I am just back from TEDx Table Mountain – Exploring The Edge and I am very much impressed by the level of their speakers. I went to TEDx Brussels a few years ago and these guys here in Cape Town have blown me away with their line-up doing a TEDx with a fraction of the resources they had in Brussels.
I come back even more in love with South Africa and it’s people. Hearing these stories of South Africans overcoming set backs and difficult situations to make a difference not just for themselves but for others was truly heart warming and inspiring. I cannot wait for the video’s to come on-line so here are a few of the talks that touched me the most.
Before coming to South Africa, a friend let me watch “Forest of Crocodiles” a 2009 documentary about white South Africans addressing their fears of crime and violence. Hearing the story of underwater cameraman Roger Horrocks overcoming his fears and getting up and close with Nile crocodiles to film them says much more about South Africans then Forest of Crocodiles did.
Another incredibly inspirational person is Nicky Abdinor who didn’t let a small physical challenge like being born without arms keep her from her dream of driving a car. She started a non-profit organisation to aid other people with disabilities through the funding of car adaptations and is working with the Cape Peninsula University of Technology to develop an adapted car for her and others to be mobile and independent: Nicky’s Drive.
The story of Braam Malherbe who was ready to step out of life, but accomplished the incredible feat of running the 4218 km of the Great Wall of China and in doing so funding the charity Operation Smile he started to pay surgery for children with facial deformities.
A man who radiates warmth is Mpumelelo Ncwadi who grew up in a township, from where he had to walk 15 km to school and made it to the University of Texas, Berkeley, Cambridge and more. He co-founded Indwe Trust putting his skills and expertise to use for sustainable agro-ecology and rural development in South Africa.
Jennifer Lovemore-Reed overcoming her fear and walking alone for four months. Actor and comedian Siv Ngesi delivering a chilling message urging men to stand up against rape. And free solo rock climber Matt Bush climbing Table Mountain and some the most challenging rocks South Africa has to offer, like 8+ climbs without ropes or any security: no strings attached (video).
Lance Brown who grew up in suburb, surrounded by violence, but had a dream of going to London and the determination and love and aptitude for taxation made that dream real. Anthony Turton calling for closure mining, cleaning up the mess left by gold mines.
These are just very short summaries that don’t do justice to the beautiful stories these speakers had to tell. As soon as the video’s are on-line I hope you watch them, because these are all stories that need to be shared.