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4th Funda Mzantsi Championship
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The 4th Funda Mzantsi Championship was held in George from 23 to 24 September 2013. The aim of the project is to promote a culture of reading, encourage book discussions and improve reading skills. This year's Funda Mzantsi Championship was a collaboration between Centre for the Book and the Department of Correctional Services.

Guests were greeted in the beautifully decorated hall by the enchanting singing of a Correctional Services choir. The event was attended by staff from Correctional Services, Centre for the Book, participating book club members, teachers and invited guests, who included family members of inmates. Eighteen high schools and correctional centre books clubs from the Western Cape and Eastern Cape were represented.

The programme was directed by Noluthando Sihlezana, Nelisa Lunika and Mpumie Nzeleni. The prayer was done by Rev. M. Faleni and the welcoming remarks were done by the Southern Cape Area commissioner, Ms Ndileka Booi. The purpose of the day speech was done by Mr Mandla Matyumza. Our Reading Ambassador, Andrea Dondolo, motivated the book clubs to continue with reading. The keynote address was done by the Acting National Commissioner, Ms Nontsikelelo Jolingana, and the audience was entertained by the Correctional Services choir, Spiritual Dancers and Poetic Souls.

This year's participating book clubs were:
  • Sophumelela Senior Secondary School Book Club in Samora Machel (Cape Town)
  • Centre Of Science and Technology (COSAT) Book Club in Khayelitsha (Cape Town)
  • Cape Academy of Mathematics, Science and Technology Book Club in Constantia (Cape Town)
  • Hector Peterson High School Book Club from Zone 4 Zwelitsha in King Williams Town (Eastern Cape)
  • Percy Mdala Senior Secondary School Book Club from Khayalethu (Knysna)
  • Khulani High School from Langa Book Club (Cape Town)
  • Dr Nelson Mandela High School Book Club (Cape Town)
  • Esangweni Senior Secondary School Book Club (Cape Town)
  • Pollsmoor Correctional Centre Book Club
  • George Correctional Centre Book Club
  • Parltsdorp High School Book Club from George
  • George High School Book Club
  • Mossel Bay Correctional Book Club
  • Mdantsane Correctional Book Club
  • Medium C Female Book Club (East London)
  • Kirkwood Centre Correctional Book Club
  • ST Albans Correctional Centre Book Club
  • Oudtshoorn Correctional Centre Book Club
This year has seen lots of changes to Funda Mzantsi. The project has grown from a one day to a two day event. A third language (Afrikaans) and third category (debating) was also included. Also, far more correctional centres participated.

The competition had three categories English, isiXhosa and Afrikaans. The isiXhosa novel was “Nantso ke Inqontsonqa” by Jeffrey J.F. Sanqele. The English novel was “Young Blood” by Sifiso Mzobe and the Afrikaans novel was “n Ander Ek” by EMK Dido. Book clubs were judged based on their reading, book reviewing and debating abilities.

The correctional centres performed extremely well, compared to last year when the schools dominated. This year winning book clubs were:

isiXhosa
First place went to George Correctional Centre Book Club, second place COSAT Book Club, and third place Kirkwood Correctional Centre Book Club.

English
First place went to Medium C Correctional Centre Book Club, second place Pollsmoor Book Club and third place Khulani Book Club.

Afrikaans
First place went to George Correctional Centre Book Club, second place Outshoorn Correctional Centre Book Club and third place Mossel Bay Correctional Centre Book Club.

The event was not only about trophies and medals but also an opportunity to reflect on society and the choices we make in life. This was especially evident during the debates when inmates spoke from the heart about their personal experiences.

The SABC provided media coverage which was screened during prime time news and on channel 404 on DSTV.

Funda Mzantsi is indeed an event that means a lot to everybody who participates in it. Correctional services expressed their gratitude towards CFB for initiating this project and their hope that Funda Mzantsi will grow into a national project. CFB also wishes to thank everybody who contributed to the success of the event.

Sonwabile Kanzi
sonwabile.kanzi@nlsa.ac.za

 

 

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