KCRW changed the course of my life

Written by Shaka Mali Tafari

Hi there, 

​​My work with KCRW changed the course of my life. At the start of the pandemic, I was an Uber driver in the middle of the worst depression since my mother’s deportation in 2004. My masters degree was collecting dust, I was living on my younger brother's couch, and I couldn’t find a job anywhere. I was lost and making excuses. And then, my best friend begged me to enter KCRW’s 2020 Radio Race. I lost. But for the first time ever, I was obsessed with something and I was relentless about learning more about radio. 

David Weinberg, the former host of KCRW’s Welcome to LA, agreed to mentor me. From there I partnered with KCRW to create radio stories told from my unique vantage point. This partnership has made me love myself again and has led to the career I always envisioned. Over the last two years I have created podcasts about my life, my hometown, and the people I love most. I’ve also had the opportunity to produce podcasts featuring JJ Abrams, Mark Cuban, and LA’s very own Snoop Dogg. KCRW gave me a path to fulfill my potential, which makes the station, and you, family to me. In my lifetime, I've had many blessings, but when I thought my luck ran out KCRW was there, and for that — I give thanks. 

Thank you so much for your support of KCRW and creators like me. Consider making a year-end donation today to keep emerging storytellers and all of KCRW going strong into 2023. Plus, we’ll double the meals if you choose LA Regional Food Bank or Foodbank of Santa Barbara as your thank you gift. 


Shaka Mali Tafari

P.S. Donate by Sunday at 11:59 PM PT, and you’ll be automatically entered to win a pair of tickets to see Adele’s sold-out show at Caesar’s Palace in Las Vegas along with a two-night hotel stay.*

*No contribution necessary to enter. Rules can be found at KCRW.com/give