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Students narrate their South African experience

Alfred Byenkya

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The three pupils who represented Uganda in the first ever African spelling bee championship that took place in South Africa recently have spoken out on the challenge saying attending the finals in South Africa is the biggest achievement in their lives so far.

The 2015 winners that represented Uganda were Kataike Chantal Sarah Aisu of Tororo Parents School, Namwaidiko Leticia (Tororo Parents School) and Kamoga Rahim of city parents school in Kampala

The pupils never made it to the finals as they were eliminated at the semi-final level but managed to get prizes.

Kamoga Rahim of city parent’s school said the battle for the championship wasn’t easy.

“We did well despite not winning it. The overall winner was Zameer Dada from South Africa followed by Bethlehem Kidane from Ethiopia and Alma Wanjiku from Kenya. They were given trophies. Even us we all received medals, tablets, certificates, and 200 South African Rands each” he said.

Kataike Chantal Sarah Aisu told mixa kids newspaper that they visited several places during the few days that they were in Johannesburg.

“We took a trip to Monash University where we interacted with children writers. We then proceeded to Mandela’s House learnt about Nelson Mandela’s early days before prison and his life, before heading to ClearWater Mall where we watched the latest ice age movie.” she said.

She said she had an amazing and life changing experience.

Leticia Namwadiko of Tororo Parents School said the plane experience is unforgettable.

“People with children were asked to board the gorgeous plane before others. We gently walked to our seats as specified on our boarding tickets. Everything in the plane was as comfortable as we took several drinks and eats.  

She said that the scenery from above was just marvelous in the plane.

“The plane finally set off and we were in the air. Fear gripped me being my first experience but excitement overshadowed all that. Both the inside and the outside of the plane looked enthralling to all the voyagers. I loved the scenery from above.” She added

The competition was held on 16th July this year and was attended by representatives from Botswana, Ethiopia, Kenya, Lesotho, Malawi, Nigeria, Zimbabwe, South Africa and Uganda.

Aaron Kirunda, the Chief Executive of enjuba, the social company that organizes Spelling Bee in Uganda said the trip was generously sponsored the South African Airways, and DSTV.

“The visiting delegation consisted of 27 pupils, the top three finalists from the nine participating countries mentioned above.” He said.

The 2016 Spelling Bee season is underway, with the Busoga Regional Spelling Bee completed and others coming up in Masindi, Bushenyi, Arua, Gulu, Lira, Tororo, Fort Portal, Masaka, and Kampala. The National Chmpaionship will take place on October 30, at Kampala Serena Hotel.

“The winners of this year’s National Spelling Bee will be taken to Addis Ababa, Ethiopia to represent Uganda in the African finals,” he added.