Building narratives: Kwekweza wins global speech contest

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She will represent Zimbabwe (known as Division Z) in the Toastmasters Southern Africa International Speech Contest.

By Fungayi Sox

Democracy and human rights champion, Namatai Kwekweza emerged the winner in a tightly contested Toastmasters International Speech competition held recently.

Kwekweza is a law student and is passionate about human rights including issues to do with women.

She is also the founder of We Lead Trust — which advocates for leadership opportunities for young people. She joined Toastmasters to become a better speaker and leader at work and in the community.

She will represent Zimbabwe (known as Division Z) in the Toastmasters Southern Africa International Speech Contest.

She secured one of the 12 spots in the Toastmasters Southern Africa semi-finals, which will be held virtually on May 14.

After this stage, six of the 12 contestants will advance to the Toastmaster’s Southern African finals, which is slated for May 28.

The competition will then culminate in the 2022 World Championship of Public Speaking, which will be held in August at Nashville in Tennessee, United States where finalists will compete for the World Championship title.

A member of Evolving Ladies Toastmasters Club in Harare, Kwekweza’s speech titled The Truck, which touched on the themes of bravery, passion, and confidence won the hearts of the adjudication panel and touched on how “humans have to constantly exhibit in life in order to progress from their comfort zones to shaping the life that we really like to live. When it comes to connecting with an audience” she said.

“The key is to have a storyline that is relatable and compelling.

“Toastmasters speech contests are another way to build your confidence, sharpen skills and speak to many different audiences.

“I look forward to competing against the other semi-finalists and hopefully advancing to the World Championship of Public Speaking!”

Toastmasters International is a world-wide non-profit educational organisation that empowers individuals to become more effective communicators and leaders.

Headquartered in Englewood,Colorado in the United States, the organisation membership exceeds 300 000 in more than 15 000 branches in 149 countries. Toastmasters Southern Africa boasts of 250 branches in Angola, Botswana, Eswatini, Lesotho, Malawi, Mauritius, Madagascar, Mozambique, Namibia, Zambia, South Africa and Zimbabwe.

The Toastmasters International Speech Contest began in 1938 and is the world’s largest speech contest involving 30 000 participants from 145 countries.

It culminates with the popular World Championship of Public Speaking held annually at the organisation’s International Convention.

In an interview with the country director Future Moyo said: “Each year Toastmasters compete in one or more of the following contests; – humorous, evaluation, table topics, tall tales and international speech contest.”

Leaders are made and Toastmasters International offers the safe environment to empower you to be the best version of yourself. This is an open call”.

In Zimbabwe,we pride ourselves of over 25 Branches dotted in Harare, Bulawayo and Victoria Falls in which interested individuals can locate one near them and start a journey to becoming a world class leader and effective communicator.

This article was coordinated by Carl Maswoswa, a member of the Toastmasters Club.

  • FungayiAntony Sox is the managing consultant at TisuMazwi — a communications centred social enterprise that facilitates book project management including writing and publishing, content development and marketing, research, digital media and personal development. He writes in his personal capacity. For one-on-one writing and self-publishing coaching sessions, contact him on 0776 030 949, follow him on Twitter @AntonySox or connect with him on LinkedIn on Fungayi Antony Sox.

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