The Guard

The Truth On Board

Instilling culture of reading in leaners

By Emily Setona

QWAQWA – High school learners who won first prize in the short story and poetry writing competition, described their win as a motivation that will long have impact in their studies.
The event was held at Tsebo secondary school on Friday where four high schools and one primary school, The Beacon secondary school, Moteka secondary school, Reahola secondary school and Progressive International primary school that have participated in the competition have also attended.

Reabetswe Shale from Tsebo secondary school with a story titled ‘My name is’ and Pono Makhanya from The Beacon secondary school with a poem titled ‘Why kill me’ were announced first prize winners and won gold medals and mathematics set. The rest of the learners who participated received certificates to motivate and inspire them to keep on writing
Pono Makhanya , one of the two winners attributed her choice to write a poem under the topic, the impact of alcohol and drug abuse on school performance because her concerns that some learners use drugs and alcohol.
“What inspired me to write this poem is because many school children tend to focus on drugs and alcohol and this has a negative impact on their school performance. I decided to personify good academic performance and titled the poem why kill me to show that the good academic performance is asking the learner why they are killing this part of themselves by using drugs and alcohol,” Makhanya said.

The competition which aimed at instilling culture of reading among learners is brain child of Ntombie Letlojane – Sibande , a self-published author and owner of an online bookstore .
She says the community of Maluti – a – Phofung (MAP) is the place that has inspired and groomed her into a writer that is why she decided to share her love for writing by organising this English creative writing competition, where she made a call to the schools in the area to participate.

“As an author that was groomed by the community of Qwaqwa I saw that creative writing is dying in our rural community, children would love to write but no one is taking the initiative to create a platform for them, so I decided to organise this competition hoping that it becomes big, and more schools participate. Tsebo really came to the party and entered a lot of their learners and offered to host the prize giving,” Letlojane – Sibande said.

Tshepiso Senyane an educator from Tsebo Secondary school said that one of their primary values is participation that is why the school decided to enter the competition.

“As a school we encourage our learners to participate in extra mural activities and we saw that this is a very good initiative from Shelomi that will allow our learners to be creative and Desmond Tutu once said that every Reader is a leader,” Senyane said.

Sophonia Msimanga and Samuel Monyamane English teachers from The Beacon secondary school and Moteka secondary school respectively said that they decided to enter this English creative writing competition because English is an international language, and such a competition will help to instil the love for language and encourage learners to read and write.

Motshedisi Likate an English teacher from Progressive International primary school when speaking to The Guard said the following;
“The reason I took the initiative to participate in this great initiative is because I would love the kids of Qwaqwa to be exposed to the world of literature because as a young lady who grew up loving to read, reading saved me from a lot of bad things that I could have participated in in our community. I am glad that two of my learners were able to receive prizes for their short story and poem”

The competition had two categories, short story writing, and poetry writing.