By: Sharon Kantengwa

For a long time, ardent followers of the TED talks in Kigali have been following the livestream videos on its website and Youtube.

The first TEDx event, that took place in Kigali, TEDx Nyarugenge was in 2013, under the theme ‘bold, brave and ambitious’ with a few speakers and fairly a small audience.

This year, created in the spirit of TED’s mission, “ideas worth spreading”, TEDx is returning to Kigali and on March 29, all roads will lead to Kigali Convention Centre where the first TEDx Kacyiru will take place.

TEDx Kacyiru is organised by Edward Olumola, in partnership with World Vision. He explains the magnitude of hosting TED talks.

“The people that appreciate TED are noted and for those who don’t know it get to appreciate it. We will be lucky to have TEDx talks in Kigali on the international website and some of our speakers will be giving their insight and will be seen by the international media. People will also start appreciating Rwanda and provoking issues that are really illuminating from our community.”

“Just being a TED speaker is a big tag. We are going to leverage more on the TED platform, and bring more TED talks in different segments. We will make sure that we change the way our perception of Kigali or Rwanda in general. We need to attend events where we are challenged in mind and at the same time entertained. Society is changing very fast, its increasing in knowledge and so as much as we have to unwind, we also need to gather knowledge,” he adds.

Several speakers, mostly from Rwanda, will take the audience through a series of life coaching.

“Our theme ‘Radical mindset’ means you don’t do things the same way and expect better results. There is something that you need to do out of the ordinary that will give you the results that you want,” Olumola explains.

For him, the talks have come in at the perfect time, people are in the first quarter of the year and living their resolutions.

“Some of them are not attainable. Some of them were not smart enough and so this is the right time to reflect critically on what you want to be at the end of the year.”

The TEDxKacyiru talks are curated around five subthemes where all the talks are centered on. These subthemes include ‘The Great Unveiling’, ‘The Big Questions’, ‘The Icons’, The Genius and Mavericks’, ‘From GRIT to Greatness’ and ‘The Pursuit of Happiness’ which are all mirrored towards the main theme ‘Radical mindsets.’

Olumola explains them further.

“The big questions are basically, the big things that are affecting our society today. The macroeconomic aspects of societies like health, the economy, role of education in addressing our issues, or food security in this country.”

“The great unveiling is mainly driving at great innovations and technologies or great things that are not really known in our community yet have great potential to improve lives. They could be science, agriculture, or the way education is conducted.”

“The pursuit of happiness explains how life is a series of adversities, moving from one problem to the next. We are human beings and we need to create opportunities and in every opportunity is a challenge but these challenges give us a sense of unhappiness which is a problem. How can you live in an environment with these kinds of bubbles and still live in these adversities. What traits do you need to be happy?”

From grit to greatness: “Speakers explain how through the adversities of life they were able to keep their heads high, survived and stood out.”

The icons, the mavericks and the geniuses: “There are icons in our Rwandan communities from different aspects that we need to celebrate. They are actually representing Rwanda. What do they have that we don’t? Can we borrow something from them?”

Notable speakers include Pastor Hassan Kibirango, photographer Hervé Iradukunda, Chief Operating officer of Rwanda Motorcycle company Christopher McPhee, Rajab Mustafa Mugabo, a medical doctor, King Kivumbi, a poet, Real Estate developer Charles Haba and outdoor event organiser Abdul Malik and artist Jabo Elysée

Thierry Mukiza, a Certified Ethical Hacker (CEH) from Livenode, Belgium will also be in attendance and speak about hacking and his career path.

Herve Iradukunda, a photographer who will be one of the speakers at the TEDx talks says that this will be an opportunity for him to share his story and inspire others into following their passion.

“We need to share our experiences so that people can be inspired. If people listen to what I have to say and they like it, maybe not everybody is going to be photographer but they will follow their passion and do it extremely well. I have a number of pictures to share with them and show that when someone is into what they like they have to go out of their way to achieve greatness.

Prior to the event, some of the speakers are coached on public speaking and in between the talks will be performances in culture, art and music from voices that are within community. The performers include Eric One Key, Déo Muyakazi, King Lion, and Natacha Muziramakenga.

“We will be very strict with time but we will have special biases on the big questions and the great unveiling where we feel it has more impact to society and relates more to our topic.”

We will be focusing on anglo speakers for now. There will be a short cocktail session after the event for invited guests and some of the delegates that will be invited,” Olumola notes.

Registration is still ongoing but will be limited to 200 people.

About TED

TED is an international conference and not for profit organization that posts talks online for free distribution, under the slogan “ideas worth spreading”. Their main mission is to spread knowledge that can create critical society and improve the livelihoods of people.

However because it’s actually expensive to attend the main TED conference individuals or independent organistions are provided with licence to organise TED, like events, that are branded TEDx, in their communities. The x stands for independently organized ted event.

The organisers create a concept as long as it is within TED standards of operation who operate on a one year license, renewable every year

The TEDtalks are always short and precise to the point with the longest duration being 18 minutes.

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