Last Saturday, November 25, the University hosted “TEDx Ridgeways” – a local self-organized event where live TED-like talks and videos previously recorded at a TED Conference are shared with the community. TED is a nonprofit organization devoted to Ideas Worth Spreading, started as a four-day conference in California 30 years ago. At a TEDx event, TED Talks video and live speakers combine to spark deep discussion and connection.
TEDxRidgeways was themed “A cry from a silent room…ideas from untold stories”, and hosted by Ms Victoria Rubadiri (Senior Anchor, NTV). It offered a stage for nine speakers speaking on the following main topics; “Ideas that have been overlooked/forgotten; Addressing challenges facing the audience that have not been shared or spoken of; and Addressing problems that exist but ignored.”
One after the other, speakers took the red carpeted stage in three interconnected sessions.
In the first session, 12 years old Alex Kariuki - a young boy passionate about science and history, spoke on the sub-theme “Lost in the Maze” where he advocated for a particular attention toward the issues faced by the boy child. He suggested a mentorship program and rehabilitation process that sets a new path for drowning in drug abuse.
From her talk - Beyond a Fairy Tale - Rozmina Rana, a DBA candidate and current Managing Director of Dormans Coffee Limited, shared her personal story through which she underlined her change of perspective as starting point for personal and professional success. 11 year-old Raniah Oyatta shared her progress toward leadership based on the willingness to help others, under the sub-theme My type of Leadership.
During the second session, alumna Wangari Muikia Director and Principal Consultant at Expertise Global), argued that young professionals are misunderstood, “All that millennials need is to feel valued and appreciated, pay is a secondary factor”. She emphasized that, instead, they should be well-mentored and valued.
Professional writer and blogger Njeru Mucheru during her session differentiated between “Worthless mentality versus Priceless mentality”. According to Ms. Mucheru, a priceless mentality is what it takes to pull one out of a difficult situation- “With a Worthless Mentality I lived a life I thought I was supposed to live, with a Priceless Mentality I live a life I know I want to live.”
Mr. John-Allan Namu (Journalism, ’09 and Winner, CNN/Multichoice African Journalist of the Year Award - 2009) is the CEO/ Editorial Director at Africa Uncensored. His talk focused on “Why good journalism must be at the heart of our future”. In his view, the lack of objective truth raises a question “If the stories we are telling are not changing lives what are we telling them for?” Mr. Namu placed the onus for telling the African story on his audience, urging them to adhere to the three tenets of good journalism: to inform, educate, entertain. This, he concluded is the only way to “…build our identity as no one else will do it for us”.
Award-winning documentary photographer, Amunga Eshuchi, discussed the value of “Context is Freedom”, where he described how ccontext frames content to emphasize the importance of a narrative’s base. Mr. Charles Murito (Country Manager for Google and Acting MD & Chief Commercial Officer, Programming at Wananchi Group’s Zuku), discussed “Be more selfish… and care for others”. He invited the audience to look at poverty from a solution-based perspective that benefits the community.
Next on stage was Oltesh Thobias, Chief Regional Procurement Officer of the African Development Bank. Mr. Oltesh shared lessons he learned from his five years struggle with high levels of cholesterol that he was able to beat in only three months. He based his success on consistency, sacrifice and support calling his audience to remember that their health should be their wealth.
Closing the series of talks on the same health subject, Dr. Nyachira Muthiga, medical doctor and host of the storytelling platform “Own Your Story” shared on the state of emotional preparedness in the medical field. Feelings for Who made the tittle of the tale of her professional experience with emotions in the medical field. “With the right preparation there is a place for young female doctors, who can work and relate well with patients and society” she said.
At the end of the talk, Principal Alumni Relations Officer, Mr. Uvyu Mbole, thanked the participants before inviting the organizer and Curator, alumna Grace Mdemu to introduce her team. She added that more TEDx talks will be held at USIU-Africa, given the success of this first event.