Toastmasters Zambia held a speech contest recently. The contest brought together students from three institutions of higher learning namely Cavendish University Zambia, University of Zambia and the Zambia Center for Accountancy Studies (ZCAS). The speech contest was won by 22 year old Bumbe Nsongela of Cavendish University Zambia. I had a chance to chat with her and this is how the interview went.
ICM: Tell me about yourself.
Bumbe: My name is Bumbe Nsongela, 22 years old and I am the third born in a family of five girls. I am a third year law student at Cavendish University.
ICM: What made you enter the speech contest?
Bumbe: The money ( laughs). That was a joke. I ‘ve always been interested in debate. This was not my first speech competition. I have taken part in debate competitions since I was at High School. In 2009, our school came out second in a MUVI TV Speech Battle. In my first year at university I came out best speaker in a faculty debate.
ICM: So you are used to winning eh?
Bumbe: No. I have lost some along the way.
ICM: How was the competition?
Bumbe: The competition was really tough. The guys were good-you heard them speak .
ICM: Did you think you were going to win from the beginning?
Bumbe: No. I didn’t think so. In the final I thought I would come out second, but the guy I thought was going to win didn’t do as well in the end. Maybe it was because of the crowd.
ICM: How was the feeling of winning the contest?
Bumbe: It was great. My family was there-they travelled from Ndola to come and support me.
ICM: What kind of books do you read?
Bumbe: Philosophy books. Gifted Hands by Ben Carson is my favourite. I read it for the second time last year. And there is a movie on that too. It’s really nice.
ICM: Who inspires you?
Bumbe: I guess my father-he has always believed in me. He has always encouraged me in my speaking.
ICM: What keeps you going?
Bumbe: I am a Christian and a youth, you know. Reading scriptures and having a relationship with God is what keeps me going. There is more to life than just living-everlasting life.
ICM: As an award-winning speaker, would you share some tips on public speaking?
Bumbe: You know, no matter how long you speak you never quite get used to it. These tips should help though;
- Be yourself. Be natural in your delivery.
- Be composed. The people are there because they want to learn something from you, so they naturally want you to succeed in what you are doing. Use that to your advantage.
- Be interested in what you are going to speak about. If you are not interested in what you are talking about it will show.
- Know your subject. You need to know as much as possible about what you are going to be talking about.
- Aim at reaching people’s hearts.
- Make the audience feel invited. Connect with them.
ICM: Where do you go from here?
Bumbe: Well, I am excited because next year I will be on the panel of judges for the Toastmasters Speech Contest. Other than that, school of course.
ICM:What is your word to the young people out there?
Bumbe: The best we need to succeed is within us. The greatest you is inside. There is something in each one of us. Search for it and find it.
ICM : Thank you very much for your time and congratulations once more on your victory.
Bumbe: You are welcome. Thank you.