My TEDx Lagos Experience In Pictures
So several weeks ago a friend of mine informed me about a TEDx event in Lagos…Ikoyi to be precise. I was excited, I had watched TED videos for the past 3 years…an interest that was sparked by TED fellow Ken Robinson’s talk titled Do Schools Kill Creativity?. So I immediately
sold my kidneys RSVPed for the event and was told to send my email address. And several days later I received this invitation on my desk.
I was completely blown away by the quality of the invite and jumped to the TEDx Ikoyi website to see who the speakers were. I was not disappointed as well, it featured Chinedu Echeruo (founder hopstop.com), Dapo Oyewole (Policy Advisor), Akintunde Akinyele (Award Winning Photographer), Nike Okundaye (Artist Extrodinaire), Rev. Godfrey Nzamujo (Agricultural Entrepreneur) and my secret wife Nneka Egbuna (Artiste/Activist). I could not wait for May 24th to arrive. When the day arrived I promptly excused myself from a work meeting and headed down to the Wheatbaker hotel (which should be called the needle-in-the-hay-stack-hotel cause that ish was hard to find!). The event in a nutshell was worth it…I laughed, I cried and got intellectually stimulated…not just by the speakers but by the collective energy of the people in the room. Below is my TEDx story…in pictures…
Dapo Oyewole on stage talking about development centered on dignity. It was a passionate appeal to leaders to define development not by infrastructural growth or economic growth but rather by the dignity it brings to the people.
During the break I began wandering around and took this picture of the TEDx stage from the viewpoint of the video camera. And O did I mention that the entire TEDx Ikoyi talks will be available on youtube…if you missed the event you can catch the videos online.
Nneka Egbuna performing…I had heard so much about her and actually watched her on David Letterman but I still had no idea she was so talented. She captivated the room with her voice and lyrics.
Next up was Akintunde Akinyele, who painted a picture of the real Nigeria. He show cased pictures from the Oil Subsidy protests to the sorrows of a mass grave in Nigeria. The most touching and intellectual picture was a photo of an illegal oil rig in the Niger Delta that could only be accessed by boat. According to him “if the people [Niger Deltans] cannot see the oil, feel the oil, then they have to take the oil legally or illegally.”
Final speaker of the day was Rev. Godfrey Nzamujo…this was the last presentation and by that time the room had already started emptying out and people were tired…however when they coined the term save the best for last, they were talking about this presentation. This is a man that created a self sufficient community based on agriculture alone…not oil but agriculture. Simply by innovating and focusing Godfrey was able to create a community that hired people, trained people, grew food, had hotels and restaurants all created from the power of the soil. If you want to talk about someone making a different this is him. I was so blown away by the talk that I had to get a picture with him after. Well done!
The colorful wall of innovation was an idea created by sponsors Bang and Olufsen…basically all TEDxians were given colorful sticky notes to scribble down ideas that they had gotten at the conference. The result was a colorful but brilliant display of ideas born from the minds of Nigerians in the room…Hopefully they review it and implement some of the ideas. [My idea was a HopStop type website for Lagos bottom right].
I got home exhausted but not before I displayed the contents of my entire TEDx goody bag on the bed…lots of stuff (note Ipad and Nneka CD not included, you have to buy that yourself). Congrats again to the organizers…it was a great event. I hope to see more events like this in Nigeria, where we celebrate intellectualism and not bank accountism.