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Tuesday, May 26, 2020
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Spelling Bee Queen: Western Cape Learner Scoops Top Award

Riyaz Patel

Bayinnah Majoor from Star College Sybrand in the Western Cape is ‘queen of the hive,’ after buzzing her way to the top spot of the 2019 Spelling Bee competition.

Twenty-seven hopefuls between Grade 4 and 6 descended on the ZK Mathews Hall at the UNISA Main Campus in Pretoria to measure their spelling skills against peers from across the country.

The Spelling Bee initiative is a collaboration between the Department of Arts and Culture, SABC Education, the AVBOB Foundation and UNISA.

The initiative, started in 2014, forms part of the Department’s commitment to deepen a culture of reading across the country.

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

The iNkosi Albert Luthuli Oral History Programme celebrates the lives of significant heroes and heroines, as well as those unsung activists who also played a role to bring about democracy, peace, and unity in South Africa.

It also creates platforms for engagements on significant historical events that has played out across country, the continent and the world.

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

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