On the 18th of August, 2018. I hosted my first event at the Surrey Arts Centre. The day I had looked forward to had finally come, after a year of stressing, prepping and sending out invites. My aim of starting Talks with Sosa is to create a platform for myself and other millennials, where topics that revolve around health issues will be addressed through speeches, spoken word poetry and music .I chose the theme addiction because it is very prevalent in our society.
I wanted the guests to have an intimate experience with the performers, thus I chose a relatively small space. A space that would take on sixty people max! To my surprise, we had about seventy people show up.
At 1:15pm we were good to go. Every performance at Talks with Sosa 2018, revolved around the theme; ADDICTION, from the spoken word poetry through speeches to musical performances.
There were four speakers myself included, what was most captivating about the speeches was the fact that speakers had shared their experiences with addiction. Some personal, some the experience of a friend or family which resonated strongly with the audience. Tears were shed. Lives were changed. Seats were filled, thus some people had to stand.:(
We kicked in the show with some comedy by Tunji Taylor-Lewis, then poetry by Sarah Audrey.
Our first speaker, Guy Fellicella, an inspirational and Ted x White rock speaker had shared his personal experience with opioid addiction. He had spent 30 years in the repeated cycle of gangs, addiction, treatment and jail. Now, he devotes his time and career to public speaking, advocating to reduce the stigma of harm reduction and educating students on addiction.
The second speaker, Nancy Pilling, discussed the correlation between addiction and mental health. After Nancy's performance there were breaks, Osaretin Eweka, an Afrobeat violinist performed, then I spoke. I was the third speaker, I spoke on how opioid addiction affects minorities and how they are being stigmatized.
We then took a 10 minute break, then Kor Kase performed followed by our fourth speaker, Ron Newell, who spoke on solutions. He shared his experience with addiction.
I wanted to infuse my Nigerian culture so we served predominantly Nigerian snacks. Veggies and fruit bowls were served for our vegetarian and vegan guests.
Afrobeat music danced through the air, followed by the performance of Karakata African live band, which closed the show.
A few comments from the guests
Shout out to @Sosaeweka for hosting such a powerful event - Aaron
I learned so much today about what we can do in the future to aid those in need. We discussed removing stigma and stereotypes.We talked about how simply listening to someone could save their lives. Thank you to all the talented humans that performed or spoke. It was a lovely was to spend a saturday - Melanie
I was truly inspired- Peculiar
I think next time, the event should be longer. I really enjoyed the speakers, the violin performance was life! Your one on one interview was really interesting, I can't wait to see what you have for us next year. - Elizabeth
It was a well put together event - Oge
Planning for Talks with Sosa 2019 has commenced. Date and venue to be announced. We will have seats for just 130 people.