betts and Jason Dunford.

"We tell global stories of joy, justice and resilience with an aim to redefine what it means to be uprooted while celebrating the roots that enable us to rise up," Bekele said.

"After a year of meeting amazing people and asking a variety of questions, I see that Up/Root is creating conversational bridges between people and ideas and experiences. Our stories are inspiring and challenging and are creating opportunities for listeners to connect, learn and act."

The host of the night will be comedienne extraordinaire Sharon 'Shazz' Nderitu.

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