On the 16th July 2017, more than 200 people will be in attendance at the first ever TEDxPeckham!
After selling out the event in 2 hours, it has only just dawned on me that this is really happening.
How did I even get here?
What am I even doing organising a TEDx?
Only God knows.
But these are the questions I keep asking myself the closer the event gets.
I hadn’t really thought about sharing anything to do with TEDxPeckham here on my blog, in fact, I wasn’t even sure what I wanted to write until I began writing this post. But it seems fitting that I now share, in order to sift through these thoughts for my own peace of mind, more than anything.
You see my life has taken a completely different route to what I had ever imagined, consisting of the new world of social media, opportunities for travel and adventure, working with super creative people and having my own very own blog where people actually read my posts.
All of this has indeed become a large part of my life, and although not much else has changed in terms of who I am, my love for God, my relationships with family and friends, and my daily lifestyle, I have had to make room for this new and exciting path, one that holds the most surprises and the most uncertainty, but ultimately the most growth.
And man, I’ve grown over the last few months.
Last September, we were driving from Pennsylvania to New York City, on the way to the United Nations, and the idea to do a TEDx in Peckham came to me, out of nowhere. Maybe it was the fact that we had just successfully put on ‘Not A Role Model’, who knows. All I know was this urge to do TEDxPeckham hit me literally like a tonne of bricks and so I started googling furiously what I would need to do, to be in a position to put on TEDxPeckham. Once I found this out I was raring to go.
For those of you who aren’t familiar with TED, in basic, it is non-profit devoted to spreading ideas, usually in the form of short, powerful talks, in a conference-type of an environment. And TEDx supports independent organisers, like myself, who want to create a TED-like event in their own community.
Luckily for me, the licence for TEDxPeckham was available, so I applied once I got back to London. And no this isn’t going to be a step by step process of what I did to achieve the licence, rather I want to paint the picture that this wasn’t an easy feat. I applied late September and didn’t get awarded the licence until December. By this point, I had already believed that my application was unsuccessful, so when they said ‘yes’, my initial reaction was ‘oh shit’, what have I done?
Fast forward to today, and my reaction is still pretty much the same. It has been hard work. It has been a sacrifice, not just of my time but also of my energy. I don’t have a massive team behind me like other TEDx teams. I don’t have huge sponsorships deal but what I do have is the grace of God. I prayed with a friend every month for this event. I have people who genuinely believe in my vision and want to help and it makes the journey all the more worthwhile.
And having grown up in South East London my entire life and grown up on an estate for a long period of my life, I always loved the community spirit that was around. Yes, there was, is crime, there’s no denying that, but there has been so much hope, joy and success that the media neglects to share with the wider community.
Come on we have the first black storm trooper, John Boyega, we have Rio Ferdinand, Darcus Howe, Kayode Ewumi, Richard Taylor…the list goes on and on. And, I don’t know about you but that inspires me so much and makes me believe that anything in life is possible, despite your circumstances. So I wanted to give that hope to others as well. That’s my reasoning. That is it.
That is probably why I wanted to make TEDxPeckham different than any other TEDx’s and offer youth from Southwark the chance to apply for a scholarship fund. It had to be more than just an event. It has to have an impact or change on someone’s life, even if it is just one person.
I just wanted to put that out there, so I don’t stray away from that vision.
I am stupidly excited about TEDxPeckham but at the same time, I am shitting myself because I am not even quite sure what to expect.
But sometimes it’s good to go out of your comfort zone
Be blessed all and have a beautiful weekend