Star of the Sea pupil shines at debating contest

Star of the Sea Convent School’s Sage Maizda has won the “best speaker” award at the inaugural Cape Town Primary School Debating League

A 13-year-old Grade 7 pupil at Star of the Sea Convent School won the inaugural Cape Town Primary School Debating League’s “best speaker” award.

Sage Maidza only became a member of her school’s debating team this year.

“I joined debating because when I grow up, I really want to become a lawyer. Debating allows me to state my point and justify it, and I really like that part of debating.”

More than 100 pupils took part in the league, and Star of the Sea was one of the seven founding schools that participated. There others were Bergvliet Primary School, Curro Century City, Siyabulela Primary School, The Grove Primary School, Western Province Preparatory School, and Wynberg Girls’ Junior School.

A junior division for Grades 4 to 5 and a senior division for Grades 6 to 7 competed in six rounds, starting on Tuesday August 8 and finishing on Saturday October 28.

This was the first year that Star of the Sea included debate as an extracurricular activity, but the school entered one junior and three senior teams, each with three speakers, a chairperson and a timekeeper.

Sage said her team got together during break to do research and discuss ideas in preparation for the debates.

“I learned many things about debating from this whole experience, which was really great,” she said, adding that she had been pleasantly surprised to learn that she had won the ‘best speaker’ award.

“I didn’t even expect it, but I was so happy and really overjoyed that I’d won. I am really proud of myself.“

Jessica Blake, the teacher in charge of the school’s debate team, said: “Sage is a hard-working, eloquent learner who really showed her commitment to critical thinking and doing her best.“

She also praised the other two speakers on the team, Tlhologelo Makhudu, who received the third-best speaker award in the junior division, and Krista Kaseke,

The Cape Town Primary School Debating League’s founder, Thishin Moodley, encouraged more schools to sign up for the league next year.

“Debating played a leading role in my life back when I was a debater. It helped me improve my social skills and learn more about the world. It also became the source of my longest lasting friendships,” he said.

The league’s next season is scheduled to begin with a workshop on January 31, 2024, at Western Province Preparatory School. Schools interested in joining the league can email Thishin Moodley on or call 081 343 9036.