News

These 10 African Innovators Are Among the New TEDGlobal 2017 Fellows

TED returns to Tanzania for TEDGlobal 2017—meet the 10 African innovators among their new class of TED Fellows.

TANZANIA—This August, Arusha, Tanzania will be the hub for new ideas worth spreading for the TEDGlobal 2017 Conference. On the cusp of the highly anticipated event, TED just announced the 21 young innovators from around the world who will deliver a talk on the famous TED stage. Among the 21, 10 fellows are representing Uganda, Egypt, the Democratic Republic of the Congo, Nigeria, Somalia, Botswana, Zimbabwe, Liberia and Kenya.


TED returns to Arusha after hosting the 2007 TEDGlobal Conference, where the organization gathered 100 of the sharpest young leaders to meet in person for the first time. This group was a precursor to the Fellows program, including OkayAfrica 100 Women honoree Juliana Rotich, Patrick Awuah, Erik Hersman, William Kamkwamba and Fred Swaniker.

Since 2009, the program has presented talks from over 400 Fellows from 94 countries, whose talks have collectively been viewed more than 155 million times. The program continues to create a powerful, far-reaching network of scientists, doctors, activists, artists, photographers, filmmakers, entrepreneurs, inventors, journalists and more.

Meet the 10 African TED Fellows below, who will be joining leading policymakers, business people, academics and activists from across the continent and around the world. Be sure to check back at OkayAfrica for more leading up to TEDGlobal 2017.

Abdigani Diriye (Somalia | UK) - Tech entrepreneur + Inventor

Photo courtesy of TED.

Somali computer scientist catalyzing the tech-scene in Somalia and Somaliland through coding camps, incubators, and accelerator programs. An inventor and advocate for innovation and research in Africa.

Mennat El Ghalid (France | Egypt) - Mycologist

Photo courtesy of TED.

Egyptian microbiologist studying fungal infections in humans, in an effort to discover their causes and develop new treatments and co-founder of ConScience, a non-profit dedicated to science education.

Robert Hakiza (DRC | Uganda) - Urban Refugee Expert

Photo courtesy of TED.

Congolese co-founder of the Young African Refugees for Integral Development (YARID) which empowers refugees and builds community through vocational education, English classes, access to sports and computer literacy skills.

Saran Kaba Jones (Liberia | USA) - Clean Water Advocate

Photo courtesy of TED.

Liberian founder and CEO of FACE Africa which strengthens water, sanitation and hygiene (WASH) infrastructure in rural communities in Sub-Saharan Africa through the establishment of community-based WASH Committees and post-implementation support services.

Adong Judith (Uganda) - Director + Playwright

Photo courtesy of TED.

Ugandan director and playwright creating theater that promotes social change and provokes dialogue on issues from LGBTQ rights to war crimes.

Yasin Kakande (Uganda) - Investigative Journalist + Author

Photo courtesy of TED.

Ugandan journalist working undercover in the Middle East to uncover the human rights abuses of migrant workers.

Katlego Kolanyane-Kesupile (Botswana) - Performance Artist + Activist

Photo courtesy of TED.

Writer, educator, and founder of the Queer Shorts Showcase Festival, Botswana's first and only LGBT themed theatre festival.

Kasiva Mutua (Kenya) - Percussionist

Photo courtesy of TED.

International touring percussionist working to elevate the place of the African woman in music. Her performance style integrates African traditional music with modern styles such as Jazz, Hip-hop, Reggae, and Zouk.

Carl Joshua Ncube (Zimbabwe) - Comedian

Photo courtesy of TED.

Zimbabwean stand up comic who uses his creative work to approach culturally taboo topics on the African continent.

Wale Oyéjidé (Nigeria | USA) - Fashion Designer + Artist

Photo courtesy of TED.

Nigerian fashion designer and artist that uses textile and apparel design to convey stories about immigrant populations to the Western world through his brand, Ikiré Jones.

Check out our interviews with this year's TED Fellows here.

Interview

Interview: TOBi Is Making Unapologetic Soul Music

We talk to the Nigerian-Canadian artist about his latest project ELEMENTS, his creative process, mental health and more.

It's a big year for music, and in the midst of many good drops from the motherland and beyond, we caught up with Nigerian-Canadian singer/songwriter TOBi to discuss his recently released 10-track project ELEMENTS.

ELEMENTS is a fusion of old-school soul, contemporary rap sequences, clever lyrical symbols & metaphors. and melancholic vibes which reference TOBi's Nigerian heritage through afrobeats, the reality of his life and the state of the world today. The compilation features production from Nigerian producer Juls on "Dollas and Cents" and "Made Me Everything and Shine."

Below, we also discuss his creative process and passion for mental health with the announcement of an exciting collaboration. "I'm attracted and curious about so many things in life that I can't help but bring [them] into my world and craft," the multi-genre artist says.

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