Knockandians win the 2016 All Residence Debate Tournament.


THE Wits Knockando Hall of Residence in Parktown has won the annual All Residence Council (ARC) Debate tournament which was held last week at the Medhurst dining hall on the Education campus.

SOME OF THE SPEAKERS:  From right Thabang Mabula(1st speaker), Uvir Naidoo (3rd Speaker), Yashvir Bunwarie(head coach), Ntsundeni Ndou(student development) and Yao Neo Agbenyegah (2nd speaker). 4 out of the 6 Knockando speakers ranked in the top 5 speakers of the competition. These debaters were Uvir Naidoo, Luxolo Matyeni, Thabang Mabula, and Gershom Chauke.    Photo: Provided.

SOME OF THE SPEAKERS: From right Thabang Mabula, Uvir Naidoo, Yashvir Bunwarie, Ntsundeni Ndou and Yao Neo Agbenyegah.
                                                                                                                       Photo: Provided

This is the first time the Knockandians have won the championships. They beat Parktown Village Residences in the finals by debating the topic “This house regrets the wearing of political paraphernalia during the Fees Must Fall protests”.

Head coach of Knockando, Yashvir Bunwarie, who coached the team for the first time this year, said they trained twice week for about two months. “This was needed because 90% of the team had no debating experience,” said Bunwarie.

He said that despite the challenges of getting the debaters to keep to the structure and engage with the matter they each brought up, they still managed to win the tournament.

Knockando’s Uvir Naidoo, who was part of the KwaZulu-Natal provincial debating team in 2012, was crowned the best speaker of the tournament. Naidoo said one of the challenges he faced was coming up with solid arguments to win the debates. “Debating helps me to think on the spot and actually promotes my ability to speak in public,” said Naidoo.

Second-year actuarial science student, Kovisha Ganess, a Reith resident, ranked sixth in the top 10 best speakers, said that debating taught her to argue for her beliefs more confidently.

One of the ARC Tournament organisers, Solly Nzunza, said the aim of the ARC debate tournament is to develop significant skills like public speaking, the ability to debate rationally, problem solving, critical thinking and presenting compelling arguments, “which we deem to be lucrative skills that every student needs to master across various disciplines”.

“It is intended to allow residences to compete for a prize and represent their residence (which plays a significant role in our pride and identity in our respective residences), because competition is good and it inspires us to do our best,” said Nzunza.

The tournament started in August and finished last Saturday, September 10. Ten residences and 18 teams took part.