TEDxPortHarcourt 2014

Hey everyone!

I’ve had quite a week, I hope yours was good.

On the 11th of October 2014 at The Dome, Peter Odili Road, Port Harcourt, Nigeria, about 300 people came together to answer the question, ‘Where are we?’ which was the theme for this TEDx event.

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The Organizer, Mr Donald Okudu and his team did a great job planning the event; great venue, speakers who gave inspiring, motivating, educative,thought-provoking talks and THE FOOD. Yes, the food was really good. There was even a sign language translator on one side of the stage, translating every speaker’s talk for those who have hearing impairments.

Andre Blaze Henshaw, the compere extraordinairè of the event, who looked dapper in a well-fitted suit carried the audience along with the introduction of each speaker and the videos. He was also a speaker at TEDxStadiumRoad in 2013.

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TEDxPortHarcourt was worth it, the speakers came through as they kept the audience engaged. Basically, the idea of the theme was to answer the question Where are we, as a nation, in leadership, technology, health, food, education, politics, etc.

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Mr Christian Reuben was the first speaker at TEDxPortHarcourt. He spoke about ego-free leadership and how we are not to judge ourselves by our reputation but on our character. Dr Jummai Umar-Ajijola spoke about how women should be more involved in technology.

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Mr Umar Ajijolas’ talk was on cyber security. Besides urging the audience to be extra careful about the information they put on the net, he also brought to our knowledge the business opportunities on the web.

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Mr Reward Nsirim, who I got the chance to meet during the Tea break, spoke about the possibility of a healthier Nigeria with lesser medical tablets. He made us understand how the creation of more green spaces(this really works for me when I feel stressed and I need to cool off and clear my head), less cars(also, less ‘unnecessary’ honking on our roads) and also, lesser human beings.

Ozoz Sokoh’s(or Kitchen Butterfly as I like to call her/as she is popularly known) talk was well timed; right before the Tea break. She spoke about her journey with discovering food here in her home country and around the world and how food should be eaten to nourish our beings and not just to alleviate hunger.

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“Education should not just be for the acquisition of titles but rather for the development of a persons’ intellect and creativity.” These were the words of Dr Tunde Adegbola whose talk was on where we are in Education.

Now, I don’t know if it was his crisp white kaftan or the fact that there was a reawakening of the patriots in all of us after his talk, but Mr Martin Abraham will not be forgotten in a long while. He is the managing partner and principal coach at MOHspire. To me, the most captivating and engaging part of his talk was when he led the audience to rise to their feet and recite the 2nd Stanza of the Nigerian National Anthem. It’s not everyday you hear/see a Nigerian talk about Nigeria for close to 20 minutes without mentioning our poorly functioning power supply, bad roads and a myriad of other problems the Country is currently facing.

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Mrs Bitebo Gogo spoke about finding purpose after excaping the hands of death. Her foundation, the ‘Keeping it real Foundation’ (KIRF) helps and works with people with disabilities, prisoners, etc. Her talk was very emotional, I must say.

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You might have heard of ‘Dan dee humourous’, a popular Stand up comedian and if you haven’t heard of him, well, now you do. Daniel Chibuzor Nwokas’ talk was the last one and it was just the perfect talk to end the event. His talk was on where we are in politics and he made the audience understand why we have to be interested in politics. He shared a quote by Bertolt Brecht which I’d like to share with you;

“The worst illiterate is the political illiterate, he doesn’t hear, doesn’t speak, nor participates in the political events. He doesn’t know the cost of life, the price of the bean, of the fish, of the flour, of the rent, of the shoes and of the medicine, all depends on political decisions. The political illiterate is so stupid that he is proud and swells his chest saying that he hates politics. The imbecile doesn’t know that, from his political ignorance is born the prostitute, the abandoned child, and the worst thieves of all, the bad politician, corrupted and flunky of the national and multinational companies.”

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I left the Dome that day having met and connected and made friends with a lot of creatives and of course, also with the ideas worth spreading with plans of implementation starting first with myself, my neighborhood and my local community.

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Now that we know where we are, and know what to do to get to where we want to be, we better get started.

{TEDxPortHarcourt 2014 Team}

Here are a few pictures I took at the event with the organizer; we were tryna form the letter X with our legs and forearms, hence our juxtaposition. Oh, and it also happened to be his birthday too.

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Have a swell weekend!

Peace and Love,

Ibimina.

{Image Credit: 7thAprilPhotos and TEDxPortHarcourt.}

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