Different schools from different municipal areas in the Eastern Cape gathered on Friday at the Port Alfred High School sports club to attend an event honouring the pupils from the different schools who were recently part of the Funda Mzantsi reading competition.
This competition is usually carried out by libraries during the national book week.
Among those who attended the event was MEC for Sports, Recreation, Arts and Culture Fezeka Bayeni and Head of department Mzolisi Matutu, together with several councillors from Ndlambe Municipality.
The pupils from the different schools first participated in reading competitions in their respective areas and then competed at a district level in Alexandria where they had to read, debate and hold a spelling bee. They then participated in the provincial level which was held at Mount Frere, and then the nationals were held at George with different schools all over South Africa Participating.
The pupils were from Mary Waters High School in Grahamstown, Kuyasa Combined School, and Moses Mabida High School from Sundays River. They were each given a platform to tell the audience about their experience at the competition.
Unako Mawu from KuyasaCombined School said the experience had taught her a lot about herself and the beauty of different languages in the country.
“This whole experience has taught me courage, it has also taught me to stand up for myself. The greatest experience was being able to interact with people who spoke different languages from different provinces. I saw unit. We were all there for the same cause that is the beauty of language,” Mawu said.
Bayeni spoke a few words of encouragement to the pupil, inspiring them to read more and enjoy what they did.
“I thank you all for the warm welcome, it is such an honour to be surrounded by readers today. In any society a child that reads a lot is normally called a nerd, but you have defied those stereotypes. In this competition you have shown a lot of people that you are more than that,” Bayeni said.
“A great leader is made out of reading material; reading can have a positive impact on one’s life. Reading also helps develops great leadership skills. A reader is also a writer. Reading can help you generate great ideas.”
“We need you guys to be the storytellers of tomorrow. We are looking forward to working with you in the department when you are writers in future. We need you guys to go beyond the sky, not even the sky is the limit, because you have shown us that nothing can stand in your way.”
After Bayeni’s keynote address the pupil from the schools were each awarded medals for their sterling performances during the competition. Kuyasa Combined School received an honorary certificate for being placed in the third place out of all the provinces who participated in the nationals.
BY NTOMBENTSHA MSUTU