The visionary editor Aziz Hartley caused a heart-stopping moment when he asked for a minute’s silence for fallen pupil Keagan de Silver. It made us gulp.
Then there was the enthusiasm of the parents of the participants. They cheered not only for their offspring, but also for the opposition. We hope the public support grows. The prizes alone are worth it. Then we look at the amazing logistics of the thing. For weeks there was studying, reading, memorising. The average citizen out there wouldn’t stand a chance against these young warriors and their prodigious knowledge of current, local and world affairs.
This is where the mentoring skills of teachers, and the sacrifice of their spare time paid off. They showed they cared and pupils responded.
The Principals of participating schools paraded their pride as their teams marched towards victory.
Where, we ask fondly, are the other non-participating schools?
Which ties into the reality that the private sector is beginning to queue up with cheque books to get the fiscal mileage this event can generate. The sponsors literally poured thousands into the thunderous success of this event.
Again we ask, where are the other role-players? These young pupils are future clients, spenders, family-makers who will improve your listing on the stock exchange.
And the team of back-room organisers and workers with whom the editor surrounds himself. Every one a winner, quietly efficient.
There had to be losers, but they learnt from the experience.
The participation wasn’t entirely representative of the new South African demographic.
Let those with inflexible historical and political baggage come and join us in the intellectual and academic arena.
It will grow the nation. It will fuel new achievements. We do not need an annual circus of A-graders paraded after every matric exam. Every child is worthy, even the D-liner. This format makes place for even the no-hoper.
Can you understand just a little of the pride and excitement I feel? Here is a chance for us all to truly become one nation.
* Literally Yours is a weekly column from Cape Argus reader Alex Tabisher. He can be contacted on email by [email protected]
** The views expressed here are not necessarily those of Independent Media