30 October 2017 Read: 319
Daniel Spies (13), a Grade 7 learner at Unicorn Preparatory School in Tzaneen, is the double winner for the Robert Mosse award for best English speaker as well as the Hein Kruger award for best Afrikaans speaker. School Headmaster Ian Houston said, “Daniel is a natural speaker and also has the gift of knowing how to read his audience.”
There were prepared and unprepared speeches for both competitions. There was also a choice of five topics in the unprepared sections. In the Afrikaans section the prepared speech was whether homework was a good or bad thing. Daniel stated that it was bad and cited a Swedish school where no homework is given and this school has the best education in the world.
In the unprepared English section Daniel chose “three awkward questions I’d ask my parents.” Two of those questions he raised were “Did you want me and have you ever thought of getting divorced.” In the prepared 4-6 minute session Daniel expressed his reasons why children should have smart phones. He cited that they’re necessary for communication as well as a good source of entertainment and needed when in trouble.
There were seven entrants for the English award as well as seven entrants for the Afrikaans award. Both the Robert Mosse and Hein Kruger public speaking awards were started in 1975. Daniel is the 11th double winner since the inception of these awards. The other double winners were Sonja Vorster in 1977; Darryl Devenish in 1978; Kerrin Borchers in 1983; Christopher Lewis in 1986; Miles Warren in 1990; Tracey Reed in 1999; Nichola Gilbert in 2004; Gabriëlle Kruger in 2009; Xané du Toit in 2011 and Gregor Andrew in 2013. Paula Drake (now a teacher at Unicorn) won the Robert Mosse award in 1981 and her son, Eiren Drake, won it 26 years later in 2007. Another Unicorn teacher Heidi Coppen (neé Ratering) won the Hein Kruger award in 1984.