So you think you can argue?

By Candy Margaret Vizengwa

First off, let me apologize for the seemingly vicious wordings that might confuse anyone who’s not been fully Initiated into the world of debating. The title is obviously ‘So you think you can Debate,’ If you have an eye for it.

But just how much do people know about debating? As a USIU-Africa student, how much do you know about SADS (Spoken Arts and Debate Society)? Did you know that there is an active Debate society within USIU-Africa in the first place? The spoken arts aspect can exist on its own, but we’ll particularly dive into the debate bit of it today.

My personal experience about Debating and USIU-Africa’s Debating Society would be very biased, as you can tell, because I am a debater. As I was starting out, my second debating experience with SADS got me into the semi-finals at an open tournament that gives at novice debaters the platform to compete just as much as experienced debaters do. My partner and I major in two different fields, but the beauty of debating is having good team dynamics. Every win is encouraging, if you ask me, because individual growth is part of the process.

Trainings are offered on a schedule shared to the interested students everyone is acquainted with their respective debate styles based on who they are and their strengths. Everyone who has done a debate round, even once, would agree that debating tends to be addictive. This is due to the spirit of competition and the drive to win that seems to be inborn in all debaters. The SADS community never seems to be falling short of this.

With achievements, both as a Society and as individual debaters, the wins keep piling up. Just the other weekend, the society successfully hosted the Ikenga Tournament that brought together debaters from other institutions like Kenyatta University. The Society boasts of producing the best speakers and debate adjudicators that would compete on the global map. Still in the spirit of competition, SADS produced the best speaker and third best judge at the July Mashujaa Tournaments hosted by Strathmore University. Winning these tournaments is a way of making use of the elitism that comes with being a part of the Society.

How then do you benefit as a USIU-Africa SADS elite? For one, you would not just be an elite on campus, you would be an international guru and a lifelong elite. The speaking skills you would acquire as a debater would require a whole article about them. The topics debate rounds touch on a lot, from International Relations, Religion, Economics, matters Environment, LGBTQ+ and other controversial topics, you name it.

You also get the experience of ‘Education to take you places,’ as you get to travel and win more trophies, medals and elite status. You have the chance to interact with other great debaters within the debate circle through the travels. You get to participate in more training opportunities and cafes offered by Kenya National Debate Council just by virtue of being a SADS debater. You get the opportunity to speak out your mind, without any judgement!

SADS is proud to abide by the ‘Zero Discrimination’ rule. International debate tournaments, both within and outside Africa, like World Universities Debate Championships (WUDC), Olympia, EAUDC, PAUDC (Which would be hosted in Nairobi in December!) among others should be enough to spike the debate fire within you as a potential master debater. Debating is an art but once you master it, it feels great to be the artist. The time is now!

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