All posts filed under: TEDPosts

Ideas Worth Spreading: Guest posts in the style of TED.

The Dying Habits of an Agnostic – Tahirah Abdulazeez

“The function of prayer is not to influence God, but rather to change the nature of the one who prays” The first humans, our direct ancestors, walked this Earth maybe 250, 000 years ago. The oldest monotheistic religion, depending on your point of view, is 5,000 years old. As we evolved, we discovered what we needed to survive in instalments. And then we refined the ideas. Along the way, there are stops and starts, a linear path will suddenly split off and go its own way, but the original idea continues to deepen, to distil. To me, faith is a type of intellectual refinement. It is the outcome of reason, an embodiment of, not its antithesis. For years I was an agnostic, unsure whether there was a God. After stumbling around looking for answers, I came upon the philosopher Kierkegaard. In Either/Or, he postulated that there are three types of development. The aesthetic, which is where you develop your tastes as an individual, the ethical where you assemble your value system, and the religious, which is the most important, when you realise that all …

Learning to Forget – Tahirah Abdulazeez

It may sound weird but when I first met Tahirah, I was struck by how similar our thought patterns were.  We’re both nerds, scientists turned writers (or is it vice versa), and just the littlest bit dreamy. 🙂 We met at the Farafina Workshop, and I can’t help but imagine that even if we hadn’t then, eventually we would have. I present to you Tahirah (I also love her name) Abdulazeez. She blogs at http://avosilver.wordpress.com Years ago, I was asked two questions that  resonated with me. The first was suitably mind bending, a philosophical trick question. The second seemed harmless. “What is your first memory?” Simple enough, but, it has been like one of those Chinese boxes. One answer or an attempt at an answer opens up a box with a smaller one inside, and so on until infinity. My first memory is of a car accident. We are in a Peugeot 504. The car crash happens and we end up at the side of the road. It is the middle of nowhere; the destination had been …

It's a Madt, Madt, Madt (sic) World – Tolu Oloruntoba

Clash of the Tolus this week 🙂 Dr. Oloruntoba shares with three other young men the dubious honour of outwitting me. Twice. It was the Zain Africa Challenge; and his team eventually lifted the cup. If you know me personally, you know that I don’t swallow defeat easily. And so it’s a testament to Tolu’s character that, within a year, I went from bearing a king-sized grudge to numbering him among my most treasured friends. He’s the Chief Editor/Publisher of Klorofyl, the digital mag I’m always raving about. Follow him on Twitter @toluoloruntoba. A Special Edition of the Newsweek Magazine early this year had the very compelling theme: ‘It’s a mad, mad, mad, mad world.’ Of course it is. And if you live in the developing world, it is mad, sometimes, to the fourth degree (or madt, in #NigerianTwitter-ese). It was a potent cocktail of inspiring stories we grew up on – of fairy-tales or folk tales, and Hollywood, adventure and possibility. We wanted to believe we COULD… we wanted, (needed?) to transcend our limitations …

The Importance of Being Earnest…Or Tolu – Tolu Talabi

Continuing the TedPosts with one by Tolu Talabi. I met Tolu at the Farafina Creative Writing Workshop last year. I literally have no words to describe him but for an idea on how his mind works, follow him on Twitter @naijarookie or get on his blog http://naijarookie.wordpress.com. Seriously. Check out his blog.   I don’t know if you saw this a few weeks ago. There was a two leg soccer match between the Under-17 female teams of Nigeria and Kenya. At the end of the first leg, which Nigeria won, the Kenyan team complained that Nigeria cheated because they had players that were over the age of 17. The Nigerian sports commentator reporting said (very smugly) that Kenya should stop making excuses for losing. I found the whole episode hilarious (Nigeria using under-aged players? No way!) but it got me thinking about age and how much we expect from people at a young age. You see, at 16, even if you’re not being called upon to play football for your country, you’re probably finishing up …

The Gospel According to Mark

Today, I put up the second Ted-Post by Mark Amaza. I met Mark (Twitter handle: @amasonic) at the Zain Africa Challenge in 2009. In the 3 years I’ve known him, Mark’s passion and fierce patriotism have inspired me. When I got the idea for the Ted-Posts, I knew it would be incomplete if he didn’t write in. So here. I present his piece. I have always been very proud of my heritage and my roots as a Nigerian first, then a Christian and a Northerner next. There is always pride in my voice when I meet people from the South and I tell them that I am a Christian from Borno State, and how I tell everyone how multi-religious my extended family is, the fact that my maternal grandfather is a Muslim and was even the muezzin of his village till old age caught up with him, and how I have numerous uncles and aunts who are Muslims, some of whom grew up with us. But this nice story of religious co-existence is not everywhere …

Broken – Joseph E. Parker

I first “met” Joseph last year when I was sourcing for writers to write in for the soon-to-be-released City Issue of Klorofyl. I use the term “met” loosely. We met on Twitter, and even though we’ve been in correspondence for a while, we’re yet to meet in person.  Joseph is a poet. There aren’t a lot of poets whose work I understand and appreciate, but I’m a big fan of his. His poems are uncommonly fluid and lucid, and I find them beautiful. I can’t tell you how pleased I was that he agreed to write in for this series and I recommend you stop by his blog when you’re done here.   “Something’s missing,” John Mayer wrote, “and I don’t know what it is.” Something is missing. Something essential. Something necessary to making a difference in the world. And most are afraid to find out what it is. Why is this? Why do we feel this void within? We long for what we can’t have and  inevitably grow  disillusioned. Why should it come as …

Ted-Posts, Lent and Broken Laptops

 Early this year, one of my friends asked me, “If you could give a Ted-Talk on any subject of your choice, what would you talk about?” It took me awhile to answer but I replied, “The importance of singularity, of not taking your cues from the crowd and daring to stand alone.” But his question has haunted me over the past one month and I realize now that I’d actually talk about something else, if I got the chance. I’d talk about the importance of friends. Because no matter how much I want to believe that I have always done my thing, it would be slightly dishonest. I am the sum-total of all the people I have let into my life. And everything good about me, I have because I aped someone else. Ditto everything bad 🙂 (this is a sub to relevant parties. You know yourself). But honestly, I have been privileged to know and count among my friends, some pretty cool people. And I want to share them with you via “Ted-Posts”. If …

“Your system is a joke” « Nigerian Newcomer

Hi, guys 🙂 Sorry, I’ve been away for so long. I’ve got a new job that I had to relocate for and I’m still getting my bearings. In the mean time (because getting guest bloggers is something I haven’t quite gotten around to), I’ll be re-blogging posts I find interesting on other people’s  blogs. Please forgive my laziness, I promise to be back soon! :* I present to you something by Tolu Talabi a.k.a @naijarookie. I met him at the Farafina Workshop earlier this year, and he rants well. I know you’ll like him 😀 “Your system is a joke” « Nigerian Newcomer.