The Durban University of Technology’s (DUT) debating team recently participated at the Wits and the Free State Debate Tournaments in August and September 2019.
The team performed exceptionally well at these two events, and received a special invitation to participate in the forthcoming Ghana Debating Championship in preparation for the World’s University debating competition in Mexico, in December 2019.
DUT’s debating president Ntuthuko Mchunu, expressed his delight upon hearing the news of their special invitation to Ghana.
“I was so happy and intrigued by the invitation in pursuant to our performance. The team are so happy with the invitation to participate at the Ghana Debating Championship called Pan African Debating Championship,” he said excitedly.
The DUT team are made up of Mduduzi Shongwe, Kwandile Mncube, Chris Minoko, Xola Sibisi, Diva Mobedi, Mandlakazi Tyafile, Thabiso Gumede, Sive Khanya, Ntuthuko Mchunu, Sphe Masondo, Thulebona Mzimela and Oyama Mndisane.
The debate team was originally formed in 2016 by Sakhile Mngadi and the current president, Ntuthuko Mchunu. “We saw a gap at DUT in terms of intellectual engagement and we took that platform to start the official debate society. It took the University a few years to formally recognise and sponsor us as a debate union after our greatest successes at CPUT, and also seeing three of our members representing DUT on international stages,” he said.
Speaking more on the training they embarked on, Mchunu said that the team are using the World University debating style, where they only get the topics on the day of the competition and have only 15 minutes to prepare their arguments. We have practice sessions, every Friday at Steve Biko campus and read every newspaper, so we can know and be informed about the current status quo in the world,” he said.
Mchunu said that the team is hoping to place DUT at the highest recognition in Africa and internationally. “Also, we are hoping to qualify for the World University debating championship and rank higher in the African debate circuit, as well as make new international friends and obtain sponsors,” he said.
Convener of the PAUDC 2019, Joel Kojo Telfer, said the DUT student debaters have been formally invited to the 12th Edition of the Pan-African Universities Debate Championship (Akofena 2019) to be held in Kumasi, Ghana. “The event is hosted by the Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology. Pursuant to DUT’s stellar performances at the Jozi Rumble and Free State Open debate tournaments, the institution has secured eleven slots for Africa’s foremost competition. The PAUDC aims to equip students across Africa with important advocacy and critical thinking skills while crowning the new champions of African University Debating,” he said.
Telfer also said the tournament will also serve as a preparatory ground for the Worlds University Debate Championship slated for December this year.
Pictured: The DUT debating team.