An accountancy student, nicknamed “the curious child”, Amen Sodjedo is a member of the eloquence and oratory club of the Faculty of Economics and Management at the University of Lomé. In 2019, this 23-year-old Togolese student won the 4th French Language Jousting National Championships and then took part in the “Journées de l’éloquence” (“Days of Eloquence”) festival in Aix-en-Provence. In March, he will be in Paris to take part in the international “À mots ouverts” (“Open Words”) eloquence competition.
How would you define eloquence?
I see eloquence as the art of conveying a message in the simplest, most clear and convincing way possible.
Is French an eloquent language?
The French language is a perfect example of eloquence. For me, it represents a legacy that I share with millions of others around the world and allows me to communicate well with anyone who does not necessarily speak my native dialect.
The French language is also a great tool for me to convince my audience, to persuade my counterpart: its eloquence and its rhetoric give me the impression that through it I can convey any message if I do well.
Why did you take part in this eloquence competition in Togo?
I have always had a deep passion for the French language, and I like to speak out and be listened to on major issues that deal with the problems plaguing my society. When I learned about the Joutes Verbales Francophones, a competition for French speaking oratory and debate, I was interested and registered for it straight away, especially since the chosen themes were related to the environment, development, peace, human rights and many other causes with which I identify.
Amen Sodjedo won the public speaking competition organised in Togo in 2019 with the support of the Institut français.
The international public speaking competition organised at the Institut de France in March 2020 and the public speaking competitions set up around the world by the French diplomatic network are one of the measures of the presidential programme "Ambitions for the French Language and Multilingualism" launched by Emmanuel Macron in March 2018. The organisation of public speaking competitions and training in collaboration with the Eloquentia Association are supported by the Institut français. More information about the "A mots ouverts" competition
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