Madzanga debates her way to Thailand

POLOKWANE – With the ability to speak eloquently and fluently, Madzanga Ramabulana, a Gr 10 learner from PEPPS, debated her way to a place in the South African Schools Junior Debating team.

The team departed for Thailand this week for Madzanga to compete against debaters from various other countries in the Asia World Schools Debating Championship (AWSDC).

She said the national selectors chose participants from last year’s South African Junior Championship to participate in trials in order to be selected. These trials took place during April in Johannesburg over a period of three days.

“I was so surprised to be chosen. I am very excited to represent South Africa in Thailand. It will also be a first-time experience to go overseas, so I am really looking forward to the trip,” she enthused.

She said during the national trials for team selection, contestants only had one hour to prepare for the topics they were given by the selectors, but that did not put Madzanga off stride in her aspiration to be selected.

“The only scary part of the trials was that I had to debate against learners I had no knowledge of, and I was the only representative from Limpopo.”

This bright learner said she first encountered debating in Gr 8 through the encouragement of her mom, Mmaleya. At first she was not keen on debating. In Gr 9 her father Charles also started to encourage her to try again and put more effort into debating, and it certainly paid dividends.

“My dad also taught me to sharpen my general knowledge by watching more news and to read more about news happenings taking place around the world. I must admit that taking part in debating certainly sharpens my general knowledge, “she said with a smile.

A huge stumbling block that could have prevented this talented PEPPS debater from going to Thailand was the cost per team member. In order for Madzanga to proudly represent her school and country, she had to collect the sum of R21 000, which included travel and accommodation.

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Roelof de Jonge

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