Stirling star part of SA team
AFTER performing well at the SA Model United Nations National Conference, Stirling High School’s Haydon Anderson, 14, was selected as part of the South African team attending an international debating conference in Washington DC next year.
Anderson and Nishaan Vasi, 15, from Stirling, teamed up with Ayola Shushu and Siphokazi Sifumba, both 16, from Greenpoint Senior Secondary School, to represent the Eastern Cape at the national finals in Cape Town.
One pupil from each province was selected for the South African team plus the entire group from Mpumalanga, who won the competition.
“I didn’t expect to be the South African delegate. This is an amazing opportunity to meet people from all over the world in Washington DC and be exposed to different cultures. It will be really interesting to see how different people react to various global issues,” Anderson said.
“My aim is to go and do my best and improve as a speaker and learn how American politics works, especially now after Donald Trump’s victory.”
On his selection Anderson said: “I think I was chosen because I am young and they were surprised by my knowledge of global politics. I also work well under pressure and was able to hold my own against amazing speakers from across the country.”
Vasi said: “It was an amazing experience to be able to bond with the Eastern Cape team and meet up with those from other provinces. It was a privilege to develop friendships all over the country and I look forward to trying again next year to make the SA team. It was a blessing to go to the national conference and get an all- expenses-paid tour of Cape Town.”
Teacher in charge of debating at Greenpoint, Melany Theron, said the school was proud of Shushu and Sifumba and excited to continue their partnership with Stirling into the future.
“Besides visiting all the tourist destinations, they were able to interact with learners throughout the country, grow in their general knowledge and be tutored by university students,” Theron said.
The trip is organised and funded by Education Africa and aims to get youth to have an opinion about global issues and learn more about other countries.
“These competitions teach you how to negotiate, make your point clearly and firmly without offending others, become tolerant of differing opinions and learn skills of diplomacy,” Vasi said.
Head of oratory at Stirling High, Darrell Marshall said: “This is a fantastic opportunity for Haydon to experience model UN at an international level in Washington DC. I expect that he will be an excellent example of the talents that South Africa has to offer in this area.”
The international competition runs from February 25 to March 7, with the SA team meeting in Johannesburg for five days of training before the trip.