Be honest...you clicked on the link to correct the error in my heading into "With great power comes great responsibility". No? Ok...then you must have known that I was trying to pull some wool over your eyeballs. That not it either? One last shot at it then...third time charm and all - you just knew that with such a title the post would HAVE TO be interesting. No?
Well in whichever case you'd be disappointed. Because it's not an error. Am not into the fabric business, so no wool here either. Maybe just a hint of fabrication. And of course I'm not here to tell you anything you don't know. So how could it be interesting?
She needed - and still needs - no introduction. Yet like the TED@Nairobi MC, I feel the need to introduce her. She shouldn't have had to - and still doesn't have to - care so much for the world YOU live in, yet she makes me want to share the sentiment. Every single one of the four times I have spoken to Paula Kahumbu this past month.
Calmly clenched fist punched the air at Braeburn, cool lull of nature filled the silence in the hall as she projected her passion for the ecosystem to a captured audience. All that was missing in the picture was a broom, preferably a Nimbus of Firebolt, perhaps an invisibility cloak and headless Nick or two red-haired troublemakers, et voila.
Paula's brilliance imbued the #TEDTalentSearch wavelength with such ferocity that I could bet you no-one dropped a gram of litter all day the next day. Her plea for a balance between mankind and wild-kind was so infectiously affectionate that I for one felt sorry for the lions killed in Maasailand. Much in spite - and malice - of the fact that they encroached on the morans's homesteads and got what was coming their way. Spears...and one man's poison.
|"Lions are a National Symbol for Kenya," asserted Paula, during the TED@Nairobi talent search last Saturday, Braeburn High School Lavington. |
See her talk at Pop!Tech in Camden, 2009.
I am certain she intended to complicate our understanding so - the understanding that there are two sides to encroachment on nature. That much as the lions were in the wrong place at the sharp pointedly wrong time, that land was once theirs to roam freely in.
My freshman year communication skills lecturer said, in 2007, that we as listeners should not be swayed by our perceptions of anyone as they give a talk. I have never begged to, but I feel the need to differ with her today, all of 5 years later. Because with Paula, it's impossible not to flow with perception when you lend her a stage.
|See Chief Nyamweya's work as captured by @afromusing, TED@Nairobi|
Because with Paula, it's not a matter of power coming with responsibility. She takes responsibility everyday...and everyday, her power to change the world rises to greater heights. She on many occasions calls former President Moi's burning of ivory in the eighties "a massive global political statement."
She is wrong.
How? Here's how. Paula Kahumbu is THE "massive global political statement". Even without trying to be. Because she does not try to be.