Up until now you may have thought that debating was for the socially awkward kids in school, the ones that were often the brunt of playground jokes. But let me tell you, debaters know about cool, and they know how to explain it to you too! They work hard, they play hard and they’re super smart too.
This is one of the many things I learned at the 15th National South African Debating Championships, which took place earlier this month at the Nelson Mandela Metropolitan University in Port Elizabeth. This event saw teams from universities in South Africa, Botswana, Namibia, Lesotho and Zimbabwe compete for the best debater title and a possible career at Standard Bank.
Some of the brightest students gathered in one space to argue their points. The topics or motions would leave most people lost for words, but these worldly students conquered issues like criminalising the transmission of HIV, whether or not Turkey should be included in the EU and should companies that benefited under Colonialism pay reparations?
I was surprised to see the processes, abrupt comments and tactics used during these debates. From interruptions that were met with a cocky toss of the hand and a simple “not now sir”; or statements like, “What the opposing team is trying to do is manipulate you and insult your intelligence”. These made for awkward but very entertaining moments.
The Bay Pulse event was very successful and everyone had a great time. The chief adjudicator for the tournament, Logan Balavijendran, says the standard at this year’s competition was high. “It is also great to welcome students from other countries at the nationals, and it is encouraging to see the talent coming from these Southern African countries,” he said.
Standard Bank sponsored the event. We believe that these debaters are the brightest minds of their age in the country and most will go on to shine in their careers one day. Education is one of Standard Bank’s main focuses and we’re always happy to support it.We’re proud to be a part of this great event and we look forward to the next one. Well done to all involved.