Moot Court coach reflects on incredible journey 

Source: Moot Court coach reflects on incredible journey | The Herald

Moot Court coach reflects on incredible journey
Zimbabwe Moot Court team coach Nqobile Ncube receives a certificate in Romania this week while members from other teams look on

Tafadzwa Zimoyo

Acting Entertainment Editor

They are the undisputed world champions, and when the history of this country is written and recited, they will go into a special place as the brainy students, who trudged the length and breadth of the world and conquered.

Thursday night saw the Zimbabwe Moot Court team being given a heroes’ welcome at Robert Gabriel Mugabe International Airport, in celebration of their victory in the final of the European Moot Court Championships held in yonder Romania.

They brought the trophy home. They brought the smiles home. They indeed brought pride to the nation. Zimbabwe!

But, behind the 11 youngsters was a man, who stitched things together, coached, groomed and sharpened their minds, and that man is none other than Mr Nqobile Ncube from the Midlands Province.

First things first, the team acknowledged the role played by President Mnangagwa and other stakeholders who made the dream possible.

“We would like to thank President Mnangagwa for the US$30 000, CBZ gave us US$15 000, Minerva supported us with travel and medical insurance. Other sponsors include NMB Bank, Emirates, and the parents of the children,” said the team.

In an interview, Mr Ncube described the journey to Romania as a worthwhile expedition.

“Our journey to Romania was great,” he said.

“As we were about to land at the airport in Bucharest, we were congratulated by the captain of the aeroplane. He said it was a stiff and tough competition, considering that they were competing against powerful countries in such competition.”

Mr Ncube said he told the team to be confident, remain focused and not to be intimidated by anything.

“We had Zimbabwe in mind and our goal was to win, wave the flag high.”

This pushed them to high and win no matter what.

“We went through five rounds before reaching the final. We mooted against countries such as Scotland, the Netherlands, Romania, Switzerland and Bulgaria,” he said.

“In the final we went up against the Netherlands. The competition was quite stiff as everyone wanted to win, but we worked harder. We were ecstatic when we were announced as the winners. Everyone was filled with joy because we understood what we had done for our country and our continent.”

All students in the team were prolific debaters at their schools.

“Three of the students are part of the Zimbabwe National Debate Team. What made me select them was not only their ability to argue, but their commitment and passion for trying something new,” he stated.

“During training, I had to make them understand the difference between debating and moot court, court etiquette and international humanitarian law. I had to break down the concepts for them and present them in a way they could understand and appreciate.”

Mr Ncube, a lawyer by profession, graduated in 2018 from the University of Zimbabwe.

“During my time as a student at the University of Zimbabwe, I took part in moot court competitions and won the UNHCR Statelessness Moot Court Competition,” he said.

“I was later voted the chairman of the Moot Court Society.

“After graduation, I formed an organisation called Ideas Matter. I trained various schools and teachers on debating. In 2018 I coached a debate team from Hellenic Academy that became the first African country to take part in the Oxford Finals Day.”

“This is the biggest British Parliamentary Competition in the world and it is run by the Oxford Union. This led to both the Oxford and Cambridge Union partnering with my organisation to host a regional qualifier round for the entire continent, which we have been successfully hosting since 2019.”

The affable coach is married to Sandra Dizwani who is also a lawyer and was the only black judge in the Europe Moot Court and the International Moot Court.

“She and I used to compete against each other in moot court and debate. We are blessed with a two-year-old daughter called Amandla.”

Talking about his organisation, “Ideas Matter”, he said he was ready to continue conquering the world.

“My organisation also runs debate competitions and training for corporates and NGOs such as SAYWHAT, POSB, ZIMCODD and many more,” he said.

“Our next step is that we want to democratize moot court and teach it to all schools in Zimbabwe.

In that effort we will have workshops in all provinces to teach this in schools.”

He wants to honour the first black Chief Justice of Zimbabwe.

“Through the competition, which will culminate in a national moot court competition called the “Enock Dumbuchena National Moot Court.”

“It will be held in honour of the first black Chief Justice of Zimbabwe. We will also host an Africa Moot Court for the African continent,” he said.

“We are appealing to all corporates, NGOs and individuals who would like to partner with us to reach out to us.”

The coach, who has been described by his students as cheerful,described himself as, “I am nothing but a human being who has been touched by the works of many others.”

“As a result I have been inspired to also impact my community and our continent.

I am passionate about helping people achieve their potential.”

He said appreciation should also go to the other chaperons that assisted him in taking care of the students in Romania.

“The adults who accompanied the 11 students were two chaperons from Dominican Convent High School, Henritta Paundi and Richard Mazhambe.”

“They actually took care of the students during the competition and did a lot of background work,” he said.