By Christopher Njoku
VISAFONE, Nigeria has said that as a part of its initiatives to empower and encourage Nigerian youth, it has decided to sponsors â€œThe Debatersâ€ a project of the Inspire Africa Foundation. The 13 episode reality TV series will feature 14 youth in debates on topical issues as they contest individually and in teams.
The 14 talk mates will reside in the talk academy for 13 weeks where they will be drilled by seasoned speech coaches. At the end of the exercise, the youth would have acquired skills expedient to success in leadership either in business or politics.
The founder, Inspire Africa Foundation, Mo Abudu, expressed that the show is designed to build a new crop of African leaders who can harness the power of oratory. Oratorical ability, alongside requisite educational training coupled with great ideas is an asset.
The show has 14 contestants drawn from 400 applicants who keenly competed in regional auditions which saw the number pruned to 50 finalists. The National finals, where the finalists passed through two stages-â€œhead to headâ€ against one another to demonstrate oratorical prowess and being asked to speakÂ spontaneously â€œon the spotâ€ was held on August 29, 2009 and this saw the emergence of the final 14. The 13 episodes will be aired by television stations including African Magic.
According to Mr. Kingsley Mordi, Visafoneâ€™s Head of Brands and Communications, â€œVisafone believes that the future of Nigeria lies in good education and youth who are adequately trained and well equipped with all round skills. For this reason, Visafone has partnered the organizers of the show to start an initiative in this direction. Visafone strongly believes in the energy, vibrancy and commitment of young peopleâ€.
Visafone, the fastest growing mobile communications provider with its presence in 22 states and over 170 cities across the nation, accrued 1 million subscribers in 6 months of operation and currently has over 3 million subscribers. The wholly Nigerian company operates with the service ideal of Visafone= Quality, Clarity and Coverage. The network which promises to renew the joy of communication and give Nigerians the passport to reach the world was awarded â€˜The Most Innovative Telecoms Company of the yearâ€™.