About Us

Who influenced GIDA?

GIDA was influenced by a documentary movie called "The Great Debaters".The movie depicts the life journey of Professor Melvin B. Tolson in the field of debating.

About the founder:

Mr Fika Mbambo is the sole founder and the current President of the association.

A brief profile of GIDA:

31 December 2007:

Mr Mbambo learned on a media briefing by a Hollywood best actor, Mr Denzel Washington in Sowetan newspaper.

The briefing was about a launch of the movie called “The Great Debaters”. Mr Washington wished that his movie could influence educators/academics to revive the once most celebrated sport code which is dying a slow death.

This is a day were GIDA was conceived by the founder, plan and its first document was drafted and later submitted to the USA embassy in Pretoria.

Year 2008:

A relationship was established with USA embassy in Pretoria by the founder of GIDA.

The objective was for the Embassy to assist in availing the movie to South African audience.
He was later advised by the USA embassy’s personnel to also establish a relationship with the US Consulate in Johannesburg.

The reason was that Pretoria was far from his office of operation which was situated in Soweto. He traveled by train twice a week for a period of six months from Soweto to Pretoria. The aim was to convene meetings with the embassy’s personnel on the importance of the movie in reviving debating not only nationally but globally.

A document was submitted to management of the US Consulate in Johannesburg.

Year 2009:

In this current year the Consulate finally succumbed because it organized a partial launch of the movie. One of the lead actresses (Jurnee Smollett) was invited to address a hand full of debaters from five high schools in Soweto. Mr Mbambo was given a task to invite five schools that participate in the mini launch.

The launch in question took place in an American institution called Rosa Parks library, situated in Soweto.

The President continued his journey to build the profile of the association and got himself an opportunity by telephone communication to present the idea to the late son of Professor Melvin B Tolson snr. 

The communication with the son of the professor progressed after months from telephone conversations to letter correspondences.  

Year 2010:

Dr Melvin B. Tolson jnr endorsed the idea of the association and introduced Mr Mbambo to the President of Melvin B. Tolson Family Foundation.

A letter endorsing GIDA to use Professor Melvin B. Tolson was prepared and forwarded to Mr Mbambo (find the letter in endorsement link).

The President of GIDA got a rare opportunity to present the association to the Minister of basic education, honorable, Mrs Angie Motshekga.

Mr Mbambo also went further in ensuring that he test validity his brain child to the country’s top academics, Dr Mamphela Ramphele (find the letter in endorsement link).

Year 2011:

The President took some time off to research with an objective establishing a training manual that will be used to train both debaters and officials.

Year 2012:

GIDA implemented its plan by approaching the following formations for partnership:

  1. Johannesburg North district.
  2. City of Johannesburg library and information

March 2012:

Eighteen high schools supported our call and attended our workshops.
Three libraries situated in, Diepkloof, Orlando East and Pimvile were utilized for workshops activities.
Five Soweto townships were covered by a course of building the association’s profile. 

June 2012:

The program was official launched in Pimvile Hall (Soweto).
The event was graced by the attendance of the following representative:

  1. Johannesburg North District.
  2. Department of basic education.
  3. Principals and teachers. 
  4. City of Johannesburg Libraries and information.

August 2012:

GIDA entered into agreement with the US Consulate in Johannesburg.
The contract included:

Assisting Rosa Parks American Library to establish a debating team.

Organize three important events:

  1. Debating session to launch the debating club.
  2. Debating session to highlight the “2012” USA national elections.
  3. Debating session to celebrate the African/American month

The task was well executed find the letter from the Consulate in the Endorsement link.

Year 2013 to date:

Marketing the concept of GIDA to the owners of the movie:

The following formations were approached:

  1. Oprah Winfrey Network.
  2. Film Bank in London.
  3. Weinstein Company.

Finally our project got attention from the office of the President of international marketing and distribution in the Weinstein Company, Mr David Glasser.

Topics covered by our Training Manual

  1. GIDA identified representatives in member countries.
  2. Biography of Professor Melvin B. Tolson snr.
  3. Profile of GIDA.
  4. English language:
    1. Types of communications.
    2. Motivation and goals setting.
    3. Summarizing method.
  1. Debating styles:
    1. Tolson debating style [in honor of Professor Tolson].
    2. GIDA group debating style.
  1. Wise method of preparing for a debating contest.
    1. Endorsed by Professor Melvin B. Tolson.
  1. Business documents:
    1. Marketing plan.
    2. Proposal document.
    3. Business letter.
    4. Drafting of Agenda.
    5. Drafting of Minutes.
    6. Drafting of business report.

GIDA's primary objectives

They include:

  1. Reviving of debating as a sport code globally using a style founded by GIDA called, Tolson debating style.
  2. Selling the concept to international communities for membership purposes.
  3. Assisting members to identify & train debating officials to create employment opportunities for member countries.
  4. Assist member countries to establish their national executive committees that will manage our activities in their countries.
  5. To further assist member countries in establishing a training strategy for their high school debaters.
  6. Assist member countries in the establishment of their various leagues from district to national.
  7. To suggest and assist in implementing the fundraising strategies to sustain the activities of the association in member country.
  8. To assist member countries with mediators for the selection of the province or state that will host the annual national high school debating championships.

Contact us

Our office address:

Stand No.

1412 Zone 1, Diepkloof


Elundi Street


P.O. Soweto (South Africa)







+27 11 72 475 3349

For comments and suggestions please email:


Who influences GIDA?

Professor Melvin B. Tolson snr

About the professor

He was a linguistic, educator and a debating coach in a small college called Wiley College, design for African/American in 1930’s.

He was victorious over prestigious Universities including Harvard University for a period of 10 years in the 1930’s.

M/s Oprah Winfrey, Mr Denzel Washington and the Weinstein Company formulated a documentary movie based on his contribution in reviving debating in the USA.

Debating Workshop Tools

  1. GIDA training manual.
  2. Mentoring manual – by USA National Mentoring.
  3. The movie “The Great Debaters”.

GIDA'S Partners:

  1. Weinstein Company.
  2. Ster kinekor Africa.
  3. Department of basic education.
  4. USA embassy in RSA.
  5. USA Mentoring National.

Our Coming Events

Date: 26th of March 2015
Description: Re-launching the movie globally as an educational tool
Name of the movie: The Great Debaters.
Venue: Ster kinekor Maponya (Soweto)
Date: April 2015
Description: Training of debating officials commences national in RSA.
Venues: Each province will have one venue for training.
Duration: Two Months - One Month for theory and the other for practical.
Date: May 2015
Description: Training of school debaters.
Venues: Our trainees will be deployed in their own province under supervision of a senior to impart knowledge accumulated.
Duration: April and May 2015.
Date: June 2015
Description: RSA high school debating season
Duration: June - August
Targeted market: Grade 8 - 11
  1. Soweto Times news article: March 2013

Welcome to the website of GIDA:

Our world has revolved and produced new challenges replacing racially challenges.
The new challenge includes grooming new breed of leaders to advance our nations. Reviving debating as intellectual sport could advance this course, through annual national and international championships organized by GIDA. Surely this vehicle will unite different nations of the world.

In 2007, Harpo Production, Weinstein Company, Mr Denzel Washing and Mr Forest Whitaker produced a dazzling documentary movie called’ The Great Debaters”, a treasure to the world. I presume that this movie was only destined for the American audience, because it was only release nationally in the USA.

I accidentally accessed the media briefing article by Mr Denzel Washington, published by the Sowetan Newspaper. That article has sown a strong seed inside me that pressed me to act intelligently. It has taken five (5) years of hard work and successfully building the profile
of GIDA. From the first sight of the article, I was hypnotized by the strong spirit of Professor Melvin B Tolson, to advance his work to globally community.

I appreciate the golden opportunity presented to us by RSA and USA intellectuals and civil servants in building GIDA, The primary objective was to test the market demand for GIDA’s operation. I should emphasis that, when I conceived and started GIDA, I dreamt of it being, politically and financial independent. It will not be a liability to any public or private sector.

I have researched and packaged the work of Professor Tolson in debating, resulting in the establishment of a Debating Training Manual for both debaters & officials. I have used his movie, internet information and literature to develop the debating section for the training manual. The training manual has also a business document section that provides life skills for debaters and officials. The association will create massive opportunities for member country participants. The whole world still suffers the visible scars of global economic crisis, we will exploit that gap.

We need a new technique of creating employment opportunities and the building of new career paths, by properly applying this sport of intellectuals created, called “Tolson Debating Style”.

OUR MAJOR CHALLENGE: is to ensure that “The Great Debaters” movie is availed to every country that affiliates to GIDA, our country [RSA} should be used to set a trend.

GIDA has tried every trick in the book to communicate its intentions to Harpo Production and Weinstein Company, to build a partnership but has been unsuccessfully.

Please send us your comments and advices on how GIDA can improve and accomplish a partnership with the owners of the movie. Africa needs this movie, to be mentally liberated in order to lead its continent to greater heights.

Every month I will be updating you on the developments and challenges of GIDA.
Please participate in grooming new breed of leaders globally, especially in our African continent.

Thanking you for your undivided attention,

Yours truly,

Fika Mbambo
President and sole founder of GIDA.

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