Carl Joshua Ncube Made TED Fellow

Zimbabwe’s renowned stand up comedian-cook-animator Carl Joshua Ncube has been selected as a TED Fellow, joining a class of 21 changemakers from around the world who will each deliver a talk from the TEDGlobal stage this August in Arusha, Tanzania.

Members of the class include a Ugandan journalist working undercover in the Middle East to uncover the human rights abuses of migrant workers, a Zimbabwean standup comedian who uses his creative work to approach culturally taboo topics on the African continent and an Indian scientist developing new artificial intelligence architectures for medical technology.

 “We’re incredibly proud to introduce the newest class of TED Fellows, who will be joining a global group of  436 changemakers,” said Tom Rielly, Director of the TED Fellows program. “The TED Fellows program seeks out young innovators who demonstrate both exceptional achievement and remarkable strength of character. We choose Fellows not only based on their accomplishments so far, but also on their grit, their collaborative spirit, and their potential to break barriers as they build their careers.”

The new class of Fellows features many visionaries working on the African continent, including Fellows from Uganda, Egypt, the Democratic Republic of the Congo, Nigeria, Somalia, Botswana, Zimbabwe, Liberia and Kenya.

TED Fellow

Carl whose dream to become a TED fellow became  a reality said, ” “This fellowship gives me an unbelievable opportunity to simultaneously speak my truth about Zimbabwe…comedy is a great tool in healing devastated communities and building bridges in ways we never thought or imagined.”

Founded in 2009, the TED Fellows program now has 436 Fellows from 94 countries, whose talks have collectively been viewed more than 155 million times. In its eight-year history, the TED Fellows program has created a powerful, far-reaching network – made up of scientists, doctors, activists, artists, photographers, filmmakers, entrepreneurs, inventors, journalists and beyond — leading to many meaningful and unexpected collaborations including BRCK, the self-powered, mobile WiFi router that can work anywhere, even in the harshest conditions; Ushahidi, the crisis-mapping platform born of post-election violence in Kenya in 2008; Brick x Brick, a public art performance inspired by the 2016 election that builds human “walls” against misogyny; and iHub, a tech incubation center in Nairobi that has served as a role model for tech hubs across emerging markets.

TED trio

In 2007 at the TEDGlobal conference in Arusha, TED invited 100 of the brightest young leaders to attend the conference, assembling for the first time this influential group of young people across the continent, many of whom had only met online. This group, which was a precursor to the Fellows program, included young innovators such as Juliana Rotich, Patrick Awuah, Erik Hersman, William Kamkwamba and Fred Swaniker, all of whom were selected as TED Fellows and went on to perform extraordinary feats.

Ten years later, TED returns to Arusha for the TEDGlobal 2017 conference from August 27-30, 2017. Fellows will join leading policymakers, businesspeople, academics and activists from across the African continent and around the world. A full list of the new TED Fellows is available at

Every year, the TED Fellows program opens applications to find a new class of extraordinary thinkers and doers, encouraging innovators over the age of 18 to apply.

Interested applicants can visit the TED Fellows program website for more information about the fellowship and to sign up to be alerted when applications for TED2018 open on July 18.

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