MBATHA SCOOPS ALL AWARDS AT THE GDT SPEECH CONTEST
By: Dineo Phathi
The Gandhi Development Trust in collaboration with the Department of Basic Education held a speech contest at the Durban University of Technology’s Ritson Campus, Saturday.
“The speech contest which was started in 2006 by GDT hopes to improve their skills and how young people express their views,” said Ela Ghandi, the granddaughter of the Nobel Peace Prize winner, Mahatma Gandhi.
The Gandhi Development Trust is a non-profit organisation which keeps the Ghandi legacy alive. It also promotes non-violence, peace and a united society.
This year’s topic was “Since we are celebrating 19 years of democracy, are we really free?”
The pupils had different contrasting views about how they see South Africa today. One pupil talked about how far South Africa has come from the time of the apartheid era, while others talked about the misuse of state funds and lack of facilities at schools.
The adjudicators for the English contestants were Judelle Moodley and one Mrs. Timole, while in the isiZulu language it was Bongani Mkhulisi and Nkosinathi Ntuli. The judges were looking for a contestant with good delivery of their speech and how they would give eye contact to the audience.
In the English category, Nonkululeko Mbatha from Dr Macken Mistry Primary School took first place,while Shahira Suleman and Je Talia Rohan had to scramble for second and third place respectively.
“We spent a lot of time working together on the speech and we used to spend hours on the phone preparing for the speech during weekends,” said Nonkululeko’s teacher.
The winner on the isiZulu category was Sindiswa Msimang from Collessie Primary in Msinga, second place went to Asamahle Mbhele, and the third place went to Nhlanzeko Shabalala.
“We first started with the English speech, but we finally decided to do it in IsiZulu. I’m still shocked since she’s just eleven years old,” said Thuli Ngcobo, her English teacher and trainer.
The overall winner of the whole speech competition was Nonkululeko Mbatha.
“I am excited and happy I still can’t believe that I won,” Mbatha exclaimed.
Ela Gandhi said that the speech topics were selected according to a specific time and that they mainly highlight events which are commemorated,a reflection of this year’s topic celebrating 19 years of democracy.
She further stated that she was very impressed by the pupils’ performance and was adamant that they exuded, and that she wishes to see more students participating next year.