….awards them US$100 each
MASVINGO- The Minister of State for Masvingo Provincial Affairs and Devolution, Ezra Chadzamira has praised two learners from Zimuto High School for winning the Pan African Universities Debating Championships (PAUDC) Trophy in Togo.
The debate competitions were held in December last year at Lome University with over 60 teams tussling it out for honours from over 20 countries in Africa.
PAUDC is the biggest intercollegiate debate championship in Africa and was established in 2008 by the University of Botswana Debate Masters Association and is held in the British Parliamentary debate format, thus involving four teams of two people in each debate.
Nicole Jirivengwa, Theophilus Beans, Verspas Makado and Solace Zunza managed to bring home the first prize in the PAUDC competitions.
They faced off with over 60 teams including Mutare Polytechnic and Midlands State University as well as others from other 20 countries, which included Ghana, South Africa, Niger and Rwanda.
Speaking during a courtesy call by the champions at his office, the Minister praised the Zimuto team for doing well in a foreign land and for their efforts he gave them US$100 each.
“What these kids have done is part of the development that we look forward to as a nation as we head towards the national vision of being an upper middle income economy by 2030.
“It is amazing how these children have fought their way to the top considering that they are still in high school whereas they were standing against even more experienced competitors from universities.
“Your hard work is highly appreciated and as a province we are very proud of you.
“You did not only raise your school’s flag but we celebrate the victory as Masvingo Province and the country at large. We expect more of such developments. I challenge you to defend the coveted trophy this year,” said Chadzamira as he was handing over the money.
In an interview with The Midweek Watch one of the learners, Jirivengwa said it was not easy to come out tops at the competitions and applauded the good exposure they gained which has enhanced her debating skills and dedicated the prize to her school.
“Our journey to Togo was very hectic. Firstly, the school was funding the trip and it was not easy to source all the funds needed.
“We are thankful to the school for standing behind us all the way though. However, when all is said I am happy that we eventually made it.
“What pushed us was the struggle we went through to source all the funds so we wanted to return the favor, we wanted to make our headmaster and the school proud.
“We did not want all their efforts to go to waste. In Togo I had a great time with my team and I can say it was a great exposure.
“To other girls of my age I say they should always follow their hearts. Also, if there is something they believe in, they should go for it with determination,” she said.