Journalist - Author - Speaker
From an early age, Penny Randell has always enjoyed a good story, whether telling it herself or conducting an interview. Her award-winning 2005 4-part radio series, The War in Northern Uganda was the result of a visit to the internationally displaced persons (IDP) camps near Gulu and the culmination of years of living in Kampala as a cultural researcher, radio personality and journalist and traveling throughout eastern, central and southern Africa with her son Peyton. Her recounting of their African exploits never fails to elicit an incredulous response, usually accompanied by “You’ve got a big story!” or words to that effect. Such responses inspired the compilation of adventures into Becoming African - The First 3 Years.
Since first traveling to Uganda with her son in 1997 to live there for 2 ½ years, she has returned six times, visiting most of the countries of central, eastern and southern Africa, exploring eastern Europe and much of the Middle East as well. Penny is returning to Uganda in September of 2018 to rekindle old acquaintances and make new ones. She'll be staying in Kampala once again, with frequent visits up country and maybe even some neighbor states as well.
Her continuing humanitarian efforts in Uganda revolve around women and the family unit, providing encouragement, advice and support through her Skylor Self-Help Foundation, established in 2006. Originally hired as a primary school teacher and health advisor because of her biology degree, she became a writer and presenter for the morning show of Kampala’s most popular radio station, Capital FM, drawing upon her years of experience as a SAG actor and her extensive commercial radio and TV work. She has cultivated relationships at all levels of Ugandan society, from high-ranking government officials to prominent business owners, shopkeepers, middle-class employees, laborers, con-men of all shapes, sizes and religious affiliations along with people of the bush. Penny pursued a master’s in biology along with journalism courses and established the first Sunshine Week conference after completing her biology degree at the University of Alaska Anchorage. She wrote humorous articles for an Alaska travel publication and completed the definitive Alaskan Mammal Key while at the university. Currently residing in Evergreen, Colorado, Penny writes regularly for two publications and is constantly expanding her social media presence. She was elected 2017 Ambassador of the Year for the Evergreen Chamber of Commerce and speaks frequently at the Chamber and other Colorado groups. On her last trip to Uganda, everyone agreed that Becoming African was by far the best title for her book because that is exactly what she has done…and they can’t wait to read about it. “Africa loves you,” they tell her. She has amassed plenty of material for at least three more books, with a good start on another after this upcoming trip.
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Penny Randell (360) 441-5351
Uganda mobile +256 0773 606 322
Off to Africa again in 2019!
I arrived in September,
Peyton joined me in October,
and we came back to Colorado
(via Dublin and Toronto this time)