Inter-house Oratory


The Oratory Competition was dominated this year by the senior girls who really showed the depth and span of their thinking. The inter-house oratory competition winners were Busi Setlai of Eleanor and Anovuyo Selani of Elton. A big thank you to Lesedi Adams and the Cultural Board, Mrs Peltason, all the wonderful speakers, master of ceremonies Tayla Boscombe and Yolanda Mni and adjudicator Mrs Herselman. Mrs Herselman is a former deputy head girl of Riebeek.  Here is the adjusdicator feedback:


Busi Setlai's speech, Selfies, was relevant, well-researched and she connected very well with her audience. She also controls her verbal and non-verbal communication very well for such a young speaker.


The quality of your senior speakers' offerings was very high. I loved how relevant, well-researched and interesting their speeches were. Hard-hitting, frank while still managing to be humorous, they dealt head-on with some of life's realities. 


Ngcwengo owned the stage with her brave speech "Confidence". Imkhita's piece on xenophobia was hard-hitting and frank. Sinovuyo's "Hashtags" was both informative and funny. Anovuyo's "Afrodacious" was as natural as she advocates hair should be, and she had her audience hanging onto her every word. Carla's "Don't hesitate. Abbreviate" was snappy and sharp. Saeedah's "TV taught me how to feel" captured many of our romances with the flat screen. Ma-asha's take on freedom was deep and thought-provoking. Natheera managed to describe every one of us or our friends in her funny speech. Cleo, breathy with bronchitis, managed to find enough breathe to enthral us with her hard-hitting piece on "Light is right". Ziva's LOL shed light on a subject close to home (Load shedding) while Nicole presented a very insightful piece on Public Holidays. Kuhle proved again what a poet she is, with her speech about "Who are they? Who are we?" Megan tackled philosophy in her speech about "nothing" and, finally, sweet Sikelelwa encouraged us all to own our brands with "Be a brand". 


These girls, each and every one of them, owned the stage today. Well done to the winner, Anovuyo, and to every one of these brave girls.


What a joy it was to show my eldest daughter my alma mater this morning. Thanks to you all.



Liz MacKenzie Herselman


A brief overview of the speeches from Mrs Peltason:

Busi Setlai, who ultimately won the Junior Section and the trophy, representing Eleanor House, was supremely confident. She told us that a” Selfie is a drug that keeps insecurity away.”

Meagan van der Merwe  (Elizabeth House) shared her opinion that it is impossible to have empathy without love and Siphosethu Malinga (Elizabeth House) very cleverly showed us how technology has insinuated itself into our lives. She reminded us of how afraid we were of touch screens and how commonplace they are today.

House points for participation: Eleanor 1; Elizabeth 2; Elton 0.

In the Senior section Ngcwengo Ndabeni showed us how supremely confident she is, reminding us that confidence could not be bought at the terminus, on the way home.

Second speaker, Imkhita Mani of Elizabeth House confessed that she was deeply troubled by Xenophobic attacks, noting that ‘our humanity is slipping away from us’.

Sinovuyo Jantjies of Elizabeth told us the story of hashtags, noting that the word was added into the Oxford dictionary in 2014. Then Anovuyo Selani, (Elton) the ultimate winner, regaled us with her opinions on African hair in her amusing and yet researched speech: “Afrodacious”.

Next it was Carla Ferreira of Eleanor House who gave us some amusing and profound insights into the need to abbreviate. Saeedah Sirkhotte gave penetrating view of her experience with television, and how as people, we cross the lines real life that has no appeal and a fictional universe that does. Ma-asha de Long spoke on another serious topic, treating it in an amusing way. She expressed the view that no one is really free: we are born, we work hard, we pay taxes and then die. How depressing!

Natheera Sirkhotte gave us an amusing overview of the different types of friends. It was not difficult to picture her “Laughing” friend. Cleo-Laine van Aardt then followed, giving her opinion of Colourism within an ethnic group. She berated those who differentiated almost as though the law of the time did not discriminate enough. She closed with the comment that we are all 50 Shades of Beautiful. Poor Cleo-Laine was struggling with her breathing on the day as she had quite a severe chest infection.

Ziva Isaacs treated us to an overview of the urban appropriation and integration into language of abbreviations like L.O.L. which back in the sixties had meant “Little old ladies”. An ‘Abbreviathon’ by the way, is using more than one abbreviation in succession; and ‘Abbreviaphobia” the fear that abbreviations are taking over.

Nicole Louw then very cleverly gave a character and personality to every Public Holiday, starting with the ultra cool man, New year’s Day, sporting dark glasses, and ending with the conundrum: ‘What would we do if Mr Calitz asked us to write an essay explaining why we would want to stay at home on a public holiday?’

Kuhle Baart, in beautifully balanced prose, using her voice to great effect, explained that we are never really free but that people are enslaved by those who tell them to value the freedom he is told he has. She proved that we are all slaves to something, whether it be dieting  or data and begged that we learn to “embrace the weird”.

Megan de Beer gave a clever little talk on absolutely “Nothing” proving that nothing is something when following the old dictum: Nothing is impossible, a paradox as the word itself says “I am possible”.  Megan told us that upon googling “nothing” a million results popped up. 

Last but not least was Sikelelwa Nqatula who implored us to “Be a Brand” and not copy the Kardashians . She asked us to be different, not brand ourselves with the brands of others.

The Oratory Competition was beautifully hosted by Yolanda Mni and Tayla Boscombe and organized by Lesedi Adams, assisted by Clair Malgas. A delightful video clip was put together by Jessica du Pisanie and Carmyn Collins, supported by Mrs Gerber, with amusing excerpts from The King’s Speech and My Fair Lady. After the Video clip Mrs Herselman delivered an adjudication.

Junior Oratory: Busi Setlai Grade 8 – Eleanor House – “Selfies”

Senior Oratory: Anovuyo Selani, Grade 12 – Elton House – “Afrodacious”.

The points position: Eleanor 10 points; Elizabeth 8 points; Elton 9 points

I wish to thank Mrs Gerber for her untiring support in bringing together a quality event. Mrs Gerber’s concern for register serves to remind the girls of the need for appropriate behaviour at events such as this one.


 June 23, 2015
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