Exclusive Interview with Tofunmi Adetoogun, One of the Winners of the Great Ife Debate

Hello, can we meet you?

I’m Jesutofunmi Adetoogun, a 500 level IFUMSite. I would describe myself as one who is curious about the world and its people. I LOVE discussing ideas and perspectives.

What spurred you to take up the challenge of an Interfaculty debate?

😃 I was pushed into it by the IQDC Chairman, and Vice-Chairman who insisted all members in the debate arm must participate in the screening stage. I remember, on the day of the event, I didn’t even come prepared to debate. I just came to listen, and boom! I had to participate.

Could you enlighten us about about your preparation for the competition?

The competition had several stages. For the first stage, we were given a pool of 52 topics from which one was selected at random for each participant to give a 10-minute speech on, and we were given 3 days to prepare. I did some research on a number of topics, but I didn’t get any of them 😂💔

There was a debate in the competition I had less than 1 hour to prepare for, due to block lectures and other engagements.

In the other stages, I worked with three other participants, and even though we were most likely not the most serious team, somehow God helped us to make it work.

What was your experience at the finals?

The finals was also one interesting event. We had a debate the day before the finals, so we had just the preceding evening and the morning to prepare. Since we were a team of four, and we were at liberty to decide how many speakers would represent the group, I figured I would just take a back seat and help other members prepare. But this was not to be. I ended up as one of the debaters representing the group due to some turn of events on the morning of The Last Bang. It was exciting. Choosing a debate strategy, separating points, rehearsing, and praying with my group members… Listening to our opponents and the comments of the judges… It was a beautiful ending to the thrilling journey of the Great Ife Debate

Can you tell us any factor that might have played a big role in your win at the debate competitions?

I would say, my group members. After our first debate together, I remember saying to them that we were a match made in heaven. Even though we were from four different faculties, and total strangers when we met, we were able to work synergistically, and we all brought together opinions and ideas to boost the team. And God blessed our efforts.

How do you feel about winning?

Winning is exhilarating. And it is especially meaningful for me as the Great Ife Debate was my first debate in OAU.

So…, Just out of curiosity, was there any prize involved and what was it?

Yes, there was. My group members and I got one Itel Prime Tab each, as the group in the first position.

Any word for our audience?

I’ll share one of my favourite quotes from Chimamanda Adichie. “We can not always bend the world into the shapes we want but we can try.”
So I’ll say all you need to do is try, and give it your best shot!

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