Time for top speakers to impress the judges

THIS year the Anglo American and Sowetan Young Communicators Awards' provincial eliminations will start in May and end in July.

THIS year the Anglo American and Sowetan Young Communicators Awards' provincial eliminations will start in May and end in July.

The finals will take place in Johannesburg in August.

The heats normally run between March and May, with the finals being held in Johannesburg in June.

Last year's provincial champions are Bonolo Cebe of Eastern Cape, Leandre Buys of Limpopo, Kanyisile Vilakazi of Mpumalanga, Ndumiso Hadebe of Gauteng, Tsholofelo Sebolao of North West, Shanice Titus of Northern Cape, Alfezenzo Sethole of Free State, Mnelisi Gasa of KwaZulu-Natal and Reatlehile Jankie of Western Cape.

Vilakazi is the reigning champion. The runners-up are Jankie and Gasa. Vilakazi, Jankie and Gasa won bursaries of R30000, R20000 and R15000 bursary, respectively.

This project's major youth development role is to give participants a platform from which to highlight their concerns, opinions, fears, aspirations, possible solutions or just to ventilate.

The youthful Model United Nations South Africa (Munsa) runs public speaking workshops that also cover career guidance and life-skills training.

Senior officials of the provincial education departments serve as regional coordinators and they help Munsa deliver speeches and panel discussions.

The officials who were assisted by district officials are: Norman Fumba from Eastern Cape, Segomotso Mochoari from Free State, Peggy Manganye from Gauteng, Snegugu Mngoma from KwaZulu-Natal, Harold Takalo from Limpopo, Gerda Kuschke from Mpumalanga, Tumi Kgosiemang from North West, Thandi Dlekedla from Northern Cape and Lennie Davids from Western Cape.

Parents, guardians, subject advisers and teachers all lend valuable support. The country's education ministers are patrons of the awards. Provincial education MECs are invited to give motivational addresses.

One of the keenest supporter of the awards has been Eastern Cape education MEC Mahlubandile Qwase.

It was therefore hardly surprising that the Eastern Cape delegation of provincial finalists, coordinators, teachers and parents was the biggest at the last year's finals.

More than 60 workshops are run by more than 50 Model Munsa facilitators. Most of them are university students and have assisted more than 10000 Grade 11 and 12 students.

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