In this TEDx talk in Johannesburg, novelist and medical doctor Kopano Matlwa Mabaso tells how she and her friend Chrystelle Wedi sought to turn the tide of preventable deaths in women at childbirth. Their idea made them winners of the first Aspen Ideas Award. Their idea was to set up mobile, ultrasound scan clinics in remote and rural parts of Africa and make lifesaving antenatal healthcare more easily accessible to pregnant women. But the deepest parts of Africa are tough places to do work. Matlwa, with humility, tells how even good ideas sometimes need self-correction during implementation.

Known to many as the author of award-winning novels Coconut and Spilt Milt, Kopano Matlwa Mabaso, talks about how her expectations led her to failure, despite doing homework, when confronted with an Africa beyond the roads and electricity. In that place, she no longer felt like a winner of the Aspen Award; she felt disheartened. But after spending time with the community, she found the strength within that community on which to graft her idea. The clinics are still happening and providing effective service - just not as originally planned.

Watch Kopano explain it herself.









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About AFLI



The African Leadership Institute (AFLI) focuses on building the capacity and capability of visionary and strategic leadership across the continent. Developing exceptional leaders representing all spheres of society, the Institute’s flagship programme is the prestigious Archbishop Tutu Leadership Fellowship. Offering a multifaceted learning experience and run in partnership with Oxford University, it is awarded annually to 20-25 carefully chosen candidates, nominated from across Africa. Alumni of the African Leadership Institute form a dynamic network of Fellows passionately committed to the continent’s transformation, bridging the divide between nations and ensuring that Africa is set centre-stage in global affairs.