Hani learner wins Xhosa contest

2015-10-01 06:00
Eddie Zukelwa, deputy principal, Madoda Mahlutshana, principal, Nwabisa Gasa, the winner,  Zukiswa Boto, Xhosa teacher, Mpendulo Gwanya HOD, are happy that Gasa won the Puku Story Competition which was held in Cape Town, on Friday.


Eddie Zukelwa, deputy principal, Madoda Mahlutshana, principal, Nwabisa Gasa, the winner, Zukiswa Boto, Xhosa teacher, Mpendulo Gwanya HOD, are happy that Gasa won the Puku Story Competition which was held in Cape Town, on Friday. PHOTOS: Mbong

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Nwabisa Gasa has added another feather to the fortunes of Chris Hani Secondary School after was recently lauded for writing an inspiring Xhosa story based on the environment.

Gasa was crowned the best writer in the Puku Story Competition which was held in Cape Town last Friday.

She walked away with R10 000 and a book voucher worth R1000, which was the first price, for her story titled “Ubukrelekrele Buka Zama Ekuhlaleni.”

The competition attracted 246 entries nationwide and only the top ten were shortlisted for the final list.

The announcement was done by The Puku Children’s Literature Foundation. Gasa wrote her 10 page entry over two days.

“I wrote about the importance of taking care of the environment in the township. Some residents dump dirt next to their homes which later becomes a health and environmental hazards. Zama became concerned about this behaviour and approaching his councillor for intervention in educating residents about keeping their area clean. That became a solution in the area and made a great change,” she said.

Writing seems to come naturally to Gasa after she began penning poetic verses poems a few years ago.

“Writing poems is much easier because they are short, so writing this story became a bit of a challenge. I had to think out of the box and come up with a creative story. I feel very happy for the win. I love writing; it is a good platform for me to express my feelings. It heals me. When you write you are educating others and you also learn from what you are writing. People should respect Xhosa as a language and not take it for granted,” Gasa said.

Entering the competition was her first although she plans to cause a storm again next year.

She said she is going to use the money to buy a laptop and a printer, which will make things easier for her to pursue her dream of writing.

The Competition was open to young people between the ages of 13 and 19 years. Only stories written in isiXhosa were considered. All stories had to be the original work of the writer.

Zukiswa Boto, her Xhosa teacher, said the judges were “impressed” with her story and her vocabulary.

Madoda Mahlutshana, the school principal, was also excited about the win.

“I am very happy. This is a great moment for the school. Our learners always perform well on national competitions. They have talent and skill to compete. I was so surprised when she was announced as the winner. This is going to motivate other learners as well,” Mahlutshana said.

Zizo Solontsi, a Grade 12 learner, also congratulated Gasa.

“I am very happy that she outshined all her competitors. She has talent and I wish that she continues putting our school on the map,” Solontsi said.

The competition was sponsored by Recycling and Economic Development Initiative of South Africa (REDISA), and supported by the Nal’ibali Reading-for-Enjoyment campaign, this competition not only celebrates and preserves the isiXhosa language and rich heritage of storytelling, but also raises awareness of the importance of taking care of the environment – ultimately developing young people’s language and literature

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