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TEDx Yaba 2017 On studying the past to prepare for the future

Omobola Johnson, Maryam Uwais and Tunji Lardner joined other innovators and decsion-makers to talk about the future at Ozone Cinemas, Yaba.

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play TEDx Yaba 2017 was a gathering of people and ideas at Ozone Cinemas, E-Center, Yaba, Lagos. (Pulse)

Sessions by Omobola Johnson, Victor Asemota and Tunji Lardner were the highlights as some of the finest innovators in Lagos gathered on Saturday, 19 August 2017 at the Ozone Cinemas, E-Centre, Yaba, Lagos for this year’s edition of TEDx Yaba.

TedX Yaba is an independently organised gathering created in the image of TED, where some of the world’s greatest thinkers, researchers and influencers gather to share ideas and inspire.

This year’s edition, themed “The Past, Present and Future” featured conversations about the emergence of Yaba and ideas that reflect the innovations and the innovative spirit that have made Yaba an example to other cities in the country.

play Innovators, influencers and players formed part of the audience at TedXYaba 2017 (Pulse)

The last few years have seen the growth of an increasingly important tech ecosystem that has attracted attention from around the world, with the recent visit of Facebook’s Mark Zuckerberg widely regarded as a cosign.

This has happened mostly as a function of the work of innovators from and within Yaba, a suburb of Lagos that has developed from its commercial past into what some now refer to as Nigeria’s Silicon Valley.

Former Minister for Communication Technology and Partner at TLcom, Omobola Johnson delivered the day’s most inspiring presentation on how technology can improve the quality of life and how innovation can help Africa cross the barrier to the next level. 

She praised the work of tech companies like GidiMobile and Flutterwave but emphasised the need to work at scale to optimise the clear potential in Africa’s population and resources.

play Efe Paul gave a resounding and emphatic spoken word performance (Pulse)


Lala Akindoju, an actor, producer and director with over 70 productions under her belt, spoke about storytelling and the need to document our experiences in this digital age.

Tunji Lardner, in the spirit of the event’s theme, spoke on the need to understand our past as a scoiety and a nation and inform new mindsets that will affect the change we desire.

If you don’t understand your future and contextualise it, you cannot create the future”, Lardner said during his session.

Special Adviser to the President on Social Investment, Maryam Uwais also discussed her social transformation work and how technology is supporting that work.

play Maryam Uwais represented a public official's perspective on the growth and importance of technology and the local ecosuystem (Pulse)


Through the session, Jollof Rice came up more than once but it was Folakunle Oshun, the Lagos based artist who manages Lagos Biennial who was most passionate about the iconic dish.

He portrayed the dish in a new light, examining its history and how it can inspire a collective unity of purpose moving forward.

Victor Asemota also delivered one of the more interesting and thought-provoking discussions when he spoke on ‘Ideas Worth Sharing’. Using personal experiences, he emphasized the need to share stories and ideas that can influence others.

play TY Bello is renowned for her work as a photographer and as part of the group "KUSH" (Pulse)


The sessions were punctuated with performances by soulful singer, Aduke and a charged session by spoken word artist, Efe Paul.

Other speakers at the event included photographer TY Bello; Seni Sulyman, country head for Andela; Judith Okonkwo and Ade Balogun.

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