Tag Archives: TedX Stellenbosch

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?


Posted by on August 12, 2012 in Leadership


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TedX Stellenbosch….Ideas control the world

It is still fresh on my mind, because it just happened not so long ago. It was on the 13th of August 2010, when I attended TedX Stellenbosch. TedX are independently organised events licensed under TED.

Well it is a conference-like event where the curators of the event invites influential people from all walks of life. The speaker ranged from business people, academics and philanthropist. It was well attended by at least 550 people who share a common belief that  “Ideas must be shared”. It such an important event in a sense that people can use ideas to change the world. Furthermore, the attendees are exposed to innovative ideas and cutting-edge thinking in the areas of leadership, social responsibility, technology, education and governance, and to learn from people who have demonstrated success despite the unique challenges they faced.

On the opening of the event the video was played. Unfortunately I cannot get hold of it. But yeah it basically  says the following:….

Ideas control the world. They are the single most powerful force in our universe, and yet rarely do we openly test, celebrate and develop them in a communal setting. For ideas to impact the world, develop into innovations, ripple through communities and spread between cities, we need to tell their stories and rediscover a child-like state of wonder.

After digesting this quote, there I comfortably sat on my chair as I listened to awe-inspiring speakers. The speakers were equally good, but hey truth needs to be told, I was moved by Yusuf Randera-Rees, his entrepreneurial spirit inspired me to unleash mine. For Africa to change, people need to attend ideas stimulating events like this one, for I have said before, ideas change the world.

As for me I was greatly inspired, I believed more than ever that Africa need me to serve her unselfishly. Some speakers proved to me that the social work that I am doing  brings more positive change in society. I will continue with my social responsibility project for I believe that for Africa to prosper, people must serve her tirelessly.

Yes, it was TedX Stellebosch, It was an awesome event. For stream of photos visit

It was such a life changing experience. My special thanks goes to the organisers of the event Eeke de Miliano, Gareth Pearson, , Thibaut Marquis, Pieter Botha, Mariska du Preez, Catharine Powell, and Hugo Van Vuuren. For they have choosen me amongst hundreds of applicants.

Ted…..Ideas worth spreading!

550 TEDx Vuvuzelas in Stellenbosch…

“Ideas control the world. They are the single most powerful force in our universe, and yet rarely do we openly test, celebrate and develop them in a communal setting. For ideas to impact the world, develop into innovations, ripple through communities and spread between cities, we need to tell their stories and rediscover a child-like state of wonder.” Opening of TEDxStellenbosch, 13.08.2010

And so, after countless hours of skyping, sponsor cajoling, speaker prepping, and logistic lesson-learning our intrepid team brought the TEDx energy to a packed auditorium of more than 500 South Africans and visitors from across the world.

It was our goal, especially after the very successful soccer World Cup, to share exciting African concepts and jumpstart the exporting of ideas rather than minerals and skilled workers. Our talks were situated at the intersection between novel ideas and “makers;” and were rooted in Africa but applicable to the world. How could we not, after the World Cup, co-opt the Vuvuzela – global symbol of passion and excitement – to champion ideas and transform a traditional musical hall into a stadium of ideas 😉

// We were fortunate to draw from a rich local talent pool of entrepreneurs, researchers, student musicians, conservationists and leaders. Talks were divided into locally relevant themes: Storytelling, Innovation, Nature, and Community (Ubuntu).

Gustav Praekelt: The CEO and founder of the Praekelt foundation fascinates you with his quest to make Africa healthier through cellular technology.

Leslie Rochat: The Executive Director of AfriOceans Conservation Alliance shows you how to rethink the shark.
Peter Willis:The Director of the Cambridge Programme for Sustainability Leadership awes you with the story of our future.
Yusuf Randera-Rees: A Rhodes Scholar and philanthropist inspires you with the Fellowship of Entrepreneurship.
Kumi Naidoo: The International Executive Director of Greenpeace astounds you with his vision of a greener world – video conferencing in!

Mugendi K. M’Rithaa: The first design doctorate at CPUT demonstrates a new way of meeting social needs through Design With Africa.
Miller Matola: The CEO of Brand South Africa persuades you with his story on how to showcase your country.
Barbara Nussbaum: A writer and visionary motivates you with the spirit of Ubuntu.
Dion Chang: A trend analyst shocks you by embracing a new world order – video conferencing in!
Marcel Mare: A research expert surprises you with insights on improving the African stove.
Nox Makunga: A PhD at Stellenbosch amazes you with the potential of a medicinal wonderland in our own backyard.
Vibha Pingle: The President and Founder of Ubuntu at Work enthuses you with her drive to bring employment to thousands of women all over the world.
And thanks to very creative and hard-working interns we had a surprize guest from the anti-slavery Not For Sale Campaign join us fresh off the plane from the States.
David Batstone: President of Not For Sale, a professor of Ethics at the University of San Francisco, he is also founder and president of Right Reality, an international social venture firm.

// TEDxStellenbosch 2010 | With Africa

Africa is a continent with extreme constraints and disparities but also with under-utilized opportunities and unique cultures. In a post-recessionary world of uncertainty and scarce resources, we will depend more on local communities, require rapid technological progress, and see our fate merge with that of mother nature. Perhaps now more than ever, the world can learn from Africans–from our methods, our cultures and the unique blend of circumstances that inspire our resourceful nature. After all, “if it can work in Africa, it can work anywhere.”
The intersections and contrasts between African and Western history and thought fuel a growing international conversation. Increasingly, ideas are challenged, adopted, and exported from the so-called developing or dualistic economies to the first world. The idea economy is open, and no longer flowing one way.
What better locale than Stellenbosch, South Africa’s oldest university town and meeting point for African and European cultures industry, startups, multi-cultural art, interdisciplinary science,  and viticulture, as well as being home to some of the oldest games we play.
Now it is your turn. Plant the seed of an idea wherever you can, and water it with passion and energy, so that it may one day sustain us all.
A warm and special thanks goes out to our awesome partners – …XYZ Design and mdp Marketing – and student-team from Stellenbosch, Cape Town, and Harvard Universities, for fostering connections and idea sharing. Finally, thank you to the TED team, and TEDxBoston folks for helping us to build bridges and learn from each other.
Eeke de Miliano, Gareth Pearson, , Thibaut Marquis, Pieter Botha, Mariska du Preez, Catharine Powell, and Hugo Van Vuuren.

Posted by on September 12, 2010 in General


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