Andrew Kamugisha, the senior tournament director of Elle Parle, a women’s debate association, has said that the debate and public speaking tournament was established to promote advocacy for women's rights through presentation and debate while providing solutions.
“As Uganda we have the highest number of youths and it is so important that we converge and provide a safe space where they can discuss these problems and provide solutions which can be turned into policies. As a result, they advocate for their rights through a stable ground for intellectual discussions,” Andrew explained.
He admitted to having a background in debate and public speaking that got him participating in regional, national and later to the East African level competitions. He is also a judge, trainer and has mentored debaters and public speakers both at Secondary and at University level.
However, he recognized that men are more involved in the activities than women because of how women feel towards speaking up. To aspiring debaters and women public speakers, this is what he says.
“To become a very good debater, there are very few things. First, You must be a good researcher and take time to understand the meaning of the motion, your role, how to counteract your opponents, how to build up your points and factor the argument. So when you observe that, there wouldn't be any other team that would beat such a debater during a tournament.”
According to him, the aim of Elle Parle was based on the need to give the girl child a chance to express themselves freely without fear of judgment and being misunderstood.
“We have to boost morale and build the confidence of these people. There are issues which the society has kept quiet about for a long time and as a girl child, what do you have to suggest? That is why we have partners like Akina Mama (a renown feminist group). That is why we continually encourage debaters that debate does not only build your oratory skills but also your confidence and the availability to increase your social capital as a debater,” he said
Elle parle women’s debate tournament focuses on issues such as gender equality and advocacy in regards to politics and change of cultural norms that downplay women.
Elle Parle Is an open women’s debate association that has currently organized a nationwide tournament with a training on public speaking and debating. The competitions are to be held at Kyambogo University and open to all members of the public.
The Groove Cafe with Crystal Newman airs every Weekday from 4-5pm on RX Radio.
Download the RX Radio app: