ACADEMIA Library and Western Cape Education Department (WCED) hosted a successful speech competition on October 28, 2023. The event took place at the library in Lansdowne, Cape Town, and was sponsored by the Spar Mookrey Group.
The objective of the competition was to bring the best young speakers across the Western Cape province and provide them with a unique opportunity to express their views and develop their confidence.
Academia Library chairman, Dr Elias Parker, welcomed the audience and Haroon Mohamed, Chief Director of Curriculum Management and Teacher Development at WCED emphasised the importance of empowering talented youth with a platform to enhance their public speaking skills. Ashraf Gangraker, director of Oracle Academy, managed the programme of the event with astute skill and charming humour.
Fourteen schools across the Western Cape participated in the competition and sixteen finalists from eight districts competed against each other. The competition consisted of two sessions. The first was a prepared speech and the second session was an impromptu panel discussion. The latter focused on responsible leadership and was facilitated by former English teacher, Mahmood Sanglay.
The adjudicators, Joey Klaaste, Nosisa Beyile and Shirley Levendal judged contestants on, inter alia, content, fluency, voice modulation and body language.
The winner of the prepared speech was Ithandile Mbovu of Percy Mdala High School in Knysna. She addressed the topic of a lack of water and sanitation as barriers to growth and development. Odwa Nongoqo of Luhlaza Senior Secondary in Khayelitsha was awarded second place for his speech on education. Leigh-Temba Moko of Hoërskool Gimnasium Paarl earned third place for her topic on notorious criminals of the 20th century.
In the unprepared speech division Dimpho Bembe of Sans Souci High School, Lukho Soga of Intsebenziswano Secondary School and Suné Swanepoel of Worcester Gymnasium emerged as winners in the first, second and third places respectively.
The overall winners, Ithandile Mbovu, Lukho Soga and Suné Swanepoel were respectively awarded the first, second and third prizes, namely an iPad, a mountain bike and a Swatch watch.
‘The phenomenal success of the event is attributed to the exceptional talent of the contestants, as well as to the diversity of learners and schools from even far-flung areas of the province’, says Fazeela Haffejee, Deputy Chief Education Specialist for English at WCED.