Watch: High School pupils addresses sexual health issues

Back (from left): Some of the panel judges, namely Thando Sithole, Martha Chauke, Nonsikelelo Dubazana and Joyce Mdluli. Front: Bukhelwa Mahlasi (Old Mutual), John Phiri (Sunward Park High), Ayanda Ngcobo (Thuto Lesedi High) and Neo DIseko (Vosloorus Comprehensive).

In a bid to curb the high risk of HIV and Aids-related infections plus unwanted teenage pregnancies among young people, learners from various schools in Boksburg were given a platform to talk about this scourge in this year’s High School Public Speaking Competition held at the Boksburg Civic Hall recently.

Participating schools included Lethulwazi Secondary, Pheneus Xulu High, Illinge High, Thuto Lesedi High, Masithwalisane High, Villa Liza Secondary, Vosloorus Comprehensive, Oosrand Secondary, Erasmus Monareng, Windmill Park High, Sunward Park High and Graceland High.

Representatives from the schools presented their strongest points to a panel of judges on how best young people can take action and responsibility when it comes to sexual health.

A representative from Villa Liza Secondary, Tseko Motloung, advised young people to take responsibility for their actions.

“Every action has a reaction so make sure that the actions you take today don’t destroy your future.

“People should not segregate themselves from those who are affected by the virus but should love them. We are all infected and affected by the virus so we shouldn’t be scared of it, but we should fight it together in unity and beat the spread of the virus”

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John Phiri from Sunward Park High School said: “Many people, once they find out they have the virus, enter into denial mode. Then they end up not adhering to their medication, which results in the increase of their CD4 counts.

Participants from Lethulwazi Secondary, Pheneus Xulu High, Illinge High, Thuto Lesedi High, Masithwalisane High, Villa Liza Secondary, Vosloorus Comprehensive, Oosrand Secondary, Erasmus Monareng, Windmill Park High, Sunward Park High and Graceland High holding their participation certificates.

“The stigma undermines the human rights of infected persons, which results in social exclusion, social withdrawal and stress.

“The solution will be to combat the epidemic which needs young people to develop a critical engagement with social, personal, cultural and economic factors that drive this epidemic.”

When all was said and done, it was time to crown three winners whose speeches grabbed the attention of the judges.

Bukhelwa Mahlasi is from Old Mutual.

Ayanda Ngcobo from Thuto Lesedi High School was crowned the winner while Sunward Park High came second and Vosloorus Comprehensive clinched third place.

Winners walked away with certificates, trophies and cash prizes from Old Mutual.

Old Mutual was the sponsor of the competition. Ayanda Ngcobo, from Thuto Lesedi, will compete in the final round on February 14 with other winners at the grand finale at the Alberton Civic Centre.

  AUTHOR
Ntombikayise Sibeko
Journalist

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