Wits residence students compete against each other in debating competition.

The Wits Debating Union (WDU) and All Residence Council (ARC) hosted the a debate competition involving teams from four Wits residences on August 7 and 8 at the Wits Education campus.

Medhurst Hall and Sunnyside went head to head in the finals which debated Western influences in a post-colonial African context after beating out EOH and Knockando.

The Medhurst team of Nokubonga Mabuza, Kagiso Koenaite and Sinegugu Goge eventually won by arguing that Africans should reject some aspects of Western influences in order to preserve their identity as Africans.

The counter-arguments of the Sunnyside team of Tanya Mutowo, Ziyanda Mtsontshi and Thando Mbalane were not strong enough for that of their opponents.

One of the judges, Sifiso Ndlovu, told Wits Vuvuzela, “The opposition only managed to properly contest in their third speech, which meant that as a panel we had to assume that the debate occurred in the world that the proposition created, the opposition did not produce their own examples to substantiate their stance, they only made counterarguments to the proposition.”

“On that basis it made sense that proposition would win because they were able to show that it is possible to still be part of globalization while preserving our own culture, with the example of Miss South Africa having short natural hair,” Ndlovu said.

Shannon Wardlaw, WDU treasurer and chief adjudicator of the competition said, “We looked at general knowledge, trending topics, things in the media and pop culture, we chose things that at least one person in the group would be able to debate about.”

WDU chairperson Siyanda Baduza told Wits Vuvuzela, “It is very competitive because all the residences take it seriously, the aim is to find the residence with the best debating team and residences take a lot of pride in that”.

Zaynab Cader, former Medhurst academic officer and debater said “It was a really good event, and it was interesting seeing constructive debates which speak to issues we face as a society. Debate is more about thinking and providing solutions to problems”.

Baduza joined Ndlovu and WDU organiser, Qhama Qwesha as the adjudicators for the competition. 

FEATURED IMAGE: The adjudicators listening in on a debating session on Education Campus. Photo: Jabulile Mbatha