The Podcast Pushing Nigerian Pop-Culture celebrates its Fourth anniversary in style.
“You are listening to F&S Uncensored, the most consistent podcast out of Nigeria,” the cheerful voice greets you with refreshing enthusiasm within the first few seconds of the show. The candor that seeps from Feyikemi Akin-Bankole and Simi Badiru’s voices is as alluring as the conversations that shape the podcast.
F&S Uncensored is an avant-garde podcast that focuses on Nigerian pop culture and socio-economic experiences faced by the average Nigerian youth. Kickstarting in October 2018, the podcast is hosted weekly by Simi Badiru and Feyikemi Akin-Bankole, Two experienced mavericks within the African music scene who built solid legacies with their combined track record of deliveries.
Blending their voices as one, the enigmatic duo has become a mirror for the Nigerian Gen Z, including those in the diaspora, holding the lucid conversations that matter. With the pop-culture podcast reaching its 4th anniversary, F&S Uncensored thrives as a safe space for every Gen-Z to emote, find closure and feel the warmth of community. The latest F&S Uncensored explores the troubling fiasco of Nigerians stranded in Dubai and the second anniversary of the 2020 Lekki Toll Gate massacre and spotlights how current and grassroots-centric the podcast has become.
Four years ago, the podcast was a product of grit and child-like passion for the duo to analyze trends within the pop culture in Nigeria while also discussing their personal experiences as Diasporic Nigerian Gen-Z sweethearts. Today, with several hundred episodes deep, the podcast has become the latest recipient of the Spotify New Africa Podcast fund and a household show for the Nigerian youth, predominantly.
After four years, F&S Uncensored retains the same spirit it began with, radiating with revamped audio engineering, richer storytelling, and an exciting playlist dubbed F&S Rotations that promotes upcoming music talents and showcases the best of contemporary African music.
Speaking on their journey so far, “We started back in 2018 when the only podcast that was big at the time was The Loose Talk Podcast. It was the only podcast doing something similar to what we were interested in at the time. We have always had a keen interest in entertainment and pop culture, and we always wanted to go into the industry, but we did not know how because we did not particularly want to do a YouTube show. There was a lot to say, so a Podcast was perfect for us to express our opinions and music interests,” Simi Badiru reminisced.
“We bought a mic from Amazon. It was not really a proper mic, but we both used it to record. For the first year of the podcast, we did not edit. The only editing we did was putting a jingle we found on the internet at the beginning of the podcast. So, if we made mistakes on any episode, that was how it stayed. So, we got used to speaking like that, hence the name Uncensored.”
Interestingly, the first episode of the podcast, released in October 2018, was an ode to Palmwine Music 2 by Show Dem Camp, among other new music at that time. On the Fourth Anniversary, F&S Uncensored reviews the recently released Palmwine Music 3.
“I am very proud of our achievements and how far we have come. We have been consistently putting out quality episodes every week for four years. We deserve to pat ourselves on the back and celebrate this win,” Feyikemi Akin-Bankole commented on her fond memories. “I remember how we kept re-recording our intro on the first episode of our debut. We were so scared to put it out and what the reception would be. I remember how my laptop crashed the night we released the first episode. Thank God I had sent it to Simi earlier. Similarly, I remember how happy we used to be when we got 100 plays a week, but that’s all changed now.”
The tales that serenade F&S Uncensored might have been exciting on the outside, but behind the scenes, the challenges they endured nearly pushed them to quits. “The year 2019 through 2021 were tough because we were recording and releasing episodes, but the new team we had was not really pushing us. So, that was quite difficult to go through.” Simi Badiru buttressed.
Regardless, the duo returned stronger, reinforcing their vision of being a voice of solace, clarity, and excitement for every Nigerian youth at home and abroad.
Simi speaks on how they started without any solid plans for the podcast. “It was just vibes. Now, we give a voice to people that struggle. I have gone to school in the diaspora and lived my whole life in Nigeria. The podcast follows our journey from when we were in the university to when we decided to move back home, Feyikemi trying to leave, and me being somewhere in between. So we are a voice for many people who struggle on this journey and need some direction.”
“We also give upcoming artistes a platform through the playlist, and speaking about them on the podcast too, because we know how hard it is to build from scratch and support goes a long way.”
With a passion for documenting the culture and people currently setting trends in the entertainment space, they have had notable guests such as the talented content creator, Korty, international visual artist T.S.E, and Grammy-nominated producer T.M.X.O.
From high school and university best friends to being vibrant voices and one of the pioneering female-only Nigerian podcasts, Feyikemi Akin-Bankole and Simi Badiru are muses for many other young people within the entertainment industry. And for them, after four years of consistent growth, the Spotify New Africa Podcast fund is a huge milestone.
“It can only go up from here. We are determined to take the Nigerian and African podcast industry to the next level. I do not know how yet, but I believe in us, and you should too,” Akin-Bankole grins, with hope vivid in her eyes.
F&S Uncensored is available across streaming platforms.