The Omusati region's debating B team were crowned winners of The Namibian's Critical Thinking Competition at Rundu in Kavango West over the weekend.
The finals saw Omusati and Oshana's debate teams square off for N$15 000 and a floating trophy, with Omusati ultimately clinching the title.
The motion in the final was "This house believes that The Namibian is still telling it like it is".
Loide Hangula of Omusati was announced as the best speaker in the final round, while Isaskar Shangoro of //Karas took home the best male speaker and Bertha Tobias of Khomas won best female speaker.
The Namibian's general manager of finance and administration, Sieggie-Veii Mujoro, said at the event: "We are delighted to be a part of this event. We came on board with the Namibian Schools Debating Association (NSDA), and asked 'can we develop critical thinkers?' Last year, we spent N$500 000, and it went to waste because we partnered with the wrong people. We asked 'what did we do?', and ended up with the NSDA, and agreed to go on a three-year partnership."
He also revealed that the next Critical Thinking Competition will take place in the Ohangwena region.
Also speaking at the closing of the event, Peace Corps volunteer and debate coach Martin Dickerson told participants that: "It's not about winning, but about competing."
Anton Adeline, vice president of the NSDA, said they sent a team to Athens in 2009, and Qatar in 2010. Namibia was ranked 43rd in the world at its second appearance at the international debating competition, while in 2011, a team went to Scotland. Adeline said since then, the NSDA has not been able to send any other Namibian debaters to international competitions because of a lack of sponsors.
Jacob Shivute, who spoke on behalf of the NBC, thanked the sponsors for coming on board, while Eliphas Rukambe from the MVA Fund emphasised road safety. "The road crisis has reached an alarming state. Injuries can and should be prevented. Every life matters, and one life lost is one too many."
Sponsors for the event included B2Gold, Coca-Cola, NBC, the ministry of education and the MVA Fund.