Stephen McGown, an ordinary guy from Johannesburg, was abducted and held hostage by Al Qaeda in Mali for almost 6 years. 36 at the time and travelling by motorbike from London to South Africa, he was kidnapped from Timbuktu along with a Dutch and Swedish national. During this period, Stephen lived far from civilisation, kept deep in the Sahara away from the searching eyes of French surveillance planes and drones. He had limited communication with his family in the first six months of his captivity, which ceased altogether once the French Military Forces arrived in Mali.
In his talk, he recounts his experiences in the desert with incredible detail and raw emotions.