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Monthly Archives: August 2012

Everyone must attend a TEDx event…. inspiration inside!

I have  a dream. My dream is to speak at a TEDx event. I have a lot of passion I can speak about. Attending a TED Global conference would be like winning a lotto jackpot.

I only had an opportunity to attend a TEDx event. I can only share you my experience from attending a TEDx event. Enjoy…

One of the speakers and the CEO of Mxit, Allan Knott-Craig

We survive with a great deal of motivation. Whenever I seek a dose of inspiration, I switch on my computer and consume my downloaded TED Talks. When I heard that TEDxStellenbosch was to host its third annual event at Spier Wine Farm, my interest to attend was piqued. My university’s institute for leadership development, FVZS (short For  Frederick Van Zyl Slabert) sponsored me and other 19 cool people to attend the event on capacity as student leaders.

The theme of the Tedx event was What if Africa? Why what if Africa, you may wonder. This theme couldn’t have been suggested at a better time than this. Africa is a continent of a gloomy past, yet a bright future. Perhaps, if we start asking these questions, solutions that might drive change and inspire action might be born. Speakers gathered at the event and inspired attendees by asking visionary questions – questions that started with three words: What If Africa?

Not only was I particularly inspired as an attendee, but I was challenged to do the things that I strongly believe in. By the end of the day my mind was filled with a sense of wonder. I found myself being exposed to many new ideas and concepts including:

  • Taking pictures is an act in two direction
  • Internet can be used to conserve and advance environmental cause.
  • Economic prospects in Africa
  • How can Technology be used to stimulate interest in teaching and learning
  • Jonathan Shapiro asked a poignant question of “What if Africa embraced openness?

Question that attendees asked? What if Africa?

You see many people ignore opportunities such as this, not because they do not have time nor money to attend, but because they are not aware that these events offer an excellent networking opportunities. During breaks I found myself interacting with former Tedx Stellenbosch speakers and other thought leaders. My mind was fueled with new knowledge on the day.

The theme behind TED is “ideas worth spreading.” Just imagine how intellectually enriched we we going to be if we shared and spread ideas? I do not know the answer to that, but I believe that the quality of our thinking would improve and that would ultimately improve the quality of life in our communities.

The event itself was filled with diverse speakers from different backgrounds. They however, had one thing in common, the love for Africa and her development. Speakers displayed passion and fervor as they delivered their talks. It was interesting to be there. Here is my appeal, next time you see a call to attend a TEDx event, be the first one to grab a ticket. However cheap it is, however expensive it is, get that ticket anyway. Be inspired and share ideas.

If you were to deliver a TED talk what would your speaking topic be?

What if Africa encouraged its students to share and spread ideas in their campuses?

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Posted by on August 12, 2012 in Leadership

 

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Honour thy woman…..

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Prof. Wangari Maathai, the first African woman to win a Nobel Peace Price in 2004.

Women played a pivotal role in the past in the Republic of South Africa. They are the ones who marched to union building in protest of pass laws. Africa especially gave birth to women heroine whose selfless spirit champions the vision of women in the developmental state in Africa. Africa gave birth to beautiful daughters: daughters who uplift the spirits of their hopeless siblings, while reminding them that with dare attitude, dedication and nourishment of their talent they too can climb the celestial heights.

I am talking about women such as the recently elected chairman of the AU, Dr Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma, the first African woman president Ellen Johnson-Sirleaf, and the first African woman to win the Nobel Peace Price, Dr Wangari Maathai. These are women which young girls can look up to and be fueled with inspiration to do great things.

To encourage o’mama nabo sisi be Africa, I believe in inspiration, and I hope that by embedding this video below, they will be motivated. The speech is delivered by Gayle Tzemach Lemmon, and it is titled Women entrepreneurs, example not exception and in her speech she encourages women to be entrepreneurs and calls women to move beyond what she terms “micro-ambitions’.

Malibongwe igama lamakhosikazi!

 
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Posted by on August 9, 2012 in Business, General

 

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Empower thy woman, ignore the brilliance of guys!

I am an ardent reader of a certain industry magazine called Accountancy SA. Those who have been fortunate to read the magazine will agree with me when I say it somewhat boring, somewhat interesting, and somewhat controversial. Am I writing a letter to the editor? Hell no, I am not.

Actually this post is about the empowerment of women and their leadership potential. In her article titled “women as authentic leaders”, Ms Mulder, Senior  Executive for Transformation and Growth at SAICA, wrote that “Women are ‘hard-wired’ to be authentic leaders, as most of these qualities are in-born. Our male compatriots are too often hindered by oversized egos and the need to compete, which is reflected in the troubled societies of today”. After reading this, I got an impression that Ms Mulder suggests that the world is in chaos it is because of men. Interesting…

I feel like more and more women are empowered this days. It can be argued that this is done to address the imbalances of the past. I am not insensitive to the fact that women were oppressed for far too  long, however the empowerment afforded to women comes with great cost of ignoring the brilliance of guys. These women are obviously empowered to be able to fend for themselves, to become authentic leaders as Ms Mulder puts it and more importantly to contribute to humankind.

The question we should then be asking is “Are more women becoming leaders, given the opportunities they are offered or is it still an investment in vain?” I am of the opinion that, even though great deal of investment is planted in developing women and their leadership capacity, the train is moving slow on the rail.

Ms Sheryl Sandberg – the COO of Facebook – diagnose the problem as to why we have few women leaders, and the answer lies in the video embedded below:

On conclusion, I believe that in order to live in thriving, sustainable society, we need to get away with the gender stereotype, because to do so is to ignore the brilliance of guys.

 
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Posted by on August 2, 2012 in Leadership

 

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