Face me, I Face you, talk your own!
The first edition of the Great Ife debate has indeed been a battle of words, charisma and intellectual prowess. The event which has featured over a hundred students across 13 faculties is the brainchild of Dr (Mrs) Bola Simeon Fayomi who doubles as the convener of the debate. It is also interesting to note that the debate is the first of its kind and has been organized in conjunction with the OAU 60th anniversary celebration.
In an interview with the manager of the debate Tolulope Oguntayo, a final year student of the department of International Relations, stated that “the aim of the debate is to inculcate the culture of public speaking into OAU students and to serve as a means of bringing students together for a display of intellectual prowess, self-expression and cognitive ability”
The debate which started with about 150 students at the intrafaculty level of the debate currently consists of 24 contestants who would lock heads at the semifinals and 4th stage of the debate on Friday with just 16 of them proceeding to the finals on Saturday. It has also been a mixture of the Presidential debating style as well as the Karl Popper style — the traditional method where contestants are asked to prepare for a specific topic beforehand. Friday and Saturday’s debates would however follow the latter format.
“I encourage every OAU student to spare some time to be present in the Grand finale as it would be nothing short of amazing and would definitely stir the intellect of all who attend,” Tolu said. The distinguished panel of judges that are also set to preside over the finale include Professor Yemi Sonaiya, Professor Modupe Adelabu, actor Yemi Solade and comedian and actor Hafiz Adetoro popularly known as Saka.
Furthermore, the fastest man in Nigeria, an alumnus of OAU in the person of Enoch Adegoke, would also be appearing for a few words. Invited students from other universities are also not left out.
With all this and more, we are set to witness “the final bang” — oratory prowess at its finest with a grand prize that would be revealed at the final event.