Countdown to the finals

IT IS six down and three to go in the 2010 Anglo American and Sowetan Young Communicators Awards, a nation-building partnership campaign that nurtures aspirant public speakers.

IT IS six down and three to go in the 2010 Anglo American and Sowetan Young Communicators Awards, a nation-building partnership campaign that nurtures aspirant public speakers.

Six national finalists were chosen between May 8 and June 5. Three more will be chosen in Mpumalanga on July 17, Eastern Cape on July 24 and in Western Cape on July 31.

These finalists will join Tshepo Mabuya from Free State, Ndumiso Mngomezulu from KwaZulu-Natal, Dineo Ratshwene from North West, Phuphu Mohlaba from Limpopo, Aisha Kholoane from Gauteng and Keoabetswe Lenyibi from Northern Cape. These winners all received R2000 each and their schools got R1000 each.

The pupils who took second and third spots received R1000 and R500 each, respectively.

It is in the national finals that the huge incentives await the nation's top three speakers for 2010.

The overall winner will win a tertiary studies bursary to the value of R35 000 and the winner's school will receive R12000.

For the first runner-up there is a study bursary of R25000 and R9000 for his or her school. The second runner-up will receive a study bursary of R20000 and R7 000 for the pupil's school. Each of the six remaining finalists will be given R800 each.

The awards's crucial sponsoring and organising partner is the national basic education department.

Senior provincial education department officers serve as regional coordinators and they play a pivotal role in the workshops and provincial eliminations.

Open to high school pupils in grades 11 and 12 for whom English is a second language, the awards are a powerful nurturing tool for aspirant public speakers and South Africa's future leaders in all imaginable spheres of responsibility, through:

l The improvement of presentation and oral communication skills;

l Leadership development and personal growth;

l The improvement of oral English communication among second or third language speakers, as well as the encouragement proficiency in English, by promoting the core principles of good speech-making and presentation skills;

l The encouragement of a pioneering spirit among the young people of South Africa, by encouraging them to embrace the concept, philosophy and practice of Nation Building or Ubuntu, which seeks to promote the spirit of goodwill, brotherhood and unity by empowering people to take control of their lives and make a meaningful contribution to their communities;

l The preparation of South Africa's youths for the professional working environment by nurturing assertiveness and confidence among our our leaders of the future.

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