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Strathmore wins Inaugural Kenyan Debate Championship
Submitted by Colm Flynn on 4 June 2012
For a period of three days, one would mistake them for legislators articulating the matters of the nation but a keener listening reveals students finding solution for the societal matters that even some of our members of the assembly cannot highlight effectively.
When the verdict of the judges was rendered, Strathmore University were the winners piping University of Nairobi (UoN) hands down to emerge the winners of The Inaugural Kenya Intervarsity’s Speech and Debate Championship held at Kenyatta University-City campus.
The team represented by Edel Were and Yvonne Adhiambo emerged top team after winning all their five rounds of debates in an event that kicked off on May 24-26, 2012. The speech category was won by Gerald Lewa Kiti from Strathmore University followed by Catherine Mbui from Kenya School of Law and third was Bonbegi Gesicho of UON
While delivering the verdict, Josiah Adiema Olal, the Chief Adjudicator of the event and also an executive member of the Kenya National Debate Council; the organization that organised the event noted that this is a good start to debate revival in the country after being on its knees for a very long time.
“This was a journey that was intended to resurrect the debating culture in Kenya and most importantly, this new debating format allows mutual understanding and intellectual deliberations between the participants without being a shouting contest synonymous with our ordinary debates”.
“We are teaching the youth starting with university students that we must aim to articulate our issues accordingly while playing a critical role of listening to other parties we are engaging with. This is the essence of a mature intellectual debating,” he added
David Kimaro, the chair of KNDC notes that in this year when election temperatures are rising, people must develop the art of good debating and not talk at each other but engaged effectively by presenting their issues on a platform that they are debated on.
“We can avoid will avoid the confrontational situations bedevilling this country if Kenyans embraced the art of listening to one another.
He noted that finally Kenya can get a team to represent it at the annual Pan African Universities Debate (PAUDC)
“We will ensure that this team goes to South Africa at the end of this year at the South African PAUDC 2012 Edition so that they can carry the Kenya flag at this important inter-institutional event contrary to the past events where Kenya is never represented
The wining team expressed their joy at their feat and noted that they have learnt a lot from the British Parliamentary Format of debates. “We have learnt many things in this championship. We have learnt even the personal aspects of role fulfilment in our lives since this is one of the very important pointers of this format. We are also happy to get the opportunity to carry the nation’s flag in an international event,” they noted.
Kenya National Debate Council is an organization that was formed in 2011 when they saw the need for Kenyans to learn the aspect of intellectual debating where individuals debate issues and do not attack the individual but his content by supporting his own. It aims to incorporate the other regional universities.
“Like any other pilot programme, KNDC had to start from somewhere and this was why we targeted the universities within the city and its environs. However, the next phase is to enrol this programme to the other parts of country and allow all the universities take part,” notes Kimaro.
By Josiah Adiema Olal
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