THE Zimbabwe National Debate team proved its mettle as it emerged winner of the East Africa World Schools Debate Championships held recently in Nairobi, Kenya.

The team conquered the Championships defeating 41 teams. Students that represented the country at the Championships were Makaita Makwanya from Arundel School, Gabriel Marumahoko from Falcon College and Ryan Tekie from St George’s College.

The team showcased its debating skills on an African stage, as the students were ranked in the top three out of 150.

The team proudly brought home top honours including Champion of the tournament, Tekie emerged victorious as the Best Senior Speaker, Best Male Speaker and Overall Best Speaker while Marumahoko emerged Second Best Senior Speaker and Third Best Overall Speaker.

Makwanya was the Best Junior Speaker, Best Female Speaker and Second Best Overall Speaker.

The students competed with peers from countries such as South Sudan, Tanzania, Botswana, Kenya and Uganda, among others.

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Last year the Zimbabwe National Debate Team was ranked the 8th best team in the world at the World Schools Debating Championships — the Olympics of high school debating. The team was also crowned International Champions at the South African National Schools Debating Championships, an all-Zimbabwe final at the 2023 African Schools Debating Championships, scooped runner-up trophy at the Pan-African Schools Debating Championships and was named the Best African Debate team in 2021, 2022 and 2023.

Meanwhile Team Zimbabwe is seeking US$4 000 for its members to attend the World Schools Debating Championship which runs from July 16 to 26 in Belgrade, Serbia.

Zimbabwe will be represented by a team of five high school students.

The members are Davisha Chapfika (Dominican Convent), Dean Femayi (St Patrick's Christian Brothers' College, Bulawayo), Lesley Machimbidza (Star Leadership Academy in Harare), Lethukuthula Ngwenya (a gap year student who recently graduated from Gifford High School in Bulawayo) and team captain Tanatswa Moyo (a Form 4 student at St Johns' College, Harare).