One of the great perks of my role as Chaud Editor is to spend time copius amounts of time on YouTube – now why do I consider it a perk? I get to watch TED Talks and be greatly inspired and motivated. As this issue is our African issue – I picked up TED videos that spoke to me as a Child of Africa.
1. Danger of the Single Story by Chimamanda Adichie
Our lives, our cultures, are composed of many overlapping stories. Novelist Chimamanda Adichie tells the story of how she found her authentic cultural voice — and warns that if we hear only a single story about another person or country, we risk a critical misunderstanding. This TED Talk is from 4 years ago and still ingrained in my memory and also what I reverted back to in our working on this ‘New Africa’ issue. There are still so many stereotypes as to what Africa is and what Africans are. However as content creators our role is demystify that single story and share the many more stories of the New Africa!
2. We should all be Feminists: Chimamanda Adichie
”Today we live in a vastly different world. The person more likely to lead is not the physically stronger person. It is the more creative person, the more intelligent person, the more innovative person and there are no hormones for that. A man is as likely as a woman to be intelligent, to be creative, to be innovative. We have evolved but it seems to me that our ideas about gender have not.” Another great talk from Chimamanda Adichie. Every other day or month there is a blog, social media talk and trending topics about feminism, what it stands who is and is not a feminist, who should be a feminist. Chimamanda states how she was once told by an academic Nigerian woman that feminism was not our culture and unAfrican. However this talk challenges everyone to reevaluate what they deem as feminism, gender equality and gender roles.
3. Deprogramming the Colonized mind: Panashe Chigumadzi
Panashe Chigumadzi makes the case that stereotypes can be frustratingly hard to shake off, sometimes even for the very people they victimise. Africans especially, suffer from a 300 year old negative colonial narrative that has shaped not only how the world sees them, but in many ways also how they see themselves. In the hands of the colonial masters, the media has been a powerful and highly effective tool in this development. With technology and social media the landscape has changed. Increasingly, power is now more evenly distributed. Africans need to use that power to repair the damage and redefine what it means to be Black African. Africans need to deprogramme their colonized minds with good, compelling programming.
Panashe Chigumadzi is a young storyteller from Zimbabwe on a mission to ”redefine and reaffirm the African identity”. Inspired by untold African stories and agitated by African narratives that veer into “poverty porn”, her literary and other works move the conversation forward. Panashe organises African Film Club and has produced the documentary ‘Africa’s Upstarts’. In her day job she reports for CNBC Africa. This TEDTalk is fresh in my mind – it came at a time I needed it. As Chaud grows and branches into new territory, rest assured I will work to create content that is great, compelling and highlights Africa in a way that NEEDS to be told!
4. Telling The African Story – Komla Dumor
Komla Dumor is one of the most recognised faces voices at the British Broadcasting Corporation. Between 2009 and 2012 Komla was the anchor of the groundbreaking Africa Business Report on BBC World News. This program (a first for the BBC) took Komla to close to 20 African countries covering hundreds of thousands of miles interviewing the continents top entrepreneurs, politicians and policy makers. In addition to the European mornings Komla is the face and main anchor for the first BBC’s programme dedicated daily African news and current affairs show; Focus on Africa.
5. Whispers of Wisdom
Words of Wisdom consist of three guys and two girls who combine poetry, song and spoken word to talk about things that matter. I loved how these young people shared their story – very inspiring to share with the young Africans growing up today.