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Streaming Media

Performer (Interviewee)

April Zhu


Dr. You Li

Geographic Location



April Zhu is a freelance journalist based in Kenya. Her work focuses on gender, urban inequality, and the Chinese diaspora in Kenya. She is a senior editor at Guernica Magazine where she edits interviews and produces a podcast “Until Everyone is Free”. Her work has appeared in The New York Review of Books Daily, Foreign Policy, The Baffler Magazine, The South China Morning Post Magazine, VOA News, and others.

Zhu's COVID reporting helped people understand the systematic issues in the healthcare system in Africa. She recalled the early lockdowns in Kenya, government responses, and police violence. She criticized Sinophobia and racial discrimination and commented on the financial challenges and lack of institutional support for being a freelancer. Regardless, she's grateful for growing professionally during the pandemic. She urges the future generation to connect their crisis reporting with structural issues and make an impactful change.

Interview Date



Eastern Michigan University Archives, Journalism, women in journalism, Kenya, COVID-19, pandemic, discrimination, freelance journalist, systemic issues, government response, diaspora, urban inequality, Africa


Eastern Michigan University Archives

Digital Object File Type


Run Time



Researchers must obtain the interviewee's permission to quote from the interview until May 18, 2024. Copyright to the audio resource and its transcript, headshot, and stories is held by the content creator, author, artist, or other entity, and is provided here for educational purposes only. It may not be reproduced or distributed in any other format without written permission of the copyright owner, Eastern Michigan University Archives (

April Zhu, Oral History Interview, 2023