Meet The Team

Aikande Kwayu, Associate Editor

Aikande Kwayu (@aikande) was a converted Europeanist, studying British politics, but failed to keep the faith and moved on to study Tanzanian politics in particular party politics, political economy of public services, and policy studies. She is a student of political science and a development consultant based in Tanzania, and has published an important book on Religion and British International Development Policy. More info here


Chipo Dendere, Associate Editor

Chipo Dendere spends far too much time doing research on Twitter, but that hasn’t stopped her from becoming a Professor of Political Science in the Africana Studies Department at Wellesley College. Today, Chipo makes important contributions to debates on democratization, elections, voting behaviour and social media, while regularly providing commentary for CNN, BBC, and AL Jazeera, to name but a few. More info here


Golden Matonga, Associate Editor

Golden Matonga is a football romantic stuck in an ill-advised relationship with Arsenal FC while masquerading as a journalist. He is the Investigations Director for the Platform for Investigative Journalism (PIJ), a non-profit centre for investigative journalism in Malawi, and occasionally gets a byline in the Financial Times, Economist Magazine, Mail & Guardian, and The Continent. A member of the International Consortium for Investigative Journalism (ICIJ), he has won several journalism awards. More info here

Ibrahim Barrie, Associate Editor

Ibrahim Barrie (@ibarrie44) is passionate about democratic consolidation in Africa as Golden Matonga is about football, and was a Mandela Washington Fellow in 2021. He is also a huge Real Madrid fan who has enjoyed winning several Champions League finals, all while teaching Public Policy and is the Postgraduate Programme Coordinator for the Masters in Sustainable Development course at the University of Makeni in Sierra Leone. More info here

Idayat Hassan, Associate Editor

If you look up “intellectual powerhouse” in the dictionary, you may well find a picture of Idayat Hassan (@HassanIdayat). The Director of the highly respected Centre for Democracy and Development (CDD) – an Abuja-based policy and research organization – she has published on everything from the use of social media in elections to the impact of Boko Haram and bringing think tanks into the digital era. More info here

Benjamin Oestericher, Associate Editor

Benjamin Oestericher is a first year student at Georgetown University’s School of Foreign Service majoring in African Regional Studies. He is a passionate electoral nerd, having interned for democracy reform organizations such as FairVote. He loves reading and writing about the African continent. More info here.

Mbulle-Nziege LeonardMbulle-Nziege Leonard, Associate Editor

Mbulle-Nziege Leonard (@LennyMbulle) is a proud Cameroonian who has spent the better proportion of his life in South Africa and the US. A lover of basketball, hip-hop and (wow, another) long-suffering Arsenal fan, he believes Cameroon has the best joloff rice – #JoloffWars. Leonard is currently doing his PhD in Political Studies at the University of Cape Town, where he is analysing democratization trends in Francophone West Africa. More info here

Nic Cheeseman, Founder and Editor

Nic Cheeseman (@fromagehomme) used to be one of those people who never left Oxford, but then departed to Birmingham in search of new restaurants and hard rock. He mainly talks about democracy and elections in Ghana, Kenya, Nigeria, Uganda, Zambia and Zimbabwe but occasionally strays further afield. A former editor of African Affairs, he is sometimes accused of being a political scientist. More info here

Danniella Verity, Communications

Dannie is a PhD researcher at the University of Warwick. Her research focuses on agency during critical juncture periods in Kenya, and uses the excuse of political performance analyses to critique people’s fashion choices. She is assisted by her three feline office associates; Pippin, Rosie and Bowie. More info here.