Celebrating the Love of Friends in a Loving World

Celebrating the Love of Friends in a Loving World
Red Roses for You, My Sweet Friends ... Total Love.

My Sweet Friends

My sweet friends,

We grow closer to each other;

When we interact together and share ideas;

The common faith that we share,

Binds our hearts in one accord.

For sweet friendships last a life time,

When built on mutual respect, humility and understanding;

Throughout each different season,

We find we are one in life.

Sweet friends are there through times of grief;

And times when hope is gone;

Always there with encouragement;

So we can carry on.

I thank the Lord for you,

My true and faithful friends;

To fondly speak with you, whether we agree or not,

On this, our beloved blog;

For sweet friends will stay, no matter what;

Giving support.

Together, our hearts and minds truly unite;

With the amazing love of sweet friends.

In the spirit of true friendship,

Best wishes, my sweet friends;

May the Lord bless you abundantly.

I remain, yours truly,

B.B. Bakampa.

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Friday, January 28, 2011

THE WORLD UNIVERSITIES DEBATING CHAMPIONSHIPS: HOW I SAW IT.

By Bakampa Brian Baryaguma
bsaint3@gmail.com; www.bbbakampa.blogspot.com

I had the pleasure and honour of attending the 31st World Universities Debating Championships (WUDC), hosted by the University of Botswana, from 27th December, 2010 to 4th January, 2011, in Gaborone, Botswana. The WUDC is the most prestigious debating tournament in the world. This was the second time that it was being hosted in Africa: the first having been hosted by Stellenbosch, South Africa in 2003.

Botswana worlds 2011 (as the tournament was fondly known), attracted 1200 participants (both debaters and adjudicators). Debaters comprised 340 teams, representing 171 universities, from 50 countries. I represented Makerere University together with three others namely, Ikomu Irene, Manzi Solomon and Onyango Nathan Joseph. We constituted two separate teams and my teammate was Nathan. We also had a coach, Bongo Patrick Namisi, who represented us in the worlds council. This council is the policy making body of the WUDC. Makerere was the only Ugandan university taking part in the worlds. The word “worlds” is the debating fraternity’s preferred term in reference to the WUDC.

The tournament lasted for 9 days i.e. from Monday, 27th December, 2010 up to Tuesday, 4th January, 2011. Every moment of it was very engaging. The days’ work started at 7:00 am (with breakfast) until 11:00 pm on ordinary days and till late in the night during social events.

Several motions on a wide range of topics were debated upon, including the global financial crisis, political instabilities, the International Criminal Court, nuclear weapons, et cetera. For instance, the finalists were asked to debate the motion: This House would invade Zimbabwe. I liked the various motions because they were informative, thought-provocative and stimulating.

The main challenge facing the worlds is the language categorization i.e. the main break (for native English speakers), English as a second language (ESL) and English as a foreign language (EFL) categories. For example, the test for nativity is whether a candidate has undergone training in the English language for more than five years. But this test is very fictitious and narrow because it isn’t accurately ascertainable. I watched the ESL and EFL finals. With the exception of the Japanese team, it is difficult to believe that the rest rightly belonged there: for their fluency was unbelievable. I am aware that many participants held this view.

I therefore, suggest that whereas the teams should be given the opportunity to choose their desired categories, the opening rounds (as the organizers may determine) should be open to all debaters without preference or exception. Then the judges can advise on the deserved categories for the benefit of those responsible for pairing the teams, based on the adjudication results.

The tournament, was not just academic oriented––it also provided an opportunity to meet and interact with people from other parts of the world and in so doing, learn from one another and share experiences too. For instance, I chatted with a girl from Indonesia (or Malaysia; I stand o be corrected) who told me that in her country, people of different races are treated differently: such that those from the dominant race enjoy more state privileges than the rest of the population! This shocked me because I couldn’t believe that this kind of state inspired apartheid still manifestly exists today.

Finally, I thank the National Debate Council and the Open Society Initiative for East Africa for making the Botswana Worlds 2011, possible for me: the former, for giving me the opportunity to represent my university and country; the latter, for meeting all my expenses.