SADS blazes through the first quarter of 2021

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By Stecy Onyango

As the spring semester comes to an end, the Spoken Arts & Debate Society (SADS) continues to maintain a very strong online presence while extending its foothold across continents. Under the guidance of Dr. Quin Awour, the club’s patron, and support from the USIU-Africa Student Affairs office, the Spoken Arts & Debate Society (SADS) continues to soar to greater heights in online debate, poetry and spoken arts.

The beginning of the spring semester saw the club carry out a thorough online recruitment of new students to join the different pathways that included Spoken Arts, Public Speaking and Debate of the club. This was intended to provide the new members with personalized online intense training to help them sharpen their skills.

Below are the achievements of each section of the Society throughout this spring semester 2021:
Spoken Arts
Led by Jeremiah Kashaka (SADS Logistics Officer) and Precious Wangu (SADS Executive Secretary), the Spoken Arts section held biweekly activities which have enhanced the members’ creativity, critical thinking and presentation skills. Some of their activities included Poetry Analysis and Imagery, Literary devices and Musicality among others. The sessions greatly helped in the refinement of the members’ skills. They came up with rhyming lyrics and lines, which they applied in the composition of poems, songs and spoken word. The final session included the members reciting poems from some of their favorite pieces. Additionally, in honor of Africa Day on May 25, one of the Spoken Arts members will be performing an original piece at a webinar organized by the School of Humanities and Social Sciences.

Public Speaking
The Public Speaking team also held biweekly events led by Stecy Onyango (SADS PR Officer) and Shalom Kihara (SADS Treasurer). They had an introductory session on ‘Becoming a public speaker’, in which attendees were taken through the basic elements and forms of Public Speaking. Further activities were centered on different types of speeches and the purpose of developing relevant topics, and investigating the subject matter. One of the major events from this branch included: Reciting a Piece, where members were given time to prepare for speech and perform them as they applied the skills they learned.

Debate
The Debate team, led by Chantelle Mukabi (SADS Chair) and Kagia Samuel (SADS Vice Chair), has flourished throughout the semester with daily debate training sessions held to continually engage and improve the debaters. This semester started with the section having novice debaters join the training camp; they were able to finish their training and actively joined the advanced debaters. To further integrate the new debaters, Chantelle and Kagia partnered with Pioneer University to host a Novice Friendly Tournament on 31st March to 1st April.

SADS achievements in Spring 2021:

  • Uhuru Worlds Debate Championship (UWDC) 2021 - all debate teams participated. Chantelle Mukabi & Kagia Samuel emerged World Champions, with Chantelle being awarded 7th Best Global Speaker and 4th Best ESL Speaker, and Kagia being awarded 8th Best ESL Speaker. Link to the UWDC article: resource/campus-this-week-february-12-2021
  • USA Vanderbilt Championships 2021 - Chantelle Mukabi in partnership with a world-renowned South African debater, Anam Azhar emerged the Champions. Link to the USA Vanderbilt article: resource/campus-this-week-february-5-2021
  • Pan African Youth Debate Championships (PAYDC) 2021, an event sponsored by the African Union (AU) - an invitation was extended to Chantelle Mukabi and Kagia Samuel as part of Africa’s 32 Top Speakers to discuss the societal and political issues in African countries.
  • Zimbabwe Easter Opens 2021 - all debate teams took part to represent Kenya. Chantelle Mukabi and Kagia Samuel reached the Semi-Finals and were awarded 3rd and 5th Best Speakers of the tournament.
  • Kingsman Debate Championship 2021 where all debate teams took part. Chantelle Mukabi and Kagia Samuel broke to Finals, won 1st Runners Up, and 3rd & 5th Best Speakers of the tournament.
  • Jozi Rumble (South African Annual tournament) - 2 teams (Fresher Awuor & Louis Gitu, and Bienvenu Faraja & Jeremiah Kashaka) represented USIU-Africa for the first time in this high level tournament, and did us proud!

Upcoming tournaments:
Chantelle Mukabi & Kagia Samuel have applied for the World’s Universities Debate Championship (WUDC) 2021, to be held online by the Korea WUDC committee. The organization provided them with a full waiver scholarship ($110) for the one team slot. This will be the first time in the WUDC history to have an East African team taking part in the prestigious tournament.

Chantelle & Kagia will be representing Kenya in the African Nations Debate League Invitational tournament together with a second team of Jeremiah Kashaka (SADS Logistics Officer) & Bienvenu Faraja (SADS Interclub Coordinator) representing The Democratic Republic of Congo.

The SADS Debate team as a whole is also on the path to take part in the 2021 Pan African Universities Debate Championship (PAUDC) that will be held physically in Botswana. The team is currently actively preparing for the tournament. This is after pioneering USIU-Africa’s debut in PAUDC 2020 online held by Uganda, and achieving the titles of Best East African Speakers.

For registration and more information on the club contact: sads@clubs.usiu.ac.ke

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