Eric Asamoah Awuah, CEO of Speech Forces presenting the Best Orator trophy (senior category) to Gota Lois Atusfe Quarcoo (left). Abel Ohene Acquaye, Program Director at Africa Talent Development Program presenting the Best Orator trophy (junior category) to Prasanna Chandankhede (right).
Gota Lois Atusfe Quarcoo from Mawuli Senior High School has earned the prestigious title of the Best Orator in the senior category of the 2023 Orators Public Speaking Challenge. Prasanna Chandankhede of DPS International Ghana has also secured the title of Best Orator in the junior category. The Orators Public Speaking Challenge is a competition for enhancing the cognitive, critical thinking, and expressive abilities of students. Organized by Speech Forces and Africa Schools Online, the competition garnered support from key partners and sponsors, including Fidelity Bank, Verna Water, 3 FM, Dough Man Foods, High Schools Society, and Africa Leadership Academy.
Jasmine Lois Awurakua Onyame speaking on the topic “Don’t tax my period” during round one of the competition.
This year’s competition featured two categories: the senior category and the junior category. Eighty-four (84) orators submitted video entries for the senior category of the competition out of which forty-two (42) orators were chosen. The junior category received twenty-four (24) video entries and 12 orators made it to the next stage of the competition. The competition held at Christ the King Auditorium on Friday 22nd September saw participation from forty (40) orators representing various high schools across seven regions in the country, and twelve (12) orators in the junior category.
A section of the students at Christ the King Auditorium
In the senior category, the competition progressed through three rounds. The first round witnessed each orator delivering a two-minute speech on a pre-selected topic. Following this, twelve (12) orators advanced to the semifinals, where they presented impromptu speeches within two minutes and answered a question from the judges. The final round featured four (4) orators engaging in a mini debate, articulating their positions for or against a motion during their three-minute speeches. The junior category comprised two rounds. Each of the twelve (12) orators presented a two-minute speech on a pre-selected topic. The top six (6) orators advanced to the final round, showcasing their impromptu speaking abilities.
Orators in the junior category with Angela Opare, Operational Risk Manager at Fidelity Bank
The panel of judges for this year’s competition comprised esteemed individuals: Eric Asamoah, Founder of Speech Forces Organisation; Zoe Lois Poku, the 2022 Public Speaking Champion for the World Universities Debate Championship; and Joel Telfer, the 2015 Best Public Speaking Judge at the Pan African Universities Championship. Guest judges included Baaba Cofie, Ag. Dean of the School of Communications Studies at Wisconsin International University College; Franklin Adjetey, International Education Consultant; Angela Opare, Operational Risk Manager at Fidelity Bank; and Alfred Ocansey, an Award-winning broadcaster. Notable figures such as Kate Addo, Director of Public Affairs at the Parliament of Ghana; Lucille Hewlett Annan, Acting Commission Secretary at the National Commission for Civic Education; and Lois Adusei, Station Manager for 3 FM graced the competition with their presence.
Kate Addo, Director of Public Affairs at the Parliament of Ghana addressing the audience.
The competition also recognized other outstanding orators. Jasmine Lois Awurakua Onyame from Legacy Girls’ College received the award for Best Prepared Speech in the senior category, while Michelle Baaba Ewudzuwaa Brookman from Alpha Beta Christian College clinched the Best Prepared Speech award in the junior category. Additionally, Gota Lois Atusfe Quarcoo and Prasanna Chandankhede were honored for their outstanding impromptu speeches in the senior and junior categories, respectively.
As part of their well-deserved accolades, Gota Lois Atusfe Quarcoo, the 2023 Best Orator in the senior category, was awarded GHS 3000 and an all-expenses paid trip to South Africa with her coach. She will also have the unique opportunity to intern at 3FM. Prasanna Chandankhede, the distinguished Best Orator in the junior category also received a prize of GHS 2000.
Gota Lois (left) and Prasanna (right) receive their cash prizes.