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How Afripods CEO Molly Jensen is leading the podcast wave sweeping Africa

Afripods is a free podcast hosting platform that is building the largest library of African audio stories on the planet

Afripods CEO Molly Jensen

Molly Jensen, the CEO of Afripods, a pan-African podcast hosting platform, was recently interviewed by Kevin Y. Brown on the Africa X series on the Create Your Life Series podcast.

During the interview, Jensen discussed her journey from being a New Yorker to becoming the CEO of Afripods in Nairobi, Kenya.

She also shared her experience of leading and motivating a team, overcoming challenges, and getting comfortable with discomfort and uncertainty.

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Jensen said she is excited to help digitize African stories and wants to see African creators take up as much space as possible while creating avenues to help them get paid for their work.

“With Afripods we’re able to speak to these creators, we’re able to create a technical solution for them, we’re able to advocate for them,” she said.

She believes that with Afripods, they are not just enforcing their opinion but listening to what creators want and then advocating for it and making sure that it happens alongside their incredible team.

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“Everyone who has an opinion thinks their opinion is right–that’s the thing about an opinion. For me, I am working at being better at listening, hearing people all the way through. Not just having my thought and waiting to speak my thought, but actually hearing what someone else says,” Molly stated.

Jensen also shared tips for aspiring business leaders and women, in particular, wanting to build their own companies.

According to Jensen, her experience as an athlete has translated into her success as a CEO.

"I think that when it comes to keeping myself focused and keeping myself moving my background as an athlete really helped," she said.

“I think a lot of times you want everything to go right, and you’ll miss your opportunity to catch the wave by waiting for perfection," Molly added.

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Jensen also talked about being a good leader and managing relationships with team members in the workplace.

"I think as you touch an emotion what happens is that you make people feel less than, you make people feel insecure, you make people feel not confident to speak, so from a work perspective, we can do as much work as we can–there’s going to be more work tomorrow and the day after that and after that–but if you feel unsafe, if you feel disrespected, if you feel you can’t voice your opinion, we have to stop and handle that,” she noted.

She discussed the differences between doing business in Africa vs. in New York and shared tips for problem-solving when your perspective is different from your team members.

Molly said one of the significant differences she observed is that Kenyans like to do business with people they know and can trust, so building those relationships is key.

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“People care about relationships, which then goes back to this innate understanding of community. People matter. And once I really understood that the connecting piece of all this was people, I was able to lean in on the experience and continue to research the best ways to get maximum value out of people,” she said.

Jensen believes that podcasting is still in its early stages in Africa, and there is a lot of potential for growth.

She sees podcasting as a way to tell African stories and share African perspectives with the world.

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