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Rita Marley Foundation plans ahead for Bob's 70th birthday - Speech competition to commemorate the special occasion

Published:Wednesday | December 10, 2014 | 12:00 AM
Bob Marley
Rita Marley

Shereita Grizzle, Gleaner Writer

The 70th birthday for late reggae icon Bob Marley is fast-approaching and there are already several plans in place to celebrate the legend's special day. In addition to a new musical celebrating his life and works to be opened in January, the Rita Marley Foundation has announced a public-speaking competition to commemorate the special occasion.

As part of the 11th annual Africa Unite Youth Symposium, the competition will see six students from high schools across the island vie for the Rita Marley Foundation Trophy of Excellence in Public Speaking on February 12, 2015, just a week after Marley's 70th birthday. For the first round of the competition, each of the six students will present their take on the topic 'A People Detached from Its Motherland Can Prosper'. Some students will deliver speeches in favour of that topic, while others will present opposing arguments.

Immediately following the first round, the top three students will be selected to move on to the final round to be held on the same day. Finalists will be issued an impromptu topic and will be allotted 30 minutes to prepare a speech to be delivered before the judges and the audience. At the end of the round, the judges will select a winner, and prizes will be awarded to all three finalists. The students set to participate are Glenmuir High School's Xaundre Mohansingh, William Knibb's N'Jari Chambers, Denham Town High School's Audrene Edwards, Haile Selassie High's Takeen Evens, Wolmer's Trust High School for Girls' Mickella Anderson, and York Castle High's Lambert Hamilton.

The competition is sponsored by Tastee Jamaica, The Spanish Court Hotel, Tru-Juice, WATA and Pepsi-Cola Jamaica. The competition is set to take place at the University of the West Indies (Mona) main library's multifunctional room, and is scheduled to run from 9:30 a.m.-3 p.m.