University of Sierra Leone Honoured
By Stephen V. Lansana
Julia Mary Gbloh, student of the Law Department, and Patricia Koroma of Peace and Conflicts Department at Fourah Bay College (FBC), represented the University of Sierra Leone (USL) in an Impact Africa International Debate Championship in Ghana, returning with an award.
Explaining about the trip, Mr. Teddy Foday Musa, lecturer in the Peace and Conflict Department, who doubled as the coach for the two students that represented USL in Ghana, said that it was a team work that made the university to reach the quarter finals.
He said that Julia Mary Gbloh came first in the public speaking contest and she was awarded a plaque for her excellent performance, as well as bagging a certificate of honour as the six best debaters out of 38 of them from various countries in Africa. He said that the University of Sierra Leone was selected as the 9th best performing team, missing out the 8th position that would have taken the team to the semifinals. Eight teams were selected for the semifinals.
Teddy Musa said that the debate was in the form of a parliamentary debate format. He added that there were four countries — Sierra Leone, Nigeria, Ghana and Zimbabwe. Nineteen teams represented 11 universities in Africa and each team was made up of two debaters. He said there were four stages in the debate: preliminary (knock out stage), quarter finals, semifinals and finals. He explained that Sierra Leone come 7th position out of the 16 teams that qualified for the quarter finals.
Engineer Savage, Ag Deputy Vice Chancellor (DVC) of FBC, said they provided support for the debaters and also the coaching lecturer that accompanied them to Ghana. He expressed his gratitude to Teddy Musa and the participants. He said that FBC has made positive news, adding that they mentor students in the society.
Mrs. Memunatu Pratt, Head of Department at the Peace and Conflict Department, said that “one thing which cannot be takien away from the college is the fact that the enrolment process of students is uncompromising.” She said that though they are faced with challenges, the output of the college proves that they are making progress.
Dr. Dante Allie Bendu, Dean, Faculty of Social Sciences and Law, said that they are grateful for the success that the two students have brought to FBC.
Julia Mary Gbloh, , said that people in other parts of the world perceived the country as one that has suffered from war and Ebola, adding that these episodes have created negative perception about the country. She said that we should work hard to change the image of the country. “We should change the narrative of the country; it is our duty to change the things that the world is holding about the country. I and Patricia are heroes because there were people in that event that do not even know about Sierra Leone,” she said.
She pointed that the image that they have portrayed has left a lasting impression in the minds of those people that they interacted with during the debate, noting that those people will ever remain to treat Sierra Leoneans accordingly because of the good impression that they have created.
“We are ambassadors of our country,” she added.
She said their performance is a testament to the world, adding that even though the country has suffered from the rebel war and the Ebola, we still have talented people that can showcase the country at international levels.
The Impact Africa International debate championship is a competition organised yearly by Impact Africa International debate for University students in Africa. It is hosted on a rotational bases.