Category Archives: Food for thought

7 reasons why I joined the TEDxEuston team

By | 7 Reasons, Food for thought, TEDxEuston2015 | No Comments

To celebrate our 7th TEDxEuston conference (have you got your ticket yet?), over the next few weeks we will take a look at our Top 7 reasons for all things TEDxEuston.

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With the 5th December rapidly approaching and the team working all around the clock to get our best TEDxEuston conference yet together, I look back at why I joined the core team in the first place.

1. The team 

The incredibly hard working core team is made up of inspiring individuals from across the globe. We are all knitted together through our passion for all things Africa. We work closely, sharing ideas, executing visions and most importantly, becoming friends.

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2. The speakers

The speakers are a huge asset to the conference and a benefit to joining the team. It’s wonderful to get a further peek into the speaker’s stories. Speaking to Zain Asher and her mother at last year’s TEDxEuston gave me a even further insight into her story or laughing with Ikenna Azuike whilst hearing more about his creative ideas. Those moments and personal interactions with the speakers provides even more inspiration.

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3. The atmosphere

There’s nothing better than working throughout the year, planning and prepping to finally seeing it all come together on TEDxEuston Saturday. Hundreds of guests all in one room and with a passion for Africa is nothing but electrifying. You can feel the energy throughout the day, the positivity and the warmness of Africa all within the middle of London in the winter.

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4. The location

Talking of London, the location is easily one of the reasons why I joined the team. Based within my hometown and the epicentre of a lot of conversations, I believe London is the perfect place to hold the only TEDx conference outside Africa, about Africa.

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5. The opportunity 

Being apart of the TEDxEuston team is a great conversation starter in any circle. The prestige and reputation that TED has built up over the years is clearly very strong. The ability to marry the passion for Africa, my commitment to helping it move forward and channel the drive through TEDxEuston is a great opportunity. It may be a small move in the larger plan of the continent, but its satisfying to contribute in my own way.

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6. The network

It’s a pleasure working within a team that has such a strong network. Between the mixture of healthcare professionals, creative artisans and business maestros that make up the core team, we certainly are only 6 degrees of separation from anyone.

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7. The audience

Finally, you the audience make it worthwhile to keep working on TEDxEuston! It’s great speaking to people throughout the day, tweeting those that couldn’t make it, adding comments to the livestream and discussing the stories and ideas days, weeks and months after the conference.

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Tosin Adeniji is a TEDxEuston team member and leads TEDxEuston social media communications. As a marketing professional who has specialised in music, entertainment and the creative sector, Tosin balances her work with social action projects, particularly in Africa.

The other narrative of Africa | Viewpoint

By | Food for thought, TEDxEustonSalon | No Comments

Maputo Beach

This July marks 30 years since one of the world’s most memorable concerts took place in London’s Wembley Stadium. Live Aid was a popular well-intended concert held to provide relief to people affected by the famine in Ethiopia.

At the time images of famine, disease and helplessness played well in the UK media and succeeded in tugging at the heart – and purse – strings of many who wanted to help ‘poor Africans’.

Unfortunately though, because of the ‘danger of the single story’ as celebrated former TEDxEuston speaker Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie describes so eloquently at another TED event, many Westerners knew very little else about Africa as the media provided no other narrative.

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That was 30 years ago. Fast forward to present-day 2015, and still we struggle to read the full African narrative. We have to strain our ear to learn of Africa’s resourcefulness, innovation, and entrepreneurship; or about the overwhelming hospitality, and generosity, or of the unbridled (and, some may argue, unrivalled) natural beauty of the continent, which can – literally – take your breath away.

Don’t get me wrong: I do not attempt to throw rose-tinted paint all over this verdant, mineral rich, well-populated continent. I know much better than to suggest that Africa is trouble-free.

But no continent is. I had to go to Africa to fully appreciate just how badly wrong the story is told here in the UK, and how desperately that narrative needs to be filled out. Uganda was the first country I visited.

Overwhelmed by its beauty, vibrancy, and richness and Ugandans’ hospitality, generosity and resourcefulness, I was startled at just how far removed my version of Africa is from the images perpetuated in UK media.

Since then, every trip to other parts of Africa confounds the Western tale and reconfirms my own narrative.

A snapshot of my version of #TheAfricaTheMediaNeverShowsYou

  • A ten-year-old boy who, with the help of his uncle, built his own home for himself and younger brother
  • Overwhelming generosity of every home-maker, irrespective of income
  • The extraordinary beauty of the undulant hills and rich-green of Virunga Park, the stunning beaches of Maputo, or the wildlife reserves in Kenya

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Then there’s William Kamkwamba the young man who built a windmill; or the technological innovation of women such as harnessing solar energy as seen by our recent TEDxEustonSalon speaker Olasimbo Sojinrin from Solar Sister. Or the progress in entertainment as seen by former TEDxEuston speaker Jason Njoku’s Iroko TV , and the list goes on.

TEDxEuston is about championing, celebrating and inspiring others about Africa. We are determined to play our role in providing that fuller narrative of the African story. Year after year, through our TEDxEuston events, we successfully inspire and encourage Africans and African aficionados to promote all dimensions of the continent.

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We will continue to press on, celebrating in the richness and fullness of this great continent, determined to see in 30 years’ time, Africa is represented in all its fullness, richness and beauty.

 

 

Eulette Ewart is a TEDxEuston team member and jointly leads TEDxEuston communications. As a communications professional who has specialised in human rights and sustainable development across the continent, Eulette has travelled to Africa on several occasions.