“It forces us to ask again, what does Africa mean for Africa?”
-Yvonne Owuor, author, Dust
Yvonne Owuor’s TED talk is essentially as powerful, in every way, as fellow writer Chimamanda’s talk. Albeit talking about different subjects(Adichie has also spoken on the same subject as well), they both focus on disenfranchised sections of humanity and how they relate to the rest of the world. Yvonne’s is Africa, Chimamanda’s is women. Both were delivered at TEDxEuston.
Yvonne’ Owuor examines what Africa means for Africans in the backdrop of the competing narratives that several entities tend to bestow upon the continent. Especially at the present time.
Yvonne may not necessarily be powerful an orator in her talk as the equally gifted Chimamanda Adichie, or Taiye Selasi, but the architecture of her talk is. You may still actually need to put in an effort to follow her talk along, and the flow of the thoughts she has woven together. But powerful thoughts they are. She draws on the philosophical way of telling stories that is so inherently African. It invites the listener to exercise their imagination and to draw into their experiences to be able to acknowledge the full import of what she wishes to pass across.
Her chosen way of delivery befits her subject, and the ever important question that represents the state at which many on the continent and its affiliates are, or should be. It is the most critical, the most important; what does Africa think of itself? What do Africans think of themselves, and what stories are we telling ourselves about ourselves.
It is unfortunate that it has attracted few viewers/listeners. It should be out there, be part of conversations, or form the background of the conversations that take place about the continent.