Ndoni Khanyile | Al Jazeera

Ndoni Khanyile

Ndoni Khanyile

I am an actor, writer and journalist. I wear a lot of hats. The common thread that runs through all of the work I take on is storytelling. My love of storytelling took root as a child but it would be some time before I understood why I was drawn to it. Stories help us to fulfill our basic human need to make sense of the world around us and link the teller and the told in a shared experience.

They can tell us where we’ve been and help us to figure out where we may be going. Stories are magic, and storytelling can be truly powerful when it is combined with the possibility of creating positive change. As an African, I am all too aware of the stories that exist that shape others' ideas of who we are as a 'people'. I am passionate about flooding the public imagination with honest, complex and nuanced stories about this vast and diverse continent I call home. I come from a farming family and in Africa, as well as many other places, working the land is women’s work.

I love that earthrise can take us from a project to protect endangered marine life in Barbados, to a water catchment initiative that uses indigenous African knowledge, and end up in the heart of the American south.

These stories teach and inspire but they also make our world just a little bit smaller. Community organising in Kenya can look a lot like community organising in New Orleans; creating these links for an audience through the stories we tell can be very compelling. It is this sense of connection and mutual reliance that I hope will inspire the critical environmental innovations we hope to see in coming years.