African Millennials as catalysts in the social Era-TED TALK 2017
So during the weekend i got featured by TED to speak my truth on role of Millenials in Africa as key stakeholders in the social era since i had a published book Breaking the coconut where i featured 11 millennials around Africa my perspective was valid so this was the written form if i had more time but as you guessed i had lesser time to execute YES 5 minutes.This is it.
Here in Africa, it is believed, it takes a whole village to raise a child. Growing up Folktales of animals were our bedtime stories with the tortoise always coming off as the cunny one. As we grew, it became clearer those stories were not really about the animals. They had marinated in them lessons of morals, Values and Honesty. We tell stories to convey truth
In a bid to continue the story telling, early in the year 2016, I wrote a book entitled “Breaking the Coconut”. The book title always got my audience laughing and I have been renamed “Mr Coconut”
In my book, I captured the story of 11 young millennial change agents to teach a powerful truth: we young Africans are catalysts of change and we can BEAT THE ODDS. The stories serve as heads- up to the next generation of innovators irrespective of their prevailing odds.
Most of my readers had an emotional connection with Maple.
Born in the oil rich area of Rivers State, Maple shares a story of how the realities of yesterday were harsh memories
He had no home. So, his mother, as a school teacher used a classroom to sleep at night…
“We live in a classroom in mum’s school and lived on the waterfront for years. Rainy days were our greatest nightmare. A frequently waterlogged room, leaking roofs, outdoor bathroom were the picture of our reality then. It was a horrible experience right in the city of Port Harcourt, but I never surrendered to that standard of life. I gave fate a fighting chance.” #Breakingthecoconut
Today maple is a published author, who as an employer of labour, mentors young people and also aids the growth of entrepreneurs through his initiative vantage business workshop in south southern Nigeria because of him several youths under his tribe would not become kidnappers or result into vices common among youths in that region.He is a catalyst, who beat the odds.
Sara is a nurse. Passionate about preventive health care for the girl child and youth empowerment.
Sara shares a story of how her parents relocated to Ghana from Germany to discover one who has been given funds to relatives who practically sold the house her parents sent funds for and how they started life from ground zero”
In Ghana she is being referred to as Ghana’s Florence Nightingale. Her foundation the Sangy foundation Has renovated and painted schools across rural Ghana, paid medical bills, and registered over 2,000 kids for the National Health Insurance Scheme (NHIS).
Her work in Ghana is an evidence of perseverance
Maple and Sara serve as powerful catalysts in their communities and their stories give us INSIGHTS into the mindset required of us as African youths so we too, can beat the odds.
Catalysts of change do not seat around and believe a messiah would save them
They do not host a pity party when they see difficulties instead they get to work with the resources they have and create change
We live in an exciting social era where young people are creating super “amazeballs” solutions in the form of applications for almost everything. The youth are spear-heading a tech revolution. Mark zuckerberg’s visit in 2016 to the silicon valley of Lagos gave so much huge validation to the ecosystem of Tech entrepreneurs
.If we have our ears to the ground we would observe there is a new stakeholder on the negotiation table.
How many of you in this hall are aware of what this is called (I would DAB) and the response would be Dab!.
And this is…. I would do the mannequin challenge standstill (and they shout mannequin challenge).
Want that global youthful brilliance that With creativity, youthful zest, the dab and the mannequin challenge went viral.
The young, creative catalyst who got people dabbing worldwide never asked which government in power would support the idea rather we the people decided we want to be part of the trend and we began to co create and share our own version.
The power dynamic has been shifted.
we have turned influencers and the former trend of authority being a currency of power is fast slipping. We have fast gained a seat on the negotiation table of how power is brokered.
One thing is clear
From the daily collaborations of African change makers in online groups which includesYoung AfricanLeadership Initiative (YALI) by the United States government
To the African entrepreneurship boom
There is a new Africa Arising.
My fellow Change agents Change sitting in this room right now:
Let it be remembered “
Each and every one of us has what it takes to become a catalyst.
We can become the story that inspires this generation.
So refuse to be held down by the system or circumstances.
You do not need permission to chase your dreams.
Lets become aware of our powers as stakeholders and Stop seeking for validation because we already have it and rewrite the narratives of millennials
So go ahead. Get into action now.
And like I always say on my podcast (I would break the coconut)….go out there and break your own coconut.
Thank you TED!!