Tag Archives: TED Talks

True Grit

Grit, the TED Talk by Angela Lee Duckworth is one of my favorites to use in the classroom, especially with freshmen.  University may seem like the inevitable next step for most students after completing high school.  However, completing university, for many students, is anything but inevitable.  Student’s who come from backgrounds where university was not the norm or financially their families are not able to help have a difficult time completing the coursework within the traditional timeframe.

I love Gunya Pamla’s inspiring story. He started university but then was not able to complete his courses due to financial support.  However, he kept his eyes on the prize and graduated from NMMU with a degree in law. Read the full story in the Port Elizabeth Herald here.

Gunya Pamla posing as a car guard in his graduation robe.

South Africa at an intersection, not a fork in the road

Jakkie Cilliers presents a forecast of South Africa at the 2014 Tedx Johannesburg event. He presents three possible futures for South Africa: Mandela Magic, Nation Divided, and Bafana Bafana.

What comes to mind when you hear “Africa”?

Are you going to study abroad some where in Africa?  This might be a good video to show your friends and family when you break the news.  Over and over again students tell their families that they’re headed for a semester in South Africa or another African country and the questions start regarding safety, animals, or modernity. However, each student who travels to an African country has the chance to stop the single story being told of the African continent and her people.

Remember, if you are studying abroad, you are going there to learn and not save anyone.  Be open-minded. Be a student.

Danger of a Single Story


This week was orientation,  I think I’ve mentioned that bit. Today, we only had one workshop and it was “The Danger of a Single Story.”  During the workshop we watched this video and following the video there was a presentation by Somina Igani, a third year law student.  I appreciated these presentations in conjunction with each other.  Out of the whole group, I was the only person who had seen the video before, but each time I watch it I do get something new from it.  Especially watching the talk again, now, in this environment it resonated even deeper with me.  In the past week and a half, I’ve been getting to know the SCSU group I’m with.  Then we met the other study abroad students who came on the weekend orientation, from a variety of countries.  We were all just trying to get names correct!  As the week continued we keep getting to know one another but none of us want to be a “single story” to another person.

What Samina’s presentation added to this video was powerful because it dealt directly with multiculturalism at NMMU. There are students from more than 60 countries at this university, from Africa, Asia, Europe, and the Americas. I hope to get a copy of his presentation because it was very good. His presentation was trying to help us understand that just because we do things differently, it does not make us crazy or less human.  Moreover, doing things differently is what we should expect but love should happen anyway.  We need each other in this life and if we want to make the world a better place then we need each other.

“A tree can never make a forrest.” -African Proverb

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