DBE crowns 2019 Spelling Bee and history champions

Monday, September 23, 2019

The 2019 Spelling Bee ended on a high note as young Bayyinah Majoo from Star College Sybrand in the Western Cape took her place as queen of the hive and scooped the 2019 Spelling Bee honours.

Twenty-seven hopefuls between Grade 4 and 6 from around the country gathered at ZK Mathews Hall at the UNISA Main Campus in Pretoria to put their spelling abilities to the test against their peers from across the country.

The Spelling Bee was hosted in collaboration with the Arts and Culture Department, SABC Education, the AVBOB Foundation and UNISA.

Initiated in 2014, the Spelling Bee is part of the department’s commitment to improving the reading culture across the country.

History contest

Meanwhile, hopefuls from across the country put their historic, storytelling and recital skills to the test in the 2019 Inkosi Albert Luthuli Oral History Competition.

The iNkosi Albert Luthuli Oral History Programme is an initiative that celebrates the lives of significant heroes, heroines, as well as unsung heroes and heroines who played a role to bring about democracy, peace, unity and nation building.

It also creates platforms for engagements on significant historical events that took place within the country, the continent and globally.

The Oral History Programme further rekindles the love for history as a subject of choice in schools and expands the knowledge on heritage and cultural aspects.

“It is only through reading that one’s grasp of language and spelling can be improved. Today, we witnessed first-hand the value of reading with understanding from a young age -- be it our champion spellers or our Oral History champions with their compelling storytelling, who have certainly raised the bar,” said DBE spokesperson Elijah Mhlanga.

Having come successfully through the provincial rounds, representatives in both competitions braved the might of the adjudicators, held their nerve and represented their provinces with aplomb.

“As the Spelling Bee continues to grow, the latter part of 2019 will see the department pilot four new African languages to be used in the Spelling Bee, namely, XiTsonga, TshiVenda, SePedi as well as SiSwati, which will only prove to strengthen the department’s efforts to promote and preserve African Languages, as well as a culture of reading for understanding,” said Mhlanga. – SAnews.gov.za