Awazi Jaafaru, a junior at TCAHS, is the 2016 Minnesota State High School League State Speech Champion Class A for Serious Interpretation of Drama. She will travel to Denver in May to compete at the National Invitational Events Tournament of Champions.
Jaafaru won her title at the State Speech Tournament held on April 15th at Lakeville North High School. After three preliminary rounds, Jaafaru placed in the top eight, qualifying for the Championship Round. She then gave a commanding performance before a panel of five judges, decisively taking the top honor. This is her second year representing Twin Cities Academy at the State Tournament, and she is the school’s first state champion in any activity.
The season has been an all around success for the champion. Jaafaru broke into a final round at every meet in which she competed and placed first at HillMurray and South St. Paul High School. She advanced to State after taking top honors in her event at the Section 4A meet on April 8th at WatertownMayer.
For her category, Serious Interpretation of Drama, Jaafaru performed Trey Anthony’s da kink in my hair , Jaafaru portrays a mother grieving the loss of her son to gun violence.
Her selections often focus on social issues. As she explains, “I see theater as a platform for my own voice, a place where I can be heard and hopefully inspire others that they can be heard as well. I feel like that in itself is incredibly powerful because we can use art as an outlet for social awareness and social change.”
According to her coach, Nathan Schultz, her success stems from her “artistry and hard work. Awazi really connects to audiences.” He adds, “Awazi’s sense of purpose and message drove her to develop this piece over the past ten months. Through her characters, she humanizes social issues and makes them personal, pulling the rest of us into a space where we have to confront how others experience the world.”
Jaafaru next competes at the National Invitational Events Tournament of Champions to be held May 13 15 in Denver.