Call it battle of brains or anything! What started like a baby crawl in November last year, came to twilight on Saturday, 27thMay, 2017, when primary and secondary students across the country, met and battled it out in razor-thin spelling race finals at Kamuzu College of Nursing in Lilongwe.
The competition started in preliminary stages in November, in all the three regions of the country, where primary and secondary schools competed in Junior and Senior Categories respectively.
Of all the schools that took part in the competition from the Northern region, qualifying for the were Ekwendeni Girls’ Secondary School, Mzuzu Government Secondary School, Luwinga Secondary School and St. Peter’s Secondary School in the Senior category and Royal Private Primary School, St. Peter’s Primary School and Kasasa Primary School in the Junior category.
From the Central region, qualifying schools were Darlo Girls’ Secondary School, Mbidzi Community Day Secondary School and MkwichiCommunity Day Secondary School in the senior category and Shire Urban, Wisdom Centre and Holy Rosary in the junior category.
From the Southern region the qualifying schools were Blantyre Baptist Academy, Chichiri Secondary School, Bedir International Academy and Our Lady of Wisdom in the senior category and Joyce Banda Foundation, Namiwawa International Primary School, Blantyre Baptist Academy and Southend Primary in the junior category.
As the day was coming to its end, it was Violet Mulilima from Blantyre Baptist Academy, who emerged the Champion in the junior category, and her runner-up was Clara Useni from Wisdom Centre, and Louis Ndekha from Joyce Banda Foundation was third placed.
In the senior category, 16-year old, form four Dorica Chiumia, from Darlo Girls’ Secondary School, was declared the 2017 champion, after outsmarting her fellow senior spellers. The runner-up was Lerato Asiedi from Mkwichi Secondary School; Kutemwa Nyasulu from Bedir International Academy was on third place.
Expressing her joy after being declared the overall winner of the competition, Dorica Chiumia, said she was very happy for winning the battle.
“I am very happy that I have finally won the competition. It was not very easy, but I thank God for this, and I also wish to thank my teachers, and my parents for encouraging me”, said Dorica.
The champions in each category went home with K500,000 award money.
The top three junior champions and the top two senior champions, together with the champions of last Spelling Bee season, will go to Mombasa in Kenya, courtesy of South African Airways.
The National Spelling Bee Executive Director, who is also the African Spelling Bee Director of Finance, Mr. Lewis Mbaula, said he was very excited to see girl students dominating in the competition.
“The race and the results were fantastic, although some areas needed further improvements so that the event can be as colorful and compelling as we require it. The children came very prepared, one could tell from the type of word they spelt out. That made us imagine how far and widely the learners read, and that is a thumb up! We further wish to thank all the head teachers, teachers, parents, the students themselves, and all other stakeholders, who make the event a success every season. Spelling Bee is slowly, but sure becoming a household brand name”, said Mr. Mbaula.
The Malawi National Spelling Bee is organised by Spell Master Education Communication, a consortium member of the African International Spelling Bee, in partnership with the Department of Inspectorate and Advisory Services in the Ministry of Education, Science and Technology. It is officially sponsored by A1 Enterprises, AXA Bus Company, Bookland International, Megabite Restaurant, and Zodiak Broadcasting Station.
The Spelling Bee completion is an event that takes place every year. This year about 250 primary and secondary schools from all over the country participated in the competition.
Richard Kayenda MaraviPost Contributor