W@tskills South Africa 2021 by
Karabo Mokoena, Thandilizwe Bengeza (South Africa).
Zintle Mbeka (South Africa) and Wessel de Beer (Netherlands),
8th of March: D-day!
The tension was there from the moment everyone woke up: it was D-day. In terms of tension, it was nothing like D-day in 1944, but it was very close to the D-days that mark the end of international soccer transfer periods. The day began with a little speech from one of our supervisors, Phomolo.
As a Manchester United supporter, he is used to dealing with the stress that D-days bring.
The assignment was clear: finish the pitch, the poster, and the paper. After a very enjoyable week, it was suddenly clear again that we were competing. And when the excitement is at its highest… everything goes wrong. Imagine completely changing the poster you were working on for 3 days straight in just a few hours, exporting it in .pdf format at the last minute and then seeing that the font has suddenly changed. Imagine one of the supervisors wanting to have a chat and saying: “Why did you change so much in your poster? It was completely fine the way it was”. Imagine wanting to record your pitch, but your dog thinks it’s convenient to start barking. Imagine having to summarize all the data you collected and all the ideas you came up with into a report of only 5 pages. It was complete chaos. D-day ended up being a battlefield. And just when you want to take a breath, it hits you: tomorrow are the finals.
9th of March 2021: The finals!
The pressure was high. Participants were anxious. Supervisors were relaxed. It was D-day.
The program began with warm welcome from Mr Odwa Ntsika Mtembu and Miss Verena Meyer giving remarks on behalf of the Department of Water and Sanitation. Miss Ioana then gave an overview of what is Wetskills and what has transpired since the beginning of the online program to meeting with experts etc.
It was competition time!
The jury was then introduced to the participants and everyone that joined the meetings. Pitches of the 3 groups were played in front of the jury and the members of the jury asked the participants questions in relation to their cases.
The jury then went to a separate room to reach a verdict… We could feel tension in the air virtually!!
Finally, after a long time (to participants anyway), the winner was announced by DR. NAIDOO then announced the Winner… We listened attentively on the edges of our seats:
*Drum Roll please*
“The winning team is team 2”
All we could see was Jubilation from the winning team, many of which actually jumped out of their seats from the announcement. Excitement from different parts of the world!
In celebration of the successful program, a virtual social was held, where participants and supervisors reminisce about their experience. It was definitely a great ending to the program and the night!