Friday, 28 June 2013

TEDxEuston supports and recommends Africa Writes 2013!

​Dear TEDxEuston Community,

We’re delighted to promote and support Africa Writes 2013, the annual African literature and book festival organised by our friends and partners at the Royal African Society
This year the festival will take place from 5-7 July at the British Library, bringing together established and emerging writers from across the continent and the diaspora for a three-day celebration of contemporary African writing.

Member of the TEDxEuston team, Ike Anya, will be chairing one of the plenary debates exploring the genre of non-fiction and TEDxEustonSalon speakers, Chibundu Onuzo and Jessica Horn, will also be taking part. Chibundu will pay tribute to the late Chinua Achebe and Jessica will be speaking at the launch of Scarf Magazine’s 2013 issue, “Revolutions”, as well as leading a family workshop.

Africa Writes 2013 has an exciting programme, which includes FREE book launches, readings, panel discussions, performances, youth and children’s workshops, and a book market. Here are some of the festival highlights which TEDxEuston recommends! 

Diaspora Writes Back
Friday 5 July, 6:30-8:30PM
British Library Conference Centre
Tickets: £7.50/£5 Book Here

Join four award-winning London-based African poets as they explore notions of culture, migration and identity in this stimulating evening of verse and versatility. Kenyan-born Somali poet Warsan Shire, Ugandan Nick Makoha, Ghanaian Nii Ayikwei Parkes and South African Leeto Thale will read and perform selected poems, followed by a discussion of their work with Bernardine Evaristo MBE, British-Nigerian author and founder of the Brunel University African Poetry Prize. 

Two Writers, Two Generations: Ngugi wa Thiong'o & Mukoma Wa Ngugi
​Saturday 6 July, 6:30-8:30PM
British Library Conference Centre
Tickets: £7.50/£5 Book Here

Spanning the history of Africa's independence and its contemporary literary scene, this event brings together acclaimed author Ngugi wa Thiong'o and his son, Mukoma Wa Ngugi, to talk about their respective works, preoccupations and aspirations as two writers from different generations and how they see the role of the writer in Africa today. The conversation will be chaired by respected critic, editor and writer, Margaret Busby.

Sunjata Keita and the Epic of Ancient Mali
Sunday 7 July, 4:30-5:30PM
British Library Conference Centre

​Africa Writes closes with a staged production of the Epic of Sunjata featuring actor Denver Isaac and master Kora player Seckou Keita. The Epic of Sunjata Keita, founder of the ancient Mali Empire, has been orally transmitted by West African griots and praise singers since the 13th Century. This specially commissioned production of the epic in English highlights the ancient roots of West African literature and the connection between the oral and written traditions. The performance will be introduced by Wilfred Willey (President of the Malian Community Council). 

Friday, 14 June 2013

Paddy supports TEDxKids@AsoRock on an amazing day in Abuja!

A member of the TEDxEuston team, Paddy Anigbo was recently in Abuja, Nigeria to support TEDxKids@AsoRock. This is his story - unedited! 

As preparations for TEDxEuston 2013 gathers pace, the team has settled on "RIPPLE EFFECT" as a theme. In the past 2 years, one of our points of conversation, has been the importance of sharing our TEDx experience and knowledge with other TEDx programs on the continent.

So when Ujuaku Akukwe, licencee for TEDxKids@AsoRock reached out to me for support, it presented a good opportunity to start the ripple effect.

With each passing week, I shared useful tools, templates and general advice by email with the team in Abuja, Nigeria. It was really exciting to see how much work they had done to prepare. The speaker list looked interesting with no less than 3 kids 8 to 14 years featured alongside some good role models like my dear friend, Kandibe Eya. Amongst the speakers were young leaders like Ezekeil Solesi and Omojuwa Japhet.

As the date approached, it became necessary to consider some level of practical support to add to what we had collaborated on. A business trip to Lagos offered a chance to attend and support the event and after much thought and with the family's support, I booked my trip to start with the event in Abuja.

On arrival, I met a team with bags of passion but needing help to articulate how to manage their "on the day" activities. Thankfully the experience we have at TEDxEuston came to bear. A marathon sleepless 48 hours followed with my hotel room converted to a makeshift project office!

Speaker prep was completed along with rehearsals especially for the kids, stage plan was implemented, registration plans were finalised and we got the most critical aspect of the day organised - the "RUN DOWN" as my colleagues and I have fondly called it over the years.

Finally it was Monday morning, Children's Day all over the world and a public holiday for kids in Nigeria. The team arrived very early and proceeded to complete setting up from where they stopped at 1am - barely 7 hours earlier.

In a full frontal challenge of conventional wisdom, delegates arrived well on time!!!! Finally, Ujuaku opened the event and the day ran through as smoothly as possible.

I can't say much about the individual talks as you have to keep an eye on for their release. You don't want to miss them.

And performances.....!

My day was spent in the engine room reminiscent of my first TEDxEuston event as a team member - just slides and controls for company.

The day ended with everyone in a typical high energy mode. It was obvious to me that the team had delivered. I was really blown away by their passion, dedication and zeal and ....I was so proud to have had the privilege of being part of it. The speakers were ever so graceful and the delegates were very good sport indeed.

Oh, and they had Naija food!!! Yes!!!

My memory of TEDxKids@AsoRock 2013 will always be one of pride and hope in my country, and continent. The usual things that seek to divide Nigeria were totally absent - no state of origin, tribe, religion, social status etc. All these were nowhere to be found as Nigerians as one came together to create a day befitting of Children's Day in the heart of our country's capital that left us all breathless at the possibilities.

THE RIPPLE EFFECT!! Bring on TEDxEuston 2013!!!!!!!!!!

Sunday, 9 June 2013

All your TEDxEuston 2012 talks in one email

Dear Friends of TEDxEuston,

For both for those who were able to attend last year's event and those that missed it and watched the talks online, the feedback has been incredibly positive. The talks have become reference points on all sorts of topics. From "the power of failure", through "raging for change" to "why we should all be feminists" to "public service", all these talks have become reference points on our dinner tables and boardrooms as we try to shape the future of our continent. This month, as we conclude the production of TEDxEuston 2012 event, find below links to all the talks from TEDxEuston 2012! Enjoy!