Tjiveripo Mbahepa, a Grade 10 learner from Claudius Heuva Junior Secondary School, emerged as the best male public speaker and Lavinia Nghikevali from Winnie Du Plessis High School was voted the best female speaker and the overall best public speaker.
Claudius Heuva JSS scooped the first prize in the public speaking competition as part of the World Population Day celebrations in Namibia held in the Omaheke Region’s capital, Gobabis, last month. He walked away with a floating trophy, Oxford English dictionaries, mathematical sets, scientific calculators and other goodies.
Winnie Du Plessis High School came second. In the out-of-school youth category, Kengeza Hailombe from Otjinene Youth Forum emerged as the overall best public speaker and was selected as Namibia’s out-of-school youth public speaking ambassador for 2016/17.
The initiative was meant for high school learners and aimed at encouraging them to improve their public speaking and presentation skills. Four high schools from the Omaheke Region, Wennie du Plessis Secondary School, Claudius Heuva Junior Secondary School, Epako Secondary School and Epukiro Junior Secondary School took part in the competition with a total of 66 learners, mixed with 20 out-of-school youth.
Participants received training on advocacy and how to overcome stage-fright, confidence-building, the art of persuasion, the speech-making process, articulation and speech delivery skills, as well as presentations skills.
An independent public education consultant, specialising in critical thinking through public speaking and debate, Fannes Namhunya screened short videos on gender-based violence to simulate thought and open up a discussion with the youthful participants.
The videos covered some of Namibia’s current issues, like rape, intimate partner-homicide-suicide, baby dumping, teenage pregnancy and albinism discrimination.
The platform enabled the youth, especially teenage girls, to enhance their assertiveness, self-confidence and sense of personal responsibility and accountability.
Topics included Curbing teenage pregnancies: the role of the individual teenager and parents; fighting alcohol and drug in combating GBV: the role of the youth in the Namibian context; the Harambee Prosperity Plan as an accelerator of Vision 2030 and poverty eradication through education and economic empowerment.
The United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA) partnered with the Namibian government through the Ministry of Sport, Youth and National Service in organising the public speaking competition.