A-B-C. Easy as 1-2-3

The top two junior spellers in Africa could not be placed above the other during the competition. From left: Mayuri Govender, South Africa and Promise Kitara, Uganda.

The second annual African Spelling was hosted by Spell It! South Africa at Maropeng, Cradle of Humankind, on 16 December.

The event featured a strong South African contingent, with five spellers representing the country.

The top three senior spellers in Africa performed well at the competition. From left: Iheanyi Nchege, Nigeria (joint second), Sheriff Muhammad, Nigeria (first) and Zameer Dada, South Africa (joint second).

The competition was divided into a junior and senior division and got under way with a non-elimination round where spellers had to spell words from other languages from other countries in Africa.

Junior South African contestant, Thando Zitha, got the competition started with ‘Mbili’, meaning ‘two’ in Swahili.

Mpho Khalo was a brilliant emcee and opened the event with two powerful words, “Welcome Africa!”

The second round comprised words from the I am an African speech by Thabo Mbeki.

All five South African contestants successfully negotiated the round, and went on to the third round where they had to spell words they had learned on their guided tour of the Cradle of Humankind.

The South African contingent which won the prize for best country. Front, left to right: Thando Zitha and Mayuri Govender. Back: Jethro Kustner, Zameer Dada and Bethaba Shazi. Photos: Blake Linder.

Rounds four, five and six comprised general words, following no specific theme or topic.

The first South African contestant was eliminated in the fourth round when Bethaba Shazi spelled her word, ‘Ouagadougou’, incorrectly.

Promise Kitara of Uganda placed joint first at the competition.

Round five saw another two South African participants being eliminated, leaving one in the junior and one in the senior section.

It would have been three, had there not been alternate spellings of the word ‘spomante(i)’ for Zameer Dada, the 2016 African champion.

Zameer Dada, the 2016 winner, tied for second place at 2017’s African Spelling Bee.

In the junior section, Mayuri Govender flew the South African flag high, standing strong with her incredible knowledge of words. She went on to tie for first place with Uganda’s Promise Kitara.

Zameer was eliminated and reintroduced one more time, but failed to capitalise on the lifelines as he finished tied for second in the senior section.

Mayuri Govender placed joint first in the junior division of the competition.

Nigeria’s Sheriff Muhammad was crowned the best senior speller in Africa after he spelled ‘soliloquy’ correctly while his opponents spelled their words incorrectly.

The South African team was crowned the best team for their strong performance in the competition.

The third instalment of the event is set to be held in Mombasa, Kenya, later this year.


Do you perhaps have more information pertaining to this story? Email us at northsider@caxton.co.za  (remember to include your contact details) or phone us on 011 955 1130.

For free daily local news on the West Rand, also visit our sister newspaper websites 

Roodepoort Record

Randfontein Herald

Krugersdorp News 

Get It Joburg West Magazine

Blake Linder

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