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As We Were Saying... Vol 1. Issue 3

We’ll be alright because the kids have dreams... MOSES MASITHA

Free State Provincial contest adjudicator

Judging the Anglo American-Sowetan, Young Communicators Awards has served to entrench in me one seminal feeling - HOPE. I sat and listened to young people simplify complex challenges the nation faces over the duration of the competition, I was amazed at the ability of some to transcend the borders in speech and remind us that geographically we are all citizens of one world. The ability of young people to place set challenges and offer creative solutions to those challenges was a breath of fresh air for me, as I am certain it was for

those that sat on judging panels with me. I was also impressed with the ability of the young learners to succinctly articulate their aspirations, fears and common societal ills. The young people have dreams for this generation and those that will follow after theirs. It was very clear in their well delivered speeches that many are committed to ensuring that they will be the difference makers. The conversation aspect of the competition provided insight into the learner’s ability to engage in conversation and maintain an incredible degree of logic while at it. It was also in the conversation aspect where one

realised the imaginative power of original thought from these young minds.

“The young people have dreams for this generation and those that will follow after theirs” An incredible amount of credit should go to Sowetan and Anglo American for their commitment to nation building. That they have recognised that to succeed in this project is to invest in the youth.

the most important art of all humankind and leadership: rhetoric - the ability to make people hang onto every word you utter and convert them into followers I sincerely thank MUNSA, Sowetan, Anglo American and most importantly the young people for allowing me an opportunity to listen to narratives that will shape our history.

They have realised that it is the young generation that will shape their generation and those to follow.The young people, through the public speaking, have learned perhaps

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Yes you’ve heard about this before: The Collective Genius is out there, watch this space...

YCA Phase Three: National Finals This year’s YCA campaign raced with the speed of light, and so we have reached the grand finale!

The 18th annual Anglo American-Sowetan Young Communicators Awards will commence on August 19.

Time: 15:00 – 20:00 Venue: The Glass House at Turbine Hall Keep an eye on your inbox for the invite!





Being on the verge of 2011’s National Final, and all the excitement around it, made me remember my own experience in 2007. As a national finalist, you will never get quite over talking about the experience! YCA was the one thing that single handedly changed my life for the better.

Despite being overwhelmed by the whole experience, it also opened my eyes to a whole new South Africa of possibilities with people just as dedicated and motivated as myself. I also learned a whole lot – who knew of such a thing as coconutism, and what a ghetto is?! In my defence – I was raised in a small, somewhat conservative dorpie in the middle of nowhere…

Most of all I made many lifelong friends and am part of something way bigger than myself! Whatever you make of this experience, do not doubt for one moment that you are on the verge of changing your life – forever.

Tumelo and I in action in 2007. Those were the days!

Make the most of this, and enjoy it!

Should you have any ideas, queries or comments regarding this publication or social media you can contact me:

Lots of love Marine

Email: marineopperman@

YCA: more than just a job Gauteng Provincial CoOrdinator, Samantha Chikepe, shares her behind the scenes experiences of 2011:

never get to hear about if not for this platform.

While to most, YCA is a public speaking competition, to me, it was a journey into the world of a family I never knew I had.

The Email: subject box ‘email etiquette’ If I said this email left me scared I would be lying. This email left me paralysed with fear of ever dispatching another YCA titled email ever. It read:

In no specific order my top two stories.

The fear you put in me worked wonders in developing my email professionalism and whoever said YCA was just a public speaking completion must have not met you.

The Caterer Mr. Caterer calls me one morning letting me Now hold on before know that he requires your render me too senme to pay him all his timental. I say money in full, or else family because YCA is ‘Samantha, this is the face the brunt of his a baby that provided the most unprofessional Sangoma. common purpose to all email …’ involved and our duty A few days later he was to raise and care This email brought me rings again and informs for this baby and there to speed with regards to me that he is outside is no way one can do the level of profession- my premises. You can such an act of caring alism to be expected imagine my shock as I and rearing and be left of me in this Organisa- wondered how this unchanged. tion. It was a difficult yet caterer had managed to necessary adjustment, locate me as he did not I would like to share the Ms Mayeza (as I used have my physical behind the scenes to address her in all my address. stories you would emails).

I asked in a terrified’ fake horror movie voice ‘but how did you find me?’, and he replies my address is on the invoice. I froze again because we all know whose address is on the invoice... Little did the caterer know that he would be dealt with courtesy of our tough Financial Manager Ms Hussain. My YCA 2011 experience has been nothing short of experiences and encounters that have humbled me. I owe a big thank you to all who have been part and parcel of this journey. Note from editor - Now I feel better for all the crazy and unprofessional emails I ever sent Ms Mayema!

Profile: 2011 Finalistis Ayanda Twani

Province: Eastern Cape School: Victoria Girls’ High School Winning Speech Title: The Wall Highlight of your YCA experience thus far? Befriending some outspoken people as well as making it through to Nationals.

Avuyile Gasela

Province: KwaZulu-Natal School: Port Shepstone high Winning Speech Title: 1 in 6 Billion “If you must know, I like not fitting in a box. I prefer not to fit because I’m just too complicated.”

Gomolemo Moloko

Province: Mpumalanga School: Highveld Park High School Winning Speech Title: I Am still an African “We are building bridges of diversity and breaking walls of ignorance. We will raise the sky-scrapers of unity and tear down the shacks of discrimination.”

Josephine Peka

Province: Limpopo School: Mohlakeng Secondary Winning Speech Title: Call a Spade a Spade What inspired your speech? Personal experience watching and observing my family - they always lie.

Omphile Khoele

Province: North West School: Mmabatho High School Winning Speech Title: The world of captivity

Stephen Buabeng-Baidoo Province: Gauteng School: Voortrekker Hoogte

Winning Speech Title: The 30% Generation

If he could change the world: I would like to change the mentality of the 30% generation. I would like us to be more responsible and to get confidence that we can do better that previous generations.

Moleboheng Tsomole Province: Free State School: Beacon Secondary Winning Speech Title: Service Delivery In 5 years I see myself: As an Industrial Engineer at a company of Anglo Platinum’s magnitude.

Christiaan Kruger

Province: Northern Cape School: Hoёrskool Duineveld Winning Speech Title: Putting the ‘I’ in team Favourite quote: “If you judge a fish by its ability to climb trees, it will always feel stupid and useless” – Albert Einstein

Thobeka Nkabinde Province: Western Cape School: Hugenote High School Wellington Winning Speech Title: African dictators are the death of Africa Highlight of your YCA experience thus far? That there was so much competitive competition and that more and more young people are becoming passionate about voicing out their thoughts, the fact that I won was also a highlight.

Plan B to the rescue! BONOLO CEBE & TUMELO SIBANDA

Provincial & National Event Coordinators

Event Coordinators, the shadows that only surface at the beginning and end of your day at an event. These are the shadows of teams that hold your hand as they offer a warm welcome when you walk through the door; they give you direction and guidance during your stay. Think of that moment when you walked into an unfamiliar building and realised you need the rest room, that time when you stepped out for a glass of water but didn’t know where the refreshment station was, or that time when you needed to know how far we into the day’s proceedings was.

Yes, these are all familiar moments and during all of them you always had a shadow hand that provided you with assistance and made your stay a little bit more comfortable. This is only a rough illustration of what an event coordinator’s diary looks like: Dear diary: They often say it’s the little things that count, sometimes it’s the big unseen things that make those little things worth more than they are. And that’s where the YCA events management team step in. We arrange the big things so that when we meet with our guests, the little things we do seem effortlessly done! I am excited to get this year’s events going!

Dear diary: Many people call me B, but never did I imagine that I could ever be Miss Plan-B! That’s essentially what I have had to be during the YCA provincial contests. Coming up with solutions, and strategies is part of planning a successful event and this is a skill that my experience as YCA Events Coordinator has honed. There are surprises waiting at every corner from programme changes to technical glitches and you just have to be ready to take them on. Dear diary: My biggest fear is oversleeping, and arriving at the venue when the last contestant arrives. P.S. will you wake me up at 6:15am tomorrow morning?

Dear diary: Uhm, the entire town is experiencing load shedding... The contestants better be glow in the dark. Dear diary: I have no idea where the venue is! Luckily I have 24 hours before the contest starts. Dear diary: Well, I found the venue, however it does not have a single drop of water. Need to organise toilets! Where to find them?! 18 hours to Showtime... Dear diary: Working as an Events Coordinator in the YCA programme has been one of the most amazing experiences of my life, such a great opportunity to serve! I even made many friends along the way… Can’t wait for next year!

From workshop attendance to Nationals MARINE OPPERMAN The road I took that got me to Nationals surprised me quite a bit. That day at the workshop, I sat there thinking. Things like this does not happen to me, it never has, so in a way I was annoyed with the guy standing up there educating me on how to communicate. That was until we got to the part

of actually debating over a subject. I did not take part in the debate, however, I did not enough have confidence at all! When it came to writing a speech I put it off, I was nervous, I had only once before competed in English. Finally my teacher obliged me to enter, and when she decides something, it’s final. No

backing out. It is thanks to her that I took this opportunity(Thanks Mrs Kotze)! Random debating cards inspired me in class one day and that was when the bug bit me!

a few years ago and had the time of my life in Jozi. I will not, however, write of my lovely time now.

The point is, it does not matter what road you took to get here today, I believe the thing that you now stand on the took me through to brink of change, whether Nationals was the fact you win or not, your life that I had such a has changed forever. passion for the topic of my speech, I truly believed in Enjoy the Nationals and it! So to my surprise and every opportunity you get delight I boarded a plane with it!


As We Were Saying 3  

The third Issue of MUNSA's inhouse journal of the Young Communicators Awards!