Word Skills Contest a Roaring Success
The Word Skills Contest 2019 on the Edgewood campus on 23 August was a resounding success. Organised by UKZN’s Department of Student Residence Affairs (DSRA), it is part of the Residence Life programme, which aims to develop residence students culturally, intellectually, physically, spiritually and emotionally.
Contestants were given two chances to spell words in both isiZulu and English.
IsiZulu specialist and one of the judges, Mr Sanele Nsele, said: ‘We cannot have isiZulu words being spelled in English; that would be a sign of disrespect to isiZulu as a language.’ The other judges were Mr Eugene Marias, Mr Mhlungisi Nzama, and Ms Nqobile Mazibuko. Prizes up for grabs included a Samsung reading pad, a colour printer and a laptop bag.
All residences were represented by the two best contestants in the finals after internal rehearsals/auditions. There were 52 finalists.
Contestants were placed in groups named after African countries (Ghana, Cameroon, Zimbabwe, Nigeria, Lesotho, Egypt, and Namibia) for easy identification of those eliminated and those passing to the next stage.
After four rounds, the top 10 contestants were identified. Competition was fierce until the best three emerged. The final places were determined by asking the contestants to write the spelling of the word “Sadomasochism”. First prize went to Ms Buyi Speri, while Mr Mlamuli Ndlovu came second and Ms Nosipho Gumede third.
Residence Life Officers, Ms Thobeka Mkhize, Mr Kudzai Mamvura and Mr Teboho Hlao said that the event was educative and fun. They noted that the winner, Speri is not a native isiZulu speaker, but that she was able spell the words from the isiZulu bucket she picked. They added that the contest went a long way in ensuring that UKZN’s residences are a “home away from home”.
Mr Karabo Motau, the Residence Life Co-ordinator on Edgewood campus thanked staff members for their dedication in ensuring that the event was successful. He also thanked the students who participated and the judges, and congratulated the winners.
Words: Teboho Hlao
Photographs: Itumeleng Masa