Ramon Thomas

TEDx reflects on a breathtaking 2017

Thank you all for another wonderful year. Here’s a short video recap of last from TEDx around the world…

Everyday, as we watch the talks produced by TEDx groups around the world, sort through the photographs taken, and read the stories shared, we are constantly awed by the hard work and dedication you bring to your communities and to the TEDx mission.

2017 was an incredible year for TEDx, filled with impressive milestones that speak to your efforts to spread local ideas that make an impact on a global scale. As the year comes to an end, we continue to be encouraged by the strength and passion of the TEDx community, and hope you’ll join us in taking a moment to reflect on the positive spirit of TEDx and all of the good you help put back into the world.

Wishing you a happy and healthy new year,

The TEDxPortElizabeth Team

TEDxPortElizabeth launches Salon events in 2017

2017 TEDxPortElizabeth Salon 1

[Port Elizabeth, South Africa] TEDxPortElizabeth is thrilled to announce its first Salon event at Art on Target on Saturday 8 April from 14h00 to 16h00, with the theme “Truth or Dare.

The Salon is dedicated to overturning stones and revealing hard truths about global issues in Nelson Mandela Bay. We will discuss untold truths about xenophobia and gender inequality in South Africa.

Guest speaker, Siv Greyson – YouTuber, writer and a black queer student activist – will share her experience and views about “The Revolutionary Spectrum.”

Siv Greyson Youtube Black Queer photographer

Goodness Onwuka, a man who came to South Africa in 2014 from Nigeria in pursuit of self-realization now holds a master of mechatronic engineering degree from Nelson Mandela Metropolitan University where he currently lectures will also share his experience and will explore the concept of Xenophobia.

Goodness Onwuka Nigerian in Port Elizabeth NMMU

Event Details:

VENUE: Art on Target, 2 Kloof Road, Port Elizabeth, Eastern Cape
TIME: 14:00-16:00
TICKETS: R50 per person

Tickets are available at: http://tedxportelizabeth.org.za/tickets


  • Khanyi Ndabambi, Cell. 072 6137 229
  • Sinomtha Gede, Cell 073 8984 098

Our Social Media: Facebook | Twitter | Google+/ | LinkedIn | Website Contact

About TEDx:

A TEDx event is a local gathering where live TED-like talks and videos are shared with the community. To find more TEDx events in South Afric, click here.

About TEDxPortElizabeth:

TEDxPortElizabeth’s mission is Local Ideas Worth Spreading in Nelson Mandela Bay. We are currently the only license holder of TEDx events in the Eastern Cape, South Africa. You can watch our 2016 conference TEDx Talks here.


TED Idea Search Events in Africa

We received this email from Kelo Kubu, As you all know TEDGlobal is coming to Tanzania next August 2017.

TED will be hosting speaker auditions in Lagos and Nairobi next February. The closing date for applications is December 13th. Below is the application link. Please share with your community.

Have a TED Talk idea? Apply to our Idea Search events in Africa

Nairobi and Lagos might be a bit far but it might be something worth doing. Here’s more details:

We’re in the middle of the TED Africa Idea Search — a talent search for the next great TEDGlobal speaker. Could it be you?

We’re thrilled to announce that applications are open for two new events in Africa: TEDLagos and TEDNairobi 2017 Idea Search!

Here are just a few speakers who were discovered during past talent searches — and who’ve seen more than a million views on their great ideas:

Here’s how to enter the TED Africa Idea Search: Complete the entry form and make a 1-minute video. Your 1-minute video can and should be very simple: Just explain your idea in a few sentences, and give us a flavor of how you’d present it.

Would you like to get an email of tips for making a great audition video? Sign up here.
Applications will close on Friday, December 16 at 6pm Lagos time / 8pm Nairobi time. We encourage local applicants to Lagos and Nairobi. Please choose only one event to apply to — applying to both events will not increase your chances of being selected to speak.
We can’t wait to hear your idea!


Zelda La Grange – Change Starts With You

Recently it was the 3rd anniversary of the death of Nelson Mandela, South Africa’s greatest leader. Inspired by the book: Good Morning Mr Mandela, I found this delightful TEDx Talk by Zelda La Grange:

It is easier to change others, than it is to change yourself” Nelson Mandela. After having worked alongside Nelson Mandela for 19 years his former Personal Assistant shares the lasting lessons from her experiences.

Former PA and ‘honorary granddaughter’ to the late Nelson Mandela during his administration.

This talk was given at a TEDx event using the TED conference format but independently organized by a local community. Learn more at http://ted.com/tedx

Caleb Zealand’s TEDx Talk is now on Youtube

We’ve finished editing all the videos from our TEDx conference on 1 July 2016 at AFDA’s Port Elizabeth campus. We’re grateful for our filming team especially Rostin van Heerden in Uitenhage and Randy Gallant in Port Elizabeth.

Although we’re still uploading all 15 speakers and performers’ videos, we have two currently live on Youtube. Here’s the first one featuring child palaeontologist Caleb Zealand:

Caleb Zealand loves dinosaurs. He shares three types of dinosaurs you need to know: Pachycephalosarus, a land dinosaur; Pterannodon, a flying reptile; and Mosasaurus, a marine reptile.

Caleb Zealand is 7-years old and in grade 1 at the Uitenhage Convent Roman Catholic Primary School. He has memorised the names of numerous dinosaurs from books, toys and movies. When he grows up he plans to become a palaeontologist like Dr Alan Grant in the 1990 book, Jurassic Park, by Michael Crichton and the movies franchise.

This talk was given at a TEDx event using the TED conference format but independently organized by a local community.
Added Aug 8, 2016


Live from TEDSummit – a look back at a productive week

Hello TEDx’ers!

We have just come out of the final session at the TEDSummit in Banff, Canada where nearly 400 members of the TEDx community came together for a week long first-of-its-kind experience. Here we were joined by many of the most prolific TED and TEDx speakers and members of all TED’s communities — together almost 1000 strong. The theme of the conference was ‘Aim higher, together’ and we certainly did!

2016 TEDSummit TEDx community Cananda
We wanted to share with you some of the highlights from the week.

  • We kicked off the week with a pre-conference gathering for TEDx’ers which we named the TEDx Global Forum.This was not an ordinary workshop but rather a journey centered on Passion, Purpose, and Action! In more than 30 breakout rooms, TEDx’ers articulated our shared passions, wrote out purpose statements, and brainstormed on actions we can take as a community. The outcomes of the sessions were rich and plentiful. As soon as we have a chance to process and organize all the ideas we will share them with you so we can explore and advance them together. In the meanwhile we wanted to share pictures from these breakouts.

  • Also at the TEDx Global Forum, Chris Anderson addressed TEDx’ers and spoke about his experiences as a curator (and included some amusing examples of talks “gone wrong”), his hopes for the TEDx community and his excitement to find new ideas that are emerging from new voices.The next day he hosted the TEDx community for a conversation about his latest book on speaker coaching.

  • TEDx’ers work hard and play hard! After a busy morning we went on an amazing adventure to Lake Louise where we hiked, canoed on the gorgeous blue glacier water, played lawn games and socialized against one of the world’s most magnificent backdrops.This was followed by a festive reception hosted by the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation at Wild Bill’s Legendary Saloon.

  • TEDSummit kicked off on Sunday with a concert under the stars hosted by our TED Fellows, and in the opening session Chris spoke about the power of TED, the challenges we face today as the world sometimes doesn’t live up to our expectations; and, why ideas matter, now more than ever.

  • More than 114 community-led workshops and activities were offered at the Summit. The program book was 128 pages (check out a digital copy here). TEDx’ers hosted many sessions including one on tackling trauma by Jo Dee Davis and augmented learning by Eric Hawkinson. One of the most popular sessions was hosted by TEDxBeaconStreet speaker Robert Waldinger on happiness.  And best of all, many of us got to attend so many of these sessions that offered unique opportunities for learning.

  • As always, there were an abundance of fascinating talks. Jennifer Brea gave a heart wrenching talk about battling Chronic Fatigue Syndrome and eL Seed discussed the profound impact art has on our lives and our perceptions.

  • Through a pre-recorded video that was played during Session 3, Marwa al-Sabouni, an architect who lives in Syria, gave the audience insight into perhaps another reason for the war in Syria: architecture.

  • Fun gatherings were plentiful, here are just a few highlights.

  • In the end, this is how we all aim higher together.

We wish we could have all come together in one room. We missed you dearly and hope we catch you at the next TED event!  We look forward to sharing with you even more details about our time and outcomes from TEDSummit in the coming weeks!

We are excited to continue to aim higher, together, with all of you.

Until then,

Jay, Salome and the TEDx team

TEDxPortElizabeth launches in Nelson Mandela Bay

[Port Elizabeth, Monday, 27 June 2016] – Sharing a world of dreams with the global TED and TEDx community, TEDxPortElizabeth will launch their first conference this year with the theme Through the Looking Glass in partnership with the new AFDA Film School in Port Elizabeth.

TEDxPortElizabeth continues on from TEDxNMMU (2012) and TEDxSummerstrand (2013), both organized by students from NMMU. TED (Technology, Entertainment & Design) started in 1984 in California as an elite conference for visionaries and innovators. By 2012 TED Talks had been viewed more than 1 billion times online.

This TEDx conference features 15 speakers and performers from Johannesburg, Cape Town, Durban, George, Jeffrey’s Bay, Uitenhage and Port Elizabeth.

TEDx Port Elizabath 2016

Audience will be captivated by international business coach, Deshun Deysel, will open the conference speaking on Peak Performance. Her family moved from Uitenhage to Johannesburg when she was 12 years old. She powered into the history books in 1996, being part of the first group of South Africans to plant the new democratic flag on Mt Everest.

Another highlight is Farah Fortune, known in the entertainment industry as the “pit bull in heels.” She is the CEO of African Star Communications, with offices in Lagos, Nigeria and Johannesburg and her clients include AKA, Casper Nyovest and Pam Andrews.

TEDx 2016 Port Elizabeth

After attending the TEDGlobal conference in Tanzania in 2007, I have become very active in speaking and organising TEDx events in China and South Africa,” says Ramon Thomas, TEDxPortElizabeth founder. After returning home with an MBA degree from China, Thomas started recruiting a team of enthusiastic volunteers from in Nelson Mandela Bay.

Speakers from Port Elizabeth include mama Nomhle Nkonyeni, who recently won a SAFTA life-time achievement award; Xhosa poet Siyabonga Ngcai aka Gqoboz’imbawula Mbawula, Alexander Road High school learner; Thulani Ndzotyana who wants to be the first female president of South Africa in 2044; and youth artist, Mdali group.

TEDx 2016 Port Elizabeth

Speakers from Uitenhage include 7-year old child palaeontologist Caleb Zealand; Mr Joe Slingers, who was featured in the book, Great South African Teachers by Prof Jonathan Jansen; Mrs Elizabeth Muller, head librarian   for 25 years until her retirement in 2009; and artist Colleen Grewar.

Wikipedia editor, Bobby Shabangu, contributes to the world’s largest encyclopedia writing articles in isiSwati and English. “I discovered that if I don’t edit, no one will edit,” he says. “[I wanted] to activate people into talking about Wikipedia and the work they do and everything that’s actually how I got involved with the whole thing.”

AFDA is sponsoring the venue for this conference. Their students will film all the speakers and performers and the videos will be uploaded to the TEDx YouTube channel. This is an opportunity to showcase Nelson Mandela Bay’s talent on the global stage.

The 2016 TEDxPortElizabeth conference takes place at AFDA Port Elizabeth campus, 28 Bird Street, Central on Friday, 1 July 2016. Only 100 tickets for this conference are on sale online.

Event details:

  • Venue: AFDA Port Elizabeth campus, 28 Bird Street, Central
  • Date: Friday, 1 July 2016
  • Time: 09h00-15h00
  • 15 Speakers, Performances, Networking and 4 curated TED Talks
  • Our Social Media: Facebook | Twitter | Google+ | Website

TEDxPortElizabeth 2016 Conference line-up

About TEDx, x = independently organized event ?In the spirit of ideas worth spreading, TEDx is a program of local, self-organized events that bring people together to share a TED-like experience. At a TEDx event, TEDTalks video and live speakers combine to spark deep discussion and connection in a small group. These local, self-organized events are branded TEDx, where x = independently organized TED event. The TED Conference provides general guidance for the TEDx program, but individual TEDx events are self-organized. (Subject to certain rules and regulations.)


Jade Redcliffe, Communications Manager

Mobile 072-5659132

Email: tedxpe@gmail.com

Joe Slingers: Ek bring vir jou my kind

This story was originally published in Volksblad newspaper in Bloemfontein in 2012. We share it here because Mr Joe Slingers, an educator from Uitenhage, will be one of our speakers at the TEDxPortElizabeth conference on Friday, 1 July 2016 at the AFDA Film School, Port Elizabeth.

ONDERWYSER, ek bring vir jou my kind.

Met hierdie eenvoudige dog roerende woorde sal tienduisende ouers aanstaande maand hul kind voor die deur van ’n gr.1-klaskamer afsien en hom of haar die eerste keer aan die sorg van ’n onderwyser toevertrou.

Die mens wat hierdie kosbare woorde van opeenvolgende generasies ouers in herinnering bring, is Joe Slingers, ’n veteraan-onderwyser en skoolhoof. Hy word vereer op Uitenhage, ’n klein dorp waarvan die ekonomiese voortbestaan byna uitsluitend van die Volkswagen-aanleg op sy drempel afhang.

Een van sy mees vooraanstaande studente uit die Hoërskool Uitenhage, Ghauderen Coetzee, het ’n pragtige lofgedig ter ere van Slingers geskryf. Dit is opgeneem in die nuwe boek Great South African Teachers.

Joe Slingers, Ghaudren Coetzee, Jonathan Jansen Book Signing
Joe Slingers, Ghaudren Coetzee, Jonathan Jansen Book Signing in 2012

Ek luister aandagtig na die goed bewoorde toespraak van die veteraan-onderwyser.

Met apologie aan dienende onderwysers: Ek hoor nie meer sulke belesenheid, balans, emosie, gedissiplineerdheid, sorg en welsprekendheid in die stemme van onderwysers nie.

Sy beheerste ontleding van wat ouers van die ontvangende gr.1-onderwyser verwag, vervul ’n mens met besorgdheid namate jy begrip kry vir die ontsaglike verantwoordelikheid wat oorgedra word in die woorde: “Ek bring vir jou my kind.”

Met die oorhandiging van hul kind aan die onderwyser ervaar die ouers verskillende emosies. Die ma wat haar kind oorhandig, verwag nie dat die kind sal misluk nie. Sy kan haar ook nie voorstel dat haar kind in die komende 12 jaar, of meer, van formele skoolopleiding op die skoolterrein of in die klaskamer seergemaak, misbruik of verneder word nie.

Sy veronderstel dat haar kind dieselfde sorg, liefde en toewyding as dié wat sy as moeder koester, sal ervaar.

Tog weet sy in haar hart dat die oorhandiging risiko’s inhou en dat, afhangend van die skool, die kans skraal kan wees dat haar kind gr.12 gaan bereik, en nog skraler dat die kind haar finale jaar ongedeerd sal bereik.

En so hoop ’n mens dat die kind nie te erg afgeknou sal word nie, dat endemiese stakings deur vakbonde nie die kind se vordering sal kortwiek nie, dat die meisie wellustige manlike onderwysers gespaar sal bly, en dat die kind raakgesien sal word wanneer sy in ’n oorvol klas haar hand opsteek.

Ek bring vir jou my kind.”

Dié oomblik van oorhandiging is vir enige ouer verskriklik. Ek het dit twee keer gedoen.

Terwyl jou kind hand aan hand saam met die onderwyser wegstap, kyk hy of sy na jou terug.

Tensy jy ’n hart van klip het, vloei die trane dan.

Jy hoop maar net dat die ses jaar van sorg en koestering onder jou voogdyskap jou kind die volgende 12 jaar taai sal maak vir die moeilike omgewing, genaamd skool. En jy wens ten diepste dat die nuwe volwassene wat in loco parentis sal optree, jou kind met dieselfde toewyding as jy sal liefhê, versorg en onderrig.

Terwyl ek na die onderwyser Joe Slingers se passie en oortuigingskrag luister, hoor ek die stemme van ander meester-onderwysers: Nat Bongo, H.H. Dlamenze, Ernie Steenveld, Winkie Direko, Harold Samuel, T.W. Kambule en talle ander.
Strydrosse soos hulle is deesdae skaars.

Onderwyser, ek bring vir jou my kind.

Waarop die ontvangende onderwyser – in die onvergeetlike woord van Joe Slingers – sê: “Sannie, kom saam met my. Ek is jou onderwyser.” En met daardie woorde van liefde en gesag begin vir die kleintjie ’n nuwe lewensreis

source: Prof Jonathan Jansen in Volksblad (2011)

Bobby Shabangu – Wikipedia Editor

Bobby Shabangu Wikipedia Editor TEDx Port Elizabeth

Yarning for articles native to people and traditions of Africa, in late 2012, Bobby Shabangu began to edit both SiSwati and English Wikipedia. “I discovered that if I don’t edit, no one will edit,” he says. “[I wanted] to activate people into talking about Wikipedia and the work they do and everything…that’s actually how I got involved with the whole thing.”

Today, Bobby volunteers with the Jo’burgpedia project, which aims to improve Wikipedia’s coverage of the city of Johannesburg. The project works with institutions in the city to host editing events for students. He also encourages the students who attend the events to edit in their native languages. He is also deeply involved with the South African Wikimedia chapter that promotes local awareness of the projects and their proper academic use, encourage translation efforts into local languages and support the creation of local free knowledge and media, which he says is growing stronger now more than ever.

His Topic: Wikipedia & Africa’s Role

Chris Anderson to host an exclusive webinar next Monday!

Dear TEDx’ers

TED Talks Official Guide to Public Speaking by Chris AndersonJoin us for an exclusive webinar hosted by Chris Anderson next Monday, June 13th from 17:00 to 18:00 (South African Time). This is a great opportunity for TEDx organizers who have read Chris’s new book TED Talks: The Official TED Guide to Public Speaking. Chris will be sharing insights about the book and answering questions.

To join, please head to the TEDxHub on Monday, June 13th at 17:00 (GMT+2).

We look forward to seeing you there!

The TEDx Team

TEDxPortElizabeth 2016 Conference Speaker Intro

The next TEDxPortElizabeth event is on 1 July 2016 – Through the Looking Glass – and will be held at the AFDA Film School Campus, 28 Bird Street, Central, Port Elizabeth.

Sorry but ticket sales are now closed

Confirmed speakers at our 1 July 2016 conference:

  1. Bjorn Bester (Uitenhage), Musician
  2. Bobby Shabangu (Johannesburg), Wikipedia Editor
  3. Caleb Zealand (Uitenhage), Child Palaeontologist
  4. Colleen Grewar (Uitenhage), Doll Collector
  5. Deshun Deysel (Johannesburg), Mountaineer
  6. Elizabeth Muller (Uitenhage), former Librarian
  7. Farah Fortune (Johannesburg), Celebrity Publicist
  8. Joe Slingers (Uitenhage), former High School principal
  9. Johnson Mthembu (Durban), Gender Activist
  10. Mdali group, Youth Artists
  11. Nomhle Nkonyeni (Port Elizabeth), Actress
  12. Siyabonga Ngcai (Port Elizabeth), Poetry
  13. Thulani Ndzotyana (Port Elizabeth), Student Activist
  14. Trevor Watkins (Jeffrey’s Bay), Author
  15. Wehan van Jaarsveld (George), Dance Teacher

Session Hosts

Only 100 tickets are available:

  • From 1 to 5 June – 20 early bird tickets @ R555.00 each
  • From 6 June to 30 June – 80 tickets at R888.00 each
  • A mandatory admin fee of R5.00 will be added with a maximum of R10.00 if more than one ticket is purchased.

Please Note: TEDx events may not make a profit and volunteers may not make any money or present at any events. Ticket costs cover the logistics, catering, venue hire, staging, transport and accommodation for out of town guests as well as video production and incidentals.

If the TEDx event is a full day one then your ticket covers morning and afternoon tea as well as lunch. At some events, depending on sponsors, a goodie bag and other giveaways may also be available.

Ramon Thomas

RJ-ProfileAfter completing my MBA in China, I returned to South Africa in January 2016. I attended the TEDGlobal conference in 2007 in Tanzania, hosted TEDx events in China and South Africa.

Find Ramon Thomas here: http://ramonthomas.com | Facebook | Twitter

The following TED talk is Ramon Thomas’s favourite because:

Because I used to work in IT until 2004 and moved into Education since 2007. Prof Sugata Mitra shows a clear way in which children can teach themselves with access the Internet. This TED Talks shows a practical solution to the biggest problem in society, forced complsory schooling as described by John Taylor Gatto.

Through The Looking Glass, Friday 1 July 2016

We are organizing and now is the time to go ‘THROUGH THE LOOKING GLASS’

Alice Through The Looking Glass

In the spirit of TED’s mission, “ideas worth spreading,” the TEDx program helps communities, organizations and individuals produce TED-style events at the local level. TEDx events are planned and coordinated independently, on a community-by-community basis, under a free license from TED.

“By paying attention to to things that shine forth, because this thing is the reality instead of the map, you are gaining access to the real information that’s in the world. It’s not pre-packaged information because that can be false.” ~ Prof Jordan B. Peterson @ TEDxUofT in 2013.

Inspired by the sequel to Alice in Wonderland our event theme asks the you to imagine if everything was backwards.

Friday July 1, 2016
8:00am – 6:00pm SAST
Port Elizabeth
AFDA Film School – 28 Bird Street, Central, Port Elizabeth