Port Elizabeth – TedxPortElizabeth hosted a salon talk themed #ShapingTheFuture at Art on Target in Newton Park on August 9th. Ted had three local activists speaking at the event which are proceeding the main event later next month.
The Three activists namely Rushka Johnson, Sakhumzi Nyendwana and Councilor Samantha Beynon all spoke under the same theme but in relation to their causes. Rushka Johnson who is an environmental activist spoke on protecting the seed to protect farmers’ freedom and the safe food production. Johnson said: “genetically modified foods are important if they increase the production quantity, improve the nutrient levels of food but they are also dangerous as they can be cacogenic.” At the end of her talk Rushka then gave away seeds to everyone in the audience to serve as metaphor of the talk that she had given.
Following Johnson was Sakhumzi Nyendwana who is a local Visual Artist based in Motherwell working under company named Hand in Hand which he co-owns with his brother. Although very nervous, Nyendwana treated audience to not only a speech but also drew an African Hut as he spoke to give to a lucky member of the audience.
In his speech Nyendwana described how he did not let his dyslexia deter him from achieving his dreams. Nyendwana added that “in all my art I incorporate the Xhosa culture and by doing so I remember where I am come from so I can shape the future being rooted in who I am.”
Last speaker for the day was political activist Samantha Beynon who serves as a PR Councillor in the Nelson Mandela Bay municipality. Councillor Beynon’s topic was ‘choices, chances and changes’- she delved into her personal lived experience to show how she dealt with the changes in her life to get to where she is today.
She spoke about the death of a parent and how that made her make a choice to deal with the changes so she can keep and pen more chances to elevate where she was. Councillor Beynon encouraged audience members especially the youth to use this kind of approach to life’s challenges to ensure that they shape their futures well.
Nelson Mandela University student who is a singer and songwriter, Lesedi Milongo, performed some of her own works just after the interval which had a stall from Death by Coffee which is owned by Rushka Johnson.
Earlier in the week the three activists visited Madibaz Radio to talk promote their event.