Topic: “Zimbabwe’s men of ideas: irresponsibility and its implications for society” Blessing-Miles Tendi (D.Phil) is a Zimbabwean Lecturer in African politics at the University of Oxford. He is the author of “Making History in Mugabe’s Zimbabwe: Politics, Intellectuals and the Media”. Tendi’s research is principally focused on intellectuals, society and power; military history; and biographical studies. He has subsidiary interests in genocide studies; counterfactuals in historical explanation; and power-sharing in Africa. Tendi is also a regular contributor to the Guardian newspaper (UK).
Topic: “I don’t want my children to be like me – and here is why…” Chris Kabwato is a social entrepreneur and his several projects include the Centre for Public Accountability and Zimbabwe in Pictures Trust (www.zimbabweinpictures.com). He is a columnist for NewsDay (www.newsday.co.zw), one of Zimbabwe’s foremost daily newspapers. His background is in the arts and he has previously worked for the British Council as Head of Education and Public Affairs and as Director of Southern Africa Communications for Development (SACOD). His main interests are in new media (mobile, internet, and social media) and photography and how they can be deployed in storytelling (journalism, social documentary and social accountability).
Topic: “The Power of Collaboration: What becomes possible when we come together” Marianne Knuth is an experienced facilitator and designer of group learning and co-creation processes. Marianne is passionate about supporting people in coming together in more authentic and life-affirming ways to connect to previously unseen possibility. She has worked in Africa, Europe and North America, but has in the last ten years focused her work in Southern African. Her work ranges from hosting large-scale multi-stakeholder processes to rural community development. A common thread in all of Marianne’s work and explorations is a deep commitment and conviction that there is incredible wisdom and wealth in Africa that we can all benefit from connecting to. Her experience in Southern Africa has focused on multi-stakeholder dialogue and action projects, and capacity building in the field of social innovation through Reos Institute. She is the founder of Kufunda Learning Village, a leadership learning centre aimed at the creation of locally rooted solutions to community self-reliance challenges, through the use of people’s own imagination, collaboration and resources. Marianne was elected an Ashoka Fellow (www.ashoka.org) in 2004 and a Young Global Leader of the World Economic Forum
(www.weforum.org) in 2009. In 1999 Marianne co-founded Pioneers of Change (www.pioneersofchange.net), a global learning community that fosters understanding, capacities and relationships needed by younger practitioners. Marianne is married and has two children, Joseph and Emily.
(Role of Host and Connector) Nunu Kidane is an activist from Eritrea. She has lived and worked in the San Francisco/Bay Area for over two decades. Since graduating from the University of California at Berkeley, she has worked in Africa related program and policy developments, written and spoken extensively on topics of HIV/AIDS, debt cancellation, migrants’ rights, resource extraction, human rights and racial justice. For the past seven years, Nunu has focused her work on policy analysis and mobilization of African immigrants in the U.S, the need for increased visibility and integration into the progressive social justice movement. She is founding member and Director of Priority Africa Network (PAN), a grassroots organization based in Oakland. She also sits on the Steering Committee of the Black Alliance for Just Immigration (BAJI) in Oakland, California.
Topic: “Innovation and Skills Development in the Tech Space” Oswald Jumira is a researcher in the MIH Electronic Media Laboratory at University of Stellenbosch, which specialises in research in the “new media” technologies. Oswald’s research interests are in technology and connecting everything in the world. Oswald has been a Visiting Researcher at the INRIA-Lille Lab in France and the CRG Lab at the University of Michigan, USA. He was involved in joint research in next generation wireless communications system and the new paradigm of the “Internet of Things”. Oswald was involved in ICT consultancy, product development and research for a number of companies in South Africa and Zimbabwe. Most recently he has been involved in promoting NFC technology in Africa through SANFi. Oswald holds a Masters in Electrical Engineering from the University of Cape Town and a Bachelor of Engineering from NUST in Zimbabwe.
Topic: “African Creative Sector: the next 25 years” Mr. Brickhill has proven to be a visionary in Africa’s Cultural Revolution on various fronts as a Zimbabwean musician, writer, publisher, bookseller, arts activist and revolutionary. Paul Brickhill is currently the creative director of Pamberi Trust and African Synergy Trust. Pamberi Trust is one of the region’s largest performing arts programs based out of Book Café in Harare, staging stages 900 arts events annually and managing the widest-ranging arts development program in Zimbabwe based around a hybrid partnership model for an African creative economy. Brickhill also founded and serves as Creative Director or African Synergy Trust which is an African cultural network focused on intra-African cultural exchange. Brickhill also co-founded two pan-African book organizations and played a lead role in the Zimbabwe International Book Fair Trust in 1991. Brickhill formed and played with Luck Street Blues from 1995-2005 and served in Zimbabwe’s liberation struggle from 1976-1980 within ZIPRA. He is married and has four children.
Topic: “New African Culture” Director Sarah Norman is a founding member of the country’s first multi-racial theatre troupe, which has toured widely internationally. In the UK, she has assisted on the West End (Enjoy at the Gielgud), Almeida, Globe, Regent’s Park, Theatre Royal Bath and on two national tours, as well as directing extensively in her own right across London’s smaller spaces. She was a finalist for the JMK Award in 2006 and selected for Cheek by Jowl’s Shakespeare program for young directors in 2008. She is living and working between Nairobi and Harare. In Nairobi she is producing and directing a production of the Merry Wives of Windsor for Shakespeare’s Globe theatre company in London.
Topic: “The Question Posed by My Cat Concerning Extraterrestrial Cockroaches” Novelist, filmmaker and playwright, Tsitsi Dangarembga is the author of the critically acclaimed novel Nervous Conditions. Nervous Conditions is the first book published by an African woman in English. It was awarded the Commonwealth Writers Prize. Her novels gave a voice to the black women of Zimbabwe. Neria, which she wrote and directed, became the highest grossing film in Zimbabwean history. Ms Dangarembga has continued to innovate and give a voice to Zimbabweans through her founding of the International Images Film Festival for women, and her continued work with the Women Filmmakers of Zimbabwe and Zimbabwe Women Writers.