A NEW crop of public speaking talent will emerge during the provincial finals of the 2010 Anglo American and Sowetan Young Communicators Awards.
The contestants, who are public high school students, have to research and present speeches and take part in panel discussions .
Mpumalanga's Kanyi Vilakazi topped the YCA's Class of 2009 and her first and second runners-up were Western Cape's Reatlehile Jankie and KwaZulu-Natal's Mnelisi Gasa. The other finalists were Free State's Alfezenzo Sethole, Limpopo's Leandre Buys, North West's Tsholofelo Sebolao, Eastern Cape's Bonolo Cebe, Gauteng's Ndumiso Hadebe and Northern Cape's Shanice Titus.
l Sethole's presentation highlighted that a person's most potent weapon is a winning attitude.
l Buys said, in search of excellence, one should look at the inspirational feats of trailblazers, including Nelson Mandela, Mother Theresa, Chris Barnard, Aggrey Klaaste and musos Thandi Klaasen and Miriam Makeba.
l Gasa encouraged fellow South Africans to embrace ubuntu, while recognising that certain languages, including English, are the bonding agents of the global village.
l Sebolao picked hitchhiking as a topic and highlighted the related thrills and the lurking dangers.
l Vilakazi's speech was about emancipation, in which she paid homage to all the liberation struggle champions, whom she says were driven by self-determination.
l Cebe and Jankie handled the topic of self-identity as young South Africans, who are proudly black, but recognise and acknowledge their place in the rainbow nation.
l Hadebe dealt with a childlike faith in oneself, leading to an attainment of awesome feats attributed to the likes of Steve Biko, Chris Hani and Helen Joseph.
lTitus said the youth is like a watermelon, green on the outside but richly red with potential on the inside.
The first of nine provincial eliminations takes place in KwaZulu-Natal on Saturday.
The Young Communicators Awards is also supported by the Aggrey Klaaste Nation Building Foundation's youth development activities and the Department of Education.
Significantly, Gauteng, Northern Cape, KwaZulu-Natal, Limpopo and North West have approved their legislatures to be used as the venues for the YCA's provincial contests.