Debate at ALA

Zola Valashiya, Programs Manager for Global Programs, is excited to announce the re-launch of ALA’s debate club and a recent win at their very first tournament.

There are two driving mantras behind my inspiration for debating:

“The most resilient skill in the modern world is argument.”
– Janan Ganesh, 2015

“In a world deluged by irrelevant information, clarity is power.”
– Yuval Noah Harari 21 Lessons for the 21st Century

This formed part of the message I shared with the ALA community at assembly when Rolinhlanhla Zinyemba (ALA Debate Club President) and I re-launched the ALA Debate Club for the 2019 season.

There are exciting competitions to come throughout the year including the Pan-African Schools Debating Championships (hosted in Gauteng this year) and the annual South African National Schools Debating Championships. The Debate club has a rigorous curriculum, practicing 2/3 times a week, to develop strong argumentation skills and persuasive speaking skills. The ALA debate team has already competed in a debating tournament on the 17th February 2019 at the Athenaeum Debating Competition 2019, and even tasting victory in one round against St. John’s College, one of the best debate teams in the country. Call it beginner’s luck if you want, I call it potential.

Debate is more than just an extra-curricular activity, it’s a society of critical thinkers who work to sharpen their logic, argumentation and persuasive speaking skills to engage on some of Africa’s most pressing issues. Debate helps deepen your understanding and widen your scope of knowledge across a diverse range of topics, interrogating the big (political and philosophical) questions and what the best solutions are.

These are the kinds of skills that are crucial for the development of Africa’s future leaders. The current ALA Debate Club President, Rolinhlanhla Zinyemba, has the vision to drive the growth of a culture of civil debate at ALA by creating platforms and opportunities for the ALA community to engage (competitively or not) in exciting critical conversations.

Join us in the chambers of change!

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