Interview Sithabile Mlotshwa
What was you first response when TED asked you to talk at its stage?
I felt humbled. Then disbelief crept in – because it was too exciting to have the opportunity to share my ideas and the creative work that occupies my life with great thinkers and pioneers from across the globe. It’s a great honor and pleasure to be part of such a community.
What is your strongest motivation to participate in a TED talk?
I was asked and found it a great opportunity because TED is a wonderful platform for sharing knowledge. I see TED as a sea of wisdom that inspires and paves the way for the next generation of leaders.
How does this relate to your activities to promote reciprocal cultural exchange?
TED is about Ideas Worth Spreading. My belief is that reciprocity of cultures, or the lack of it, is the subject which has great impact on the development of societies, in the past, now and on the long run. As an artist and a cultural producer, my experience has thought me that communication born through reciprocal cultural exchange is therefore the bridge for understanding and to connect cultures.
‘I see TED as a sea of wisdom that inspires and paves the way for the next generation of leaders.’
How does the theme ‘Reshaping the future’ fit in with your TED talk?
This theme inspires reflection, and fills my mind with visions of promise. Reshaping the future is like the first drops of rain after a long dry season and thus compels us to get up before dawn to plough the fields. It makes me think of the wisdom of artist Pelagie Gbaguidi who proposes a reflection on “moving alongside the Self, that is, towards the Other.
How would you formulate your ‘idea worth spreading’ in a tweet?
When the next generation of leaders arrive.
Who are you looking forward to seeing on stage at TED the 7th or 8th of December?
Corinne Heijn and Ghada Abdel Aal
Who would you love to see on a TED stage any time in the future?
Misheck Masamvu, a visionary – young and brilliant Zimbabwean artist
Tanner Mathvin, founder and director of Africa Centre in Cape town South Africa
Rien van Groenewegen, Stichting WHAA Nijmegen in the Netherlands
Simon Mambazo Phiri, Sabela productions in Bulawayo, Zimbabwe
How do people – old and young women & old and young men – differ in their way of thinking and leading? What differences (if any) do you notice between Zimbabwe and the Netherlands?
This question would not come to mind because it in my opinion creates categories. As an artist, I’m interested in opinions and people. Actually reflecting on this question is interesting because it opens up a lot of discussions.
If you had to choose 5 words that would describe you – which would it be?
Artistic, empathic, humble, curious versatile