ALiwa Primary School learner, Unamandla Nontswabo, has put her school on the African map. The 15-year-old took part in the gruelling African Spelling Bee Competition in Uganda. The competition happened on Saturday 19 October. She was one of eight learners who formed Team South Africa after walking away with the provincial honours in the Grow Smart Literacy contest in October last year. She defeated 160 learners from around the province to earn a spot on Team SA. The contest is now in its fourth year and it puts together learners from different parts of Africa under one roof. They take part in a spelling test. Out of 18 African countries who participated in the competition Team SA finished in sixth posision. However, for Unamandla and her school, in Nyanga, the achievement is immeasurable. Unamandla described the competition as an eye-opener for her. “I had mixed feelings because it was my first time taking a flight. The competition was great even though it was challenging at the same point,” she said. Explaining the difference between Grow Smart and the African Spelling Bee competition Unamadla said: “During the Grow Smart competition we were given a number of words to study. “They choose among those words what they ask us. “However, in the African Spelling Bee competition, we were given guidelines about it. When they ask to spell a word they also need the background of the word where it derived,” she stated.“They worked hard because it was not easy for them. The system that is used in the African competition is not the same as the one they used during Grow Smart Competition,” said Gumindoga. However, she stated that the competitions boosted her writing, reading and spelling skills.Educator Andrew Gumindoga described Unamandla as a “very intelligent and quick learner”. He said as the school they are proud of her. Liwa primary principal Mlungisi Fani described the competition as giving the school exposure. “The government is encouraging learners to read all the time to improve their literacy. “Unamandla’s participation in the competition will encourage other learners to work hard so they can also take part in the same competition,” said Fani adding that Unamandla is the first learner from the school to represent the country in Africa Spelling Bee Competition.