As much as being a speaker was a transformative journey for all 8 speakers, it was also a journey on the day of the event for the participants to hear the ideas presented by the speakers.
TEDxYouth@Upanga produced a truly inspirational day after 9 months of preparation. But perhaps the defining feature of the event was the energy of both the eight speakers and one hundred participants. The speakers addressed issues from mental health to intersectional feminism with as many as five students form IST speaking. The ten schools participating had a chance to interact with Sayyeda Datoo, Jacinta Mensa-Shebra, Abir Sheikh, Shahzaib Jaffer, and Kanengo Diallo from IST as well as Nabila Saleh, Maitham Rajvani, and Ayesha Samji from outside IST. The event, however, was much more than listening to speakers. Rather, it was a chance for the participants to spark deep discussion and connection in line with TED's mission to "spread ideas." The speakers covered very relevant youth topics too. A particularly persuasive talk, by Maitham Rajvani, demonstrated why parental restrictions are important while Sayyeda's thought-provoking talk openly discussed the taboos surrounding mental health in Tanzania through powerful personal anecdotes. More importantly, the participants had a chance to discuss the talks during the conversation breaks, and they showed great interest in what they were hearing. TEDxYouth@Upanga was a successful event, sparked wonderful ideas, and hopefully, lit a flame in the minds of Tanzanian youth.
The speakers were the focal point of the event. However, this community event really brought together a total of 10 local schools around Dar es Salaam. And student performers shared the stage with the speakers with powerful performance poetry, magic and dance. TEDxyouth@Upanga was truly rich in people and conversation.
Even after 9 months of preparation, 100 participants, 17 dedicated organisers, 8 brilliant ideas and boundless energy, the TEDxYouth@Upanga journey has only just begun. The ideas set forth throughout the entire event are ideas worth sharing which can spark change in the larger society, but also deep inside you.
TEDxYouth@Upanga in pictures