TDL stands for the Thethani Debating League. ‘Thethani’ means ‘speak’ in isiXhosa.
TDL is a project within Ubunye that provides volunteer-based debating coaching to under-resourced schools in and around the historically and geographically segregated city of Cape Town.
Debating is our means to an end: We use the mechanism of debating as a tool to achieve other goals which include, but are not limited to, learners’ growth and development in confidence, critical thinking skills, argumentation, persuasiveness, and public speaking and problem-solving skills.
Our main goal is not to develop good debaters, but rather to equip our learners with the skills and knowledge they need to grow into socially responsible and responsive citizens, who can critically analyze and address the issues and problems facing their families and communities. We believe that these skills will provide our learner with not just short-term gains (like improved academic marks and improved fluency in speaking English as a second language), but also long-term gains, as they show the youth of South Africa what it means to be a socially responsive and engaging generation.
We hope that learners who receive training from TDL would go on to be South Africa’s next leaders: Our lawyers, teachers, politicians, journalists and presidents.
We work with 15 schools throughout Cape Town. You can find our schedule here: