Meet Malini and Sikemi, the Cambridge students and creators of the Generation C podcast

The Generation C podcast gives voice to the perspectives of university students during the pandemic

Malini Sachdeva-Masson and Sikemi Adetola are the creators and hosts of the Generation C podcast. Two first-year students studying at Murray Edwards College, they started Generation C in March of this year to highlight the issues we are currently facing as a generation. As they told The Tab: “We didn’t feel that there were enough people giving our perspective, and our generation has been hit by the coronavirus pandemic in such a unique way. That’s why we started the podcast, to show things from our perspective.”

The Tab Cambridge was fortunate enough to chat to Malini and Sikemi about their podcast, where it began and what they want to achieve as their project continues to grow.

‘Generation C stands for Covid, Cambridge and Change’

The Generation C podcast aims to share the perspectives of university students, in particular those at Cambridge, who have had their education disrupted by the coronavirus pandemic. It also addresses current issues and problems that students and young people face across the country such as diet culture, online activism, sustainability and the North-South divide. When explaining how these issues are reflected in their podcast name, Generation C, Sikemi said: “The C stands for Covid, Cambridge and change.”

Malini and Sikemi said that they were inspired to create the podcast due to “all the change we have experienced as a generation over the past few months.” Generation C is all about “giving our perspective as Cambridge students during the pandemic.”

Geography student Sikemi explained that the beginning of Generation C “wasn’t a planned thing, it was so random!” She described how, on one of her lockdown walks in March, she suddenly thought “it would be fun to do my own podcast.” So she messaged MML student Malini to see if she’d be up for joining her, and “within two days” they had already sorted their first episode.

Malini (right) and Sikemi (left) are both first years at Murray Edwards College

‘It’s our conversations but with more purpose… and a filter!’

Malini said that creating the podcast has been surprisingly easy, despite recording all episodes remotely over Zoom. She described that “with technology, it has been really simple, it’s just about time management!”

The girls found that during remote Lent term they were virtually FaceTiming every day, so when Sikemi suggested the idea of making a podcast, Malini jumped at the chance. Malini described the process of making the podcast, saying that “it was just about transferring our conversations and recording them. The podcast is just our conversations but with more purpose… and a filter!”

‘We talk about being from Gen Z but in a university context’

Reflecting on choosing topics to discuss on the podcast, Malini said that “we always talk about issues we face as students. We talk about being from Gen Z but in a university context.” Past episodes have addressed issues such as online activism, diet culture, the North-South divide and the future of exams – all issues that Malini and Sikemi feel are relevant to our generation.

Malini explained the thought behind a particular episode they did where they spoke about activism in the digital age: “We chose online activism as it has been so prominent on social media in the past year.” Listening to the episode, you can’t help but feel that it really captures and weighs up the ongoing debates over a variety of issues that our generation face, from the Black Lives Matter and Extinction Rebellion movements, to sexual assault and class divisions.

The Generation C podcast can be found on Spotify and Apple Podcasts

They also discuss the North-South divide in one episode. Sikemi revealed that “when we returned to Cambridge for Easter term, issues surrounding the North-South divide cropped up and we thought it would make an interesting episode.”

Malini and Sikemi keep their topics relevant, the most recent episode exploring the future of exams as they debate the pros and cons of formal assessments whilst sharing their opinions and experiences. Their reflections mirror the thoughts of a large number of students and hearing conversations surrounding these relevant issues is certainly comforting.

The most important thing for Malini and Sikemi is sticking to the three C’s, their original concept behind the podcast. Luckily for them, Sikemi said: “It’s not too hard choosing the topics as the C’s can literally be applied to anything!”

‘We talk about change and making an impact’

The podcast also has guest speakers and Malini and Sikemi are focused on talking to organisations and individuals within the university that are making a change, fighting for important causes and leaving a lasting impact. For example, in an upcoming episode, Malini and Sikemi will be speaking to Scoop, an organisation run by university students which promotes sustainable living that is accessible to students.

A big part of Generation C is about demystifying Cambridge and in the future, Malini and Sikemi want to have a greater focus on access. Malini highlights the misinformation surrounding institutionalism at the University of Cambridge, something that they “really want to dispel” in future episodes. 

To keep up with all things Generation C, their podcast can be found here – it is uploaded fortnightly and can be listened to on Spotify and Apple Podcasts. You can follow Malini and Sikemi, as well as the podcast, on Instagram. 

All image credits: Malini Sachdeva-Masson

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