Children's Literature in Southern Africa

National Essay Competition Against Racism.

Poster: Khwerha Ye Afrika Projects

A national essay writing competition against racism will this month encourage young people to prove that the pen is indeed mightier than the sword.

The South African Youth Essay Writing Competition Against Racism is inviting young people between the age categories of 15-25 and 26-35, from across the country, to share their reflections on racism.

There are various grand prizes to be won, which include laptops and cash.

The winning essays will also be published.

The essay writing competition is in collaboration with Khwerha Ye Afrika and the Ahmed Kathrada Foundation and is supported by Department of Arts and Culture, Foundation for Human Rights, Steve Biko Foundation, Spotlight Creations and local organizations.

"The purpose of the competition," says Tommy Khoza, the Executive Director for Khwerha Ye Africa, "is to ‘provide young people with an opportunity to creatively use their writing talents to share experiences, encounters and untold stories of racism."

Busisiwe Nkosi from the Ahmed Kathrada Foundation’s Youth Leadership Programme said that the initiative comes as a response to national discussions on racism.

We are talking about racism, and about an inclusive South Africa.

For many, English is not their mother tongue or their first language, and they may be able to better express themselves in their home language,” she said, quoted in an article with IOL's Cape Times. “We want to give young people a safe space to pen down their thoughts."

We previously had a special contest, but some young people are better at writing than speaking, and we want to ensure their voices are heard.

She added,

What’s unique about this competition is that essays can be entered in any of the 11 official languages as chosen by the participants.

A collection of the essays will be published in a booklet, which will be distributed to high schools across the country.

To enter the competition, the written essays:

  • Should be between 1000 to 2000 words,
  • Written in the South African language of choice,
  • On the topic of 'Racism'
  • Submissions can be sent by email, post or hand delivery
  • The closing date for submissions is March 31st 2017

Winners will be announced at a special awards ceremony in Johannesburg.

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Send submissions to info@khwerha@gmail.com with the subject ‘Essay Submission’ or fax to 086 573 3643.

Submissions can be posted to P.O. Box 6804, Halfway House, 1685 or hand delivered to 69 Market Street, Kimax Building, Office 11B, Boksburg North.

Don’t forget to include all writer contact details.

For more information: contact Melissa on 011 892 0399 or 081 702 5862.

Logo: The Tembisan, Caxton

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