At a time when the country seems to be too divided on almost all divides; social, political and religious, the University Debate Nationals 2017 took on the theme of ‘The Unity Question’ to look at ways in which young people can be agents of unity and oneness in spite of the existing societal differences.
The University Debate Nationals took place from the 4th – 6th November and were hosted at Uganda Martyrs University, Nkozi and brought together 14 universities from across Uganda. The debaters from the universities showed passion and knowledge in their argumentation. It was clear that they all wanted to return to their universities with the trophy.
The trophy cabinet at this year’s University Debate Nationals was quite ingenious. The James Ogoola Award, which was formerly the Top Speaker Award, was up for the very first time in the history of the Debate Nationals. Justice James Ogoola had previously allowed for the award to be named in his honor, a request we had made to him because of the consistent adoration that he has had for debate in Uganda. The Personality Award, which is a people’s choice for the most outstanding debater was also with a better design not mentioning the Top Winner’s Trophy which was simply a work of art.
As all tournaments are, there could only be one winner and Kyambogo University managed to solidly defend their title as the overall winners with Makerere University coming in as the Runner’s Up. The first winner of the James Ogoola Award was Sebasitan Ivan Segawa from Kyambogo University who emerged as the top speaker at the tournament and the Personality Award 2017 went to Hanifa Mpaata of Makerere University Business School. To handover the James Ogoola Award was the former Principal Justice himself, Justice James Ogoola who also tantalized the audience with his poetic prowess in the piece, ‘This is how not to Debate’
As a first this year as well, we partnered with Urban TV and had the entire tournament broadcast live throughout all the days. We look forward to the 2018 edition and we hope that your university will be the host.