Cape Town - It was ultimately a clash of the titans - Maitland High School and South Peninsula High School - in the finals of the Cape Argus High Schools Quiz sponsored by Food Lover’s Market in association with IIE’s Varsity College.
The event proved to be an exhilarating battle with only one point separating the top teams, but it was last year's winners South Peninsula (SP) who defended their title to win the quiz for an unbelievable seventh time.
The event go off to a laughter-inducing start with Good Hope FM's Dalin Oliver and Dan Corder delivering some great banter and funny quips throughout.
SP won R35 000 for their school and R3000 per member of the winning team. The team who are now in Grade 11, were overjoyed knowing that their hard work paid off, and that they won.
"Best feeling ever after all that hard work," said Mugammad Noordien.
"Oh my word, I am so over the moon. It's the craziest thing ever!" shouted his teammate, Imaan Dudukay. "I am so happy, to know that everything worked out."
"I am overwhelmed," added Zaid Theunissen.
"We didn't expect it, we thought we came second," Dudukay said.
South Peninsula teacher and quiz co-ordinator Dana Marinus said that she was extremely proud of the team and their achievements.
"It is an unexplainable moment.
"It was a tight one, but I'm glad that they kept their cool," Marinus said.
"The most important part is that they must believe in themselves, if you don't believe in yourself then there is nothing that I can do. I'm sitting out there in the audience. It is a matter of teamwork.
"Well done to the other schools because they gave us a good run. We knew that if we wanted to maintain this top position, we were going to have to work very hard."
Head of Sustainability for the Food Lover’s Market Group, Andrew Millson said: "What works for well between the quiz and Food Lover's Market is the focus on our future and the focus on the youth. For us it is an absolute privilege to be partners with the Cape Argus on this journey. We just can't help but be inspired every time we see the incredible talent on display when we come the schools quiz. It gives us great hope for our country."
The IIE’s Varsity College Cape Town Principal, Saleem Jackson added that what the world needs is people who can think critically, and who can problem solve, which is something that the quiz facilitates.
"From us, that is what we want, that is why we invest our time and our efforts. It's why we've become a part of such events. Not just to recruit students but we want to have a vested interest in each and every one of your lives.
"It doesn't matter where you come from, the world needs you to think and the IIE’s Varsity College is the place where we believe we can develop people and young minds," Jackson said.
The acting assistant editor Quinton Mtyala added that the newspaper is thankful to all the learners and teachers who participate in the quiz, as well as for the sponsors involved.
"The purpose of the quiz is not just to encourage newspaper reading, but to foster critical thinking and get young learners to see there's a world beyond our physical and imagined borders."
"On behalf of the Cape Argus, we want to thank everyone involved."
The top two teams from the Cape Argus will then go on to compete in the National High Schools Quiz against teams from across the country.
The quiz will be based on content published on IOL.
The regional winners and runner up teams will be given tablets, loaded with 6 gigs of data for them to read the articles on IOL.
The winners of the National High School Quiz will walk away with the winning title, a trophy, R20 000 for their school and R5 000 for each team member and their teacher. The runner up team will win R10 000 for their school and R2 500 for each team member and coach.
The National High School Finals will take place on Thursday, September 19 at the IIE’s Varsity College Sandton campus.