DIANA AQRA, DENVER – A group of African teens visited Denver and broadcasted themselves over public-access television this week as part of an educational visit sponsored by Bold Leaders, a local non-profit.
The ambitious group of 22 young, Africans – mostly from Nigeria and South Africa – visited Denver Open Media Wednesday (April 10, 2013) to learn how to utilize the public media to voice their concerns and opinions.
Each student received a 15-second spotlight moment to tell viewers who they were and what they represented (or didn’t represent), contrary to popular beliefs. One South African woman used her 15-seconds in the spotlight to say, “I am South African, and I am Empowered.” Another, also from South Africa said, “I am African, and I am NOT Black,” to tell the world that not everyone in Africa is Black, beyond popular Western belief.
Denver Open Media and leaders of the non-profit encouraged the teens to use media as a means to spread positive messages to empower their community.
Aside from the 22 individualized 15-second “spotlight” moments for each of the teens, small groups assembled over a live broadcast to discuss problems in their countries and the value of the voice of the youth to solve them. “Bribery and unemployment are the biggest problems in my country,” one young Nigerian man said. Another female Nigerian mirrored his comment, “to become a local official, you just have to bribe someone.”
The groups discussed how the media could be used to empower youth to speak out about these types of offenses.
The Bold Leaders group is spending about 10 days in the United States. Their next destination is Washington DC.
Prior to Denver Open Media, the group was spending time in the mountains with Bold Leaders guide Kim Conrad to learn the power of self-expression and self-awareness. (Conrad is pictured in the center with two African teachers.)
The group was also expected to visit GrowHaus in Denver – another local, non-profit focusing on communal farming and education.