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← Africa is a sleeping giant -- I'm trying to wake it up

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Showing Revision 7 created 07/07/2020 by Erin Gregory.

  1. What's up, people?
  2. First of all, I cannot believe
    I'm on TED Talk.
  3. This is a big deal.
  4. Because right now,
  5. everybody in my village is watching this.
  6. And so, of course,
    my bride price just went up.
  7. My name is Adeola Fayehun.

  8. I'm from Nigeria.
  9. I live in the US,
  10. I'm a journalist, or a comedian,
  11. or a satirist,
  12. anything you want me to be, really.
  13. I'm every woman, it's all in me.
  14. I host a YouTube show called
    "Keeping It Real with Adeola."
  15. Now this show is a gentle,
    respectful and very blunt way
  16. of calling out corrupt African leaders.
  17. (Video) President Buhari: I don't know
    which party my wife belongs to,

  18. but she belongs to my kitchen.
  19. Adeola Fayehun: Oh, my God!

  20. I need some water --
  21. I said I need some water!
  22. See?

  23. I basically keep it real with them, ha!
  24. Especially when they mess up,
    which is a lot of times.
  25. If any African official
    is watching me, by the way,
  26. I'm not talking about you, sir.
  27. I'm talking about your colleagues, yes.
  28. I do this because Africa
    has everything in it to be great.

  29. You know, I grew up believing
  30. that Africa as a continent is a giant.
  31. We've got skills, intellectuals,
  32. natural resources
    more than any other continent.
  33. Africa supplies 31 percent
    of the world's gold,
  34. manganese and uranium,
  35. 57 percent of the world's diamonds
  36. and 13 percent of the world's oil.
  37. We have no reason to depend on aid
  38. or borrowing money
    from China or the World Bank.
  39. But without good leaders,
  40. we're like an eagle
    that has no idea it could fly,
  41. let alone soar.
  42. Africa is a like a sleeping giant.

  43. Now the truth is,
    I'm trying to wake up this giant,
  44. and that's why I air the dirty laundry
  45. of those in charge of the giant.
  46. Our politicians, our religious leaders,
  47. with huge respect, of course,
  48. because more than anything else,
  49. African leaders love to be respected.
  50. So I give it to them in doses.
  51. On my show,
  52. I kneel for them -- ha! --
  53. I call them my uncles, my aunties,
  54. my fathers in the lord,
  55. and then --
  56. I insult them for insulting
    our intelligence.
  57. And it's because we are tired
  58. of the hypocrisy and false promises.
  59. For example,

  60. the Nigerian president
    vowed to end medical tourism
  61. by fixing our dilapidated hospitals
  62. and building us new ones.
  63. But what did he do?
  64. He spends three months
    receiving treatment in London in 2017.
  65. We were without a president
    for three months.
  66. We were president-less for three months.
  67. So then it becomes my job
    to call out the President,
  68. with respect, of course.
  69. I said, "Ha, Mr. President,
    it's your girl, Adeola.
  70. You know how I do,
    how you doing?
  71. You have no shame."
  72. I forgot to add "sir."
  73. "Sir, you have no shame.
  74. (In Yoruba: You have no fear of God.)
  75. You have no fear of God."
  76. Thirty-five thousand Nigerian doctors
    are presently working in the US,

  77. the UK and Canada,
  78. doing amazing things,
  79. because in Nigeria,
    they are not well-paid,
  80. neither do they have
    the necessary equipment
  81. to do the job of being a doctor.
  82. And this is happening
    in many African countries.
  83. We have the capacity to fly.

  84. But sadly, a lot of African talent
    is flying straight out of Africa
  85. to other continents.
  86. For example,
  87. this Nigerian doctor
    operated on an unborn baby
  88. in Texas.
  89. Also, this Nigerian doctor
  90. discovered the neurological effects
    of concussion on athletes.
  91. And many countries have African athletes
  92. winning the gold medal for them.
  93. The interesting thing is,

  94. we're waiting for God to fix Africa.
  95. Like, for real, it's not a joke,
    we are, we're waiting for God.
  96. I mean, just look
    at the president of Burundi.
  97. He's jailing journalists
    and opposition members,
  98. but he declared national day of prayer
  99. so that people could pray
    for God to fix the country.
  100. And I'm like, shouldn't he
    be fixing the country?
  101. Oh, no, no, no, no, no, no.
  102. We want God to fix it.
  103. Do you see what I have to deal with?
  104. I'm telling you,
  105. thunder is getting ready
    to hit these politicians some day.
  106. We are better than this.
  107. I want our leaders
    to start taking responsibility
  108. and stop putting everything on God.
  109. God has given us everything we need.
  110. It's right here, let's use it.
  111. But here's the thing,
    my favorite part of what I do

  112. is featuring Africans doing amazing work,
  113. ordinary people touching lives.
  114. Like this Kenyan woman, Wangari Maathai,
  115. the first African woman
    to receive the Nobel Peace prize,
  116. for standing up for human rights
  117. and planting a million trees.
  118. Also this Zimbabwean woman,
  119. Dr. Tererai Trent,
  120. who was married off at the age of 14
  121. in exchange for a cow.
  122. Yet, this woman taught herself
    to read and write,
  123. and she ended up on Oprah's show.
  124. Oh, Father, I want
    to be on Oprah some day.
  125. Today, this woman has built schools
  126. for thousands of children in Zimbabwe.
  127. Also, popular British architect
    David Adjaye has designed

  128. spectacular buildings around the world.
  129. And he's both Ghanian and Tanzanian,
  130. so we know that it has to be
    the Ghanian Jollof rice,
  131. which he ate,
  132. that gave him the inspiration to design.
  133. Ah, maybe it's the Nigerian Jollof rice,
  134. because Nigerian one is better.
  135. Anyway, but that is what gave him
    the inspiration to become
  136. the great man that he is today.
  137. And while I have your attention,

  138. I have one more thing to say,
  139. so please move closer.
  140. OK, that's good,
    don't get too close, that's good.
  141. I don't like the way some of you
  142. portray Africa.
  143. Not all of you, just some of you.
  144. You especially.
  145. First of all, it's not a country,
    it's a continent.

  146. I do not know Paul from Uganda,
  147. I don't know Rebecca from Zimbabwe.
  148. Nigeria is as far from Zimbabwe
  149. as New York is from France.
  150. And it's not a bunch of naked people
    in need of Western charity.
  151. You have it all wrong.
  152. Lions are not roaming our streets, OK?
  153. And I could go on,
  154. but you already know
    what I'm talking about.
  155. So while I try to do my job,

  156. trying to wake up
    the sleeping giant, Africa,
  157. so she could take her rightful place
    on the world's arena,
  158. you can your bit, too.
  159. Please listen more.
  160. Listen to your African friends
  161. without a preconceived notion
  162. of what you think
    that they're going to say.
  163. Read African books.
  164. Oh, my God, watch African movies.
  165. Or at the very least,
  166. learn some of the names
    of our 54 beautiful countries.
  167. That's right, 54, baby, five-four.
  168. Alright, y'all, it's been real,
  169. and I'm keeping it real right up in here.
  170. Until next time,
    I'm going to see you all later.
  171. Peace out.