My Trigger: The I in Impact Storytelling
If you listen to the Impact Chronicles podcast, you may have noticed that one of my first questions to anyone I am interviewing is what their trigger was. I love knowing the story behind the story, what drives the entrepreneur to that particular cause, just like I was triggered several years ago. What triggered me? A 2014 CNN documentary called Cocoa-nomics. Richard Quest was in Cote d Ivoire and for the first time ever, I was filled with anger and dismay at the plight of our people. I saw the plight of the African farmer in a different light. Of course, I had been exposed to poverty and lack before but this felt different. What touched me the most was how some villages in the Ivory Coast, the world’s largest cocoa producer had never tasted chocolate, yet they spent decades farming the raw product. Villagers gathered around the Chief in order to see how he, a man probably in his 70s, would react to tasting chocolate for the first time. It took me weeks to stop thinking about this. Africa’s narrative is marred by poverty and lack. I commend CNN and many other international media outlets for exposing our plight. Yet I feel that there is more to us. There are people working hard to come up with solutions to the tremendous problems that their communities face. This, Ladies and Gentlemen, is why I do what I do. The events of last week reminded me of that.
I had quite an eventful week. Let’s start from the beginning. I had the amazing privilege of spending time at SPROUT, a nonprofit organization committed to bringing STEM and professional development resources to marginalized communities in Zimbabwe and beyond. We were at Kuwadzana 6 Primary School, one of the many locations where SPROUT has built Innovation Hubs for the youth to learn to code. Co-founder Peter Kazickas is an incredible storyteller and I honestly did not want to leave! I will tell you all about it in my upcoming article on the amazing work that SPROUT is doing.
Ever been in a room and thought, these are the conversations that we need to be having more often? What could be better than gossip and spreading fake news regarding the Corona Virus you ask? I have the answer in two words. Sustainable Mobility. A week ago, I hosted a session on the Future of Sustainable Mobility in Africa at the Stanbic Incubator and what an experience it was. I was impressed that the Harare City Council, Ministry of Local Government, ZUPCO and many other relevant stakeholders were present and most importantly, keen to find out what contribution startups can make to help improve the state of affairs in the mobility sector.
Last but not least, I attended the So Creative Hubs Summit 2020. The Gathering for creative and social entrepreneurs ran under the theme, “Defining an Ecosystem Culture”. Speakers and facilitators guided a series of conversations and workshops around Shared Value, Collaboration Opportunities, Growth, Resilience and most importantly, our contribution to the African narrative. It was an insightful 4 days and I especially enjoyed the Human-Centered Design workshop that was hosted by Irene Chikumbo and Stacey Southall; Painting at the Zimbabwe German Society and all the connections I made from across the continent.
Last week reminded me of just how much stories matter. Stories and people willing to share their authentic stories matter. Impact Storytelling is my passion because I see the need for more stories to be told, the need for the African narrative to be amplified. Stories of Social Good, Innovation and Impact matter. They are the reason why Impact Chronicles exists.