I was privileged to attend TEDxDzorwulu (with the Twitter hashtag #TEDxDz) on Saturday 10 December 2011. Unfortunately I couldn’t stay the whole day, because of another personal commitment, but I was very glad that I did go, as one of my favourite bloggers, Kinna Likimani (http://kinnareads.wordpress.com/) was one of the speakers. My only concern when I arrived was whether she would be one of the morning speakers or in the afternoon. Luckily – for me – and for many of us, Kinna was the first speaker of the day!
Kinna spoke passionately about the functional illiteracy which is horribly common here in Ghana, illustrating her points with her own experience. She also emphasized the fact that all Ghanaians are multilingual and that there is a “wall of English” which is a barrier to all too many children in rural areas – and which leads them to a destiny of illiteracy and often poverty.
In addition to two other speakers – Fred Deegbe and Sheila Bartels-Sam – each speaking of failure and then successful entrepreneurship, there were three videos in the morning :
- Patrick Awuah’s 2007 TED video on educating leaders in Africa [which I have watched many times but still find moving]
- Steve Jobs now famous Stanford graduation speech
- actor/filmmaker, Jareth Merz’s comments on identity and filming an election in Ghana+ a trailer of the actual film
Then lunch outside the comfort zone, as we were advised to sit with people we didn’t know or hadn’t met before. And that was good – a Liberian entrepreneur, a Canadian/Ghanaian relocating to Ghana, a volunteer, someone working for an international donor organization, a photographer and a tekkie – were in the group I was sitting and talking with. Once again I felt challenged.
I had to leave early – another engagement – but I came away inspired, and wishing that there were more of such events – with people who challenge some of our existing beliefts and encourage us to strive.