USIU-Africas Spoken Arts and Debate Society dominates the Elle Parle Womens Championship 2023

By Lauryn Ojore

Front Left to Right: Elsie Sirengo, Maria Marenga, Chantelle Mukabi, Angel Musomba, Jane Nyaga and Fresher Diana.
Back Left to Right: Louis Gitu, Lauryn Ojore, Joshua Wambugu, Jane Nyaga, and Kashaka Jeremiah
Front Left to Right: Chantelle Mukabi, Angel Musomba, Maria Marenga, Elsie Sirengo, and Fresher Diana.

USIU-Africa’s Spoken Arts and Debate Society (SADS) has once again made its mark in the international debating stage, this time at the Elle Parle (She Speaks) Women’s Championship, held in Mukono, Uganda from 26 to 29 May. The tournament and its notable partners aim to bring together the top female debaters from across the region, to engage in formal debates centred around the political, social, and economic topics that affect women from their unique perspectives as such only the best female debaters from the region were invited to speak, however men were allowed to judge and observe the discourse.

Travelling to Uganda accompanied by their chaperone Jane Nyaga, were two teams of 4 members Fresher Diana, Elsie Sirengo, Maria Marenga, and Angel Musomba invited on merit as well were 4 judges Kashaka Jeremiah, Joshua Wambugu, Lauryn Ojore, and Louis Gitu, with Chantelle Mukabi, the former SADS Chair, serving as the esteemed position of the Central Adjudication Panel.

Despite only sending two teams, SADS made history with all teams proceeding to the final round, resulting in USIU-Africa teams making up half of the final teams, which is a testament to the quality and competitiveness of the USIU-Africa debate program.

One of the exceptional teams at the tournament was Angel Musomba and Maria Marenga, who recently graduated from the Novice to Open Speaker Category after various finals appearances, broke 1st to the semi’s and final round, earning various achievements such as 1st runners up, 1st and 2nd best overall speakers and the best overall team of the tournament placing 1st and the top of the debate tab towering over all other teams with a total of 21 out of 24 possible points.

The second team that performed exceptionally well at the tournament was made up of Fresher Diana and Elsie Sirengo, breaking 5th in the semi finals and proceeding to the finals where they earned the award for 2nd Runners up and 9th best and 11th best speaker respectively.

The performances at the tournament were not limited to the debaters, with all three adjudicators, Louis Gitu, Joshua Wambugu and Kashaka Jeremiah earning recognition for their performances after scoring highly in the adjudicators test, this is evidenced by their placement on the panel of judges for both the semifinals and grand final, with all judges breaking among the top 5 judges, later being recognized as the 4th, 3rd and 1st Best overall adjudicators of the tournament.

The Elle Parle Women’s Debate tournament was a highly successful event for USIU-Africa’s SADS team, and an amazing opportunity for the debaters, particularly the female debaters to showcase their skills and engage in meaningful discourse that will inform future policy and social change in the region and beyond, the team’s performance at the tournament, has cemented USIU-Africa as a force to be reckoned with on the international stage.

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