IsiXhosa Reading Competition Glides to Success
The Library Services auditorium in Cape Town was packed to capacity with eager learners from Khayelitsha, Philippi, Delft and Athlone at the first Siyazingca Reading Competition held on 26 March 2013. This competition was hosted by the Western Cape Language Committee (WCLC) in co-operation with the Department of Cultural Affairs and Sport (DCAS). Since 2008, DCAS has been supporting the establishment of isiXhosa reading clubs to develop a strong culture of reading.
Reading clubs from four schools in Khayelitsha and one in Philippi each sent a learner to represent the school in the two competition categories. Grade 9 and Grade 10 participants read an extract of “Dingezweni” by Peter T Mtuze while Grade 11 and 12 pupils read from “Isangxa Siyawhuza” by Fikiswa Magqashela. Contestants were judged on their reading, spelling and comprehension.
Interpreting services were provided for learners who do not understand isiXhosa. During the tallying of the scores, pupils were entertained by the popular Luhlaza High School choir from Khayelitsha.
The Centre of Science and Technology (COSAT) in Khayelitsha took first prize in both categories. Luhlaza High took second prize in both categories. Chumisa Higher Primary (Khayelitsha) took third prize in the Grade 9 & 10 category, and Sophumelela High (Philippi) came third in the Grade 11 & 12 category.
WCLC chairperson Prof. Rajendra Chetty congratulated the winners as he handed out trophies and thanked the many learners who had travelled from schools all over the Cape Peninsula to watch.
Competition organiser Beaulla Stofile of DCAS Language Services said Siyazingca means “we are proud”, and this is precisely how she felt at the end of event. Through this competition, DCAS and the WCLC are working better together to promote the development of isiXhosa in the Western Cape.