by DWi Reporters Abussiddeeq A. Ahmad & Abubakar Sulaiman Muhammad

TEDx BabaDanBaffaSt Organizing Team & Speakers

Technology, Entertainment and Design, are the three words that converge to give their initials and form the name TED, which many erroneously assume is the name of the person who created the highly organized talk event, meant usually to spread ideas as its slogan says.

TED talks which usually last between 15 to 18 minutes and can be presented in over 100 languages, gives an individual the opportunity to present their insights on a subject matter covering all aspects of human endeavors, from art to science, society to business, religion, sports and so on.

A non-profit innovation, TED was first started in February 1984 in Canada by Richard Saul Wurman and Harry Marks as a conference before a local gathering. And by 1990, the program has become so well accepted it became an annual occasion that was soon exported to New York in the United States.

These short, but explosive talks would soon be shared through mini movies and video clips among TED enthusiasts and eventually worldwide with the advent of social media. And because of the unique and powerful traits behind the ideas conversed by most speakers, TED has gained wide popularity and acceptance.

Then of course there is that “x” that can be seen as a suffix to the name TED, that many wonder what it means. The x stands for an independently organized and coordinated TED event, which though not directly sponsored by Sapling Foundation, owners of the program but is affiliated to and approved by it.

A global village we live in, the interest generated by the black, red and white corporate colors of the event would soon catch on in Africa and Nigerians. Thus it was only a matter of time for Kano, the commercial hub in northern Nigeria, reputed to be a state with the largest population of social media users, to eventually witness its maiden TEDx Talks in 2015.

In that maiden edition tagged TEDx RibaduStreet, many prominent personalities, both young and old, from the business circle to the academia were featured among others. Salihu Tanko Yakasai, presently Kano State Director General Media & Publicity was one of the speakers and he presented the one coin (N1:00) innovative crowd-funding idea behind the establishment of The Kwandala Foundation.

Fast forward to 2017, another TED Talks event tagged TEDx BabaDanBaffaSt was scheduled to take place in again the commercial city of Kano. Organized by a team made up of youths led by a young man called Muddasir Sulaiman Abdullah, it turned out to be a very successful outing, held on 31st December, 2017 at Aminu Kano Center for Democratic Studies otherwise known as Mambayya House.

A graduate of Bayero University, Kano and of Kano State origin, the young organizer sought permission to stage a TEDx event in ancient city from the its copyright owners and after fulfilling all the criteria required was granted the permit. Having secured the license, he gathered a team of hardworking and dedicated young men and women to organize a TEDx of international standard.

Themed: Connecting The Dots, main speakers on the lineup of TEDx BabaDanBaffaSt were microbiologist Prof. Faruk Sarkinfada of BUK, politician Dr. Ibrahim Dooba and business ideologist Nasir Yammama. Others include investment expert Abdullahi Edwards, philanthropist Fiona Lovatt, film maker Musa Abdullahi Sufi, broadcaster Yasmin Obadeki, youths motivator Murtala Adogi, medical doctor Mariya Sidi and the controversial actress Rahama Sadau.

Tickets to the event, which is not usually free except if specially invited by the organizers sold for N3000 ($8). Though not well promoted and publicized, yet a full house was still recorded at the BUK owned venue situated at Gwale area of Kano City. Intellectuals, both young and old, some from outside the state and country turned out to witness the 2nd TEDx event Kano would be hosting.

Much more than what she had to present, the confidence, composure and articulation exuded by the opener of the whole TEDx BabaDanBaffaSt talks event, recently graduated medical practitioner, youthful  Dr. Mariya Abdullahi Sidi immediately set the standards all other speakers had to beat. Murtala Adogi, fully bearded and suited for the occasion hit the ground running to impress his talk upon the house.

Brilliance was registered in Fiona Lovatt’s poetically charged presentation on her passionate engagement of touching the lives of the Almajiris in our midst. Where Yasmeen Obadeki outstanding talk on the media and its intricacies entertained the crowd much. The discovery of the occasion was Musa Abdullahi Sufi’s delivery on social media addiction. He carried people along till the very end.

Prof. Faruk Sarkinfada’s talk on relationship between man and the microbial world was an appeal for mankind to redefine his mindset about the billions of unseen organisms cohabiting the earth with us. Dr. Ibrahim Dooba came with the idea that money unlike previously advocated now grows on trees, offering any organized set of persons seedlings that could be grown to generate wealth and empowerment.

Nasir Yammama came with his lofty plan of resurrecting the lost famous pyramids of Kano. Only this time around they are not to be made of groundnuts, but would be virtual, on a digital level. Abdullahi Edwards submitted a financing project proposal that could help empower the entire populace using very minimal resource if adopted. This compared to what government would spend is next to nothing, yet would be highly rewarding.

Rahama Sadau’s inclusion in the list of speakers was one of the put-offs for many serious minded persons, who immediately saw the event as a huge joke and so wrote it off. Her revelation about her virginity status or lack thereof just a few days to the event made matters worse for her, threatening to further jeopardize the success of the event. Her absence was therefore a huge relief, though some who were there purposely to meet and hear her speak were disappointed.

The event, though well attended, still lacked presence of certain stakeholders who should have graced the occasion to give it moral support and thus be part of the success story of hosting such an international event.. Kano Sate Government and most if not all of its ministries and parastatals were not represented. So also were the Emirate Council, academia, business and the private sector.

Image may contain: 6 people, people smiling, people standingProminent personalities that attended the idea-sharing gathering included Dr. Bala Muhammad of BUK and Daily Trust, Dr. Ahmad Gausu, Dr. Rabia S. Said also of BUK, Dr. Faruk Kperogi, Barr. Audu Bukarti Bulama and Aminu Mukhtar DanAmu Hon. Commissioner of Finance who was there in his personal capacity.

Social media personalities i.e. Facebook, Whatsapp, Instagram, Twitter etc upon which most of the publicity and promotions of the event was hinged formed the bulk of the intelligent minds that stormed the venue.

Spotted were guys like Adamu Tilde, Idris Hamza Yana, Mubarak Ibrahim Lawan, Marzuq Abubakar Ungogo, Tijjani Muhammad Musa, Tijjani Ahmad, Mallam Ibrahim Gumel, Rabiu Shamma, Abubakar Sulaiman, Aliyu Jalal, Goni Mohammed, Muhammad Adamu Tukur etc. Some of the ladies that registered their presence at TEDx #KanoCity include Maryam Gatawa, Naseeba Babale, Aisha Mahmud, Safiyya Abubakar Adam etc.

Image may contain: 3 people, people smiling, people standingThere were however many faces that were expected to be seen at the ideas conference that were absent. When DWi investigated the reason for such a discouraging none presence, most informed they were not aware of the event due to its poor publicity. They discovered the history making TEDx #KanoCity had happened only after it has been staged, much to their disappointment.

On the whole however, TEDx BabaDanBaffaSt was a resounding success most especially that it was solely a youth organized thing and lacking in financial support, corporate sponsorship and promotional offers from products and services providers who could have taken advantage of the global TEDx brand to promote their images. Even the media was minimally present, which could be attributed to lack of proper contact or invitation for them to participate.

TEDx under the organizing leadership of Muddassir Sulaiman Abdullah has proven to be a mind blowing phenomenon. This many have attested to and many more have expressed their amazement that a young man with the contribution from young males and females like him, using very meager resources could achieve such a milestone.

Asked where the next TEDx from his license would take place and when? Muddasir S. Abdallah’s response was “Next, we are taking it out of Kano to one or two of the northern cities, before going national.” Given his score card on TEDx BabaDanBaffaSt, no one should doubt that it is going to be yet another huge event worthy of travelling thousands of miles to attend, like several intellectuals did on this one.

(c) 2018 DesignWorld INT’L


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