Feb
11
2011

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Fellows Friday is a weekly series on the TED Blog that profiles one TED Fellow each week. We have asked the Fellows to answer our question below to share their knowledge and advice with other social entrepreneurs, innovators, and changemakers who are coming up with big ideas that can change the world.

Epidemiologist Chikwe Ihekweazu was in the inaugural TED Fellows class of TEDGlobal 2007 in Tanzania. Living in the UK at the time, writing articles on public health issues in his native Nigeria, Chikwe was profoundly affected by his TED experience. Now running an influential Nigerian public health blog, an alumni program for his alma mater, and TEDxEuston, Chikwe and his family are moving back to Africa, bringing a new sense of possibility with them.

Stephanie: There are many aspiring social entrepreneurs out there who are trying to take their passion and ideas to the next level. What is one piece of advice you would give to them based on your own experiences and successes?

Chikwe: That's an interesting question because I'm just at the point of trying to realize our dreams. The Nigeria Health Watch blog, FGCE Project Hope, TEDxEuston … we do it alongside what we do to earn a living. We're just at the point of thinking now, “How can we actually earn a living by doing what we really want to do?” That's a huge, huge challenge, especially if you're in a field or profession that you like and pays relatively well, and you're comfortable. I don't think I'm in a position to give very good advice, because I'm in the process of finding that myself..

However, to offer a small piece of advice I give myself all the time, I think you've got a small window in a life time, when you have the most energy, exposure, experience and competence. So there's not really that much time. The earlier you do start with something you really like doing, the better.

Read the rest of Chikwe's Fellows Friday interview here.

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