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WCED students ready to represent SA in Ethiopia at the African Spelling Bee

Spelling Bee: Senior category team ,from left to right: Corrin Laffan (Gauteng), Bayyinah Manjoo (Western Cape), and Lauren Henderson (Western Cape).picture: supplied

Spelling Bee: Senior category team ,from left to right: Corrin Laffan (Gauteng), Bayyinah Manjoo (Western Cape), and Lauren Henderson (Western Cape).picture: supplied

Published Oct 21, 2023


Cape Town - The Western Cape Provincial African Spelling Bee winners participated in the National Preliminaries at Sun City.

The Western Cape team performed exceptionally well in the speed rounds and are now preparing for Ethiopia and demonstrating exceptional speed rounds.

Rhyle Adams, Ifeomamachukwu Osondo, and Asiphile Ngutyana competed in a spelling competition against 27 juniors from six different provinces in three challenging rounds.

The words covered a range of topics and levels of complexity. In round one, they had to correctly spell words from maths, science, and various languages.

In round two, learners were presented with Latin-derived words, SA slang, global food, Greek words, African loan words, and national anthem words.

Spelling Bee - Junior category team from left to right: Salusiwe Mkambapi (KZN), Ifeomachukwu Osondo (Western Cape), and Lesedi Seemane (Limpopo).picture: supplied

In round three, juniors were required to name flowers and human body parts, while seniors were required to name political movements, parties, and music-related words.

After the exhausting rounds, the students who had spelled the most words correctly were ranked among the top five students and given the same word to spell.

This method was used to determine the top three, and then the word ‘’juxtapose’’ was presented to Western Cape's Ifeomamachukwu Osondo in the junior division; she handled it with ease and took first place.

Team Western Cape was represented in the senior competition by Lauren Henderson, Asiyah Adams, Martina Mlilo, and Bayyinah Manjoo, all students at Rustenburg Girls' High School in Rosebank.

The categories used in the speed rounds for the Sun City spelling bee came from all over the curriculum.

To prepare for those rounds, students had to consult the definitions in their textbooks.

We have Western Cape pupils chosen to represent SA at the 2023 African Spelling Bee in Ethiopia from December 5–9.

The spelling bee is not a test of memorsation, but rather, of understanding words and language.

Ifeomachukwu, a student at St Mary's Primary School in Gardens in the Western Cape, is one of Africa's top three Junior Spelling Bee contestants.

Bayyinah and Lauren Henderson are representing Western Cape in the African Spelling Bee SA Top 3 Seniors and are from Rustenburg Girls’ High School in Rosebank.

Spellers are urged to plan thoroughly, and the categories for the speed rounds were drawn from the entire curriculum.

Lauren Henderson (17), an 11th grader, said she is now getting ready to travel to Ethiopia for the African spelling competition.

“I’m naturally extremely excited for this upcoming event and can’t wait to travel to Ethiopia in a few months time,” said Lauren.

Lauren prepares by researching and reading books to enhance her vocabulary. Despite feeling honoured and nervous, she appreciates the support and the opportunity provided by the African Spelling Bee, describing it as an amazing experience.

“I am certain that this next phase of the competition promises even greater challenges and excitement. See you in Ethiopia.” Lauren added.

Ifeomamachukwu, who is 13 and in Grade 7, expressed her extreme pride after she had won one of the Top Three positions and would be representing SA in Ethiopia later this year.

Ifeomamachukwu , inspired by Proverbs 3:5–6, emphasised the importance of trusting in the Lord and seeking His will.

She said she would put in significant effort, including sleepless nights, and praised her mentor, Mrs Gerner, for her dedication and preparation for the final competition.

“Throughout my journey, this was and still is the most important proverb that stuck with me. Therefore, I was confident that if I put in the work, I would reap the rewards, and I did exactly that on every competition day,” said Ifeomamachukwu.

She is also appreciative of the help I got from her family and the St Mary's community, and she enjoys making them proud, and Ifeomamachukwu is anticipating it and excited about what's to come.

David Maynier, the Western Cape's minister of education, expressed his pride in these students for representing the region on a national and international level.

I wish them the very best as they prepare for the competition in Ethiopia,” said Maynier.

Weekend Argus

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