Centre of excellence identifies and rewards future storytellers, poets and essayists

Inculcating the culture of reading and writing with proficiency among students, the Centre of Academic Excellence (CAE) has in the past three years launched an annual writing competition to augment literacy qualities at the University of Limpopo (UL)

Recently, through its Reading and Writing Centre (RWC), CAE hosted the third edition of the competition virtually on Google Meet where six students won UL merchandise in three categories – poetry, essay and short stories.

Quite a tight competition, there were 39 shortlisted applications comprising 14 poetry entries, 11 essays and 14 short stories.

According to RWC Coordinator, Tebogo Lekota, the competition also aimed to promote efficient reading skills, quality writing and public speaking skills. She says the goal was achieved as the contestants demonstrated an array of talent and enthusiasm for writing through creative and well-crafted stories and other types of writings.

“It is clear that competitions like this reinforce the idea that gripping stories can be made from ordinary daily events. A little fairy-tale and imagination, humour and uncertainty can turn even a normal trip to off-campus into a story that everyone will want to read,” says Lekota.

Second-year Bachelor of Accountancy student Khutso Motlotsi, who won in the short story category, describes writing as a place of fun where one gets to live through their characters. To her, writing is pure self-expression where one does not feel judged or misunderstood.

Also a second-year student but in BSc in Molecular and Life Sciences, Maremo Seabela, says that it feels great to write and actually win because it means he has made some sense. Winning the essay writing category, Seabela says writing for him is about freedom of expression where two forces - the heart and the mind – connect expressively where the mouth fails.

Acting Director at CAE, Prof Owence Chabaya, describes the annual competition as a platform for students to showcase, improve and elevate their writing skills. She maintains that by presenting their writings orally in the writing competition, students also develop confidence and presentation skills that are important in conferences and workshops. 

There were two winners in each category: poetry - Mokgethwa Mogane (Winner) and Itumeleng Maduane (Runner Up); short story - Khutso Motlotsi (Winner) and Nthabiseng Lubisi (Runner Up); and essay writing - Maremo Seabela (Winner) and Dibetso Rapanyane (Runner Up). The winners received the university’s branded trolley bag, wall watch and infuser bottle.

By Malatji Monyelegwete

Date created:2021-02-23 23:30:34