Taking debate to greater heights

11 February 2020 | Cultural

Caroline Kanghono

The African Debate Championships was founded by many of Africa’s great brainstormers who felt the need to give all African children on African soil an opportunity to confer and discuss predicaments that needed to be addressed. The African Debate Championships is held annually where participants all over southern Africa compete to bring the trophy back to their homeland. Last year, it was held in Windhoek, Namibia’s capital city. Participants had been preparing endlessly until the competition took place in December 2019 at the University of Namibia (UNam) during the school holidays. Around that time of the year, learners tend to be less occupied with assignments and obligations. The competition is held in a different country each year. All participants must be above the age of fourteen and below the age of eighteen to be able to participate.

The African Debate Championships has innumerable advantages. Competitions such as these allow African countries to unite and to construct greater affricatives, it provides a chance for debaters around southern Africa to embark on significant journeys, it awards learners a sense of leadership and involvement and it educates fellow learners on how to analyse arguments as well as ameliorate communication skills. Namibia, Zimbabwe, Botswana, South Africa and Kenya were among the few countries that took part in the debate tournament. Around 20 Namibians participated. The participants from Windhoek High School were Monique Truter (18), Nicolene Truter (18), Suama (17), Christiaan Prinsloo (16), Faith Molife (16) and Anesu Mushonga (15). Five of the Namibian teams made it to the quarter finals, three Namibian teams made the semi-finals and two teams reached the finals.

Overall, Namibia won the African Debate Championship and nine out of Africa’s ton ten best speakers were from Namibia. The Namibian team made us proud and did justice to the competition. The WHS Blou Kudu spoke to one of the WHS’ best debaters, Christiaan Prinsloo, who shared more insight on the competition. “This initiative is beneficial for me as a debater and to participants all over Africa. Debate requires one to analyse and to dig deeper into the discussion. One motion that particularly stood out for me was the banning gene editing for babies. This motion is of great importance and will be discussed in the foreseeable future by medical participants and will make a big difference in society,” Prinsloo stated. He also added that the Zimbabwean team was Namibia’s toughest competitor. The journey does not end there for the participants, who have exceeded and were chosen as Africa’s best speakers. The winning teams and best speakers will be heading to international tournaments, the World Schools Debating Championship, and the Heat of Europe tournament in Prague in the Czech Republic.

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