By Kabelo Kemp

The Ahmed Kathrada Foundation will on October 13 at its Annual Lecture at Sci Bono Centre announce the top three winners of its annual national essay writing competition against racism.


The three winners will also be afforded a chance to read out their essays in front of the Annual Lecture audience, which includes a variety of academics, youth, struggle veterans, activists, political leaders and change agents.


The competition closed its second year with a whopping 1019 entries from youth across length and breadth of the country. Topics included: Tolerating Racism is Racism, Root out Racism and a Future Free of Racism.


Some 700 young people entered the competition last year.


“Judging from the response to the competition in the two years of its existence, there certainly are a sizeable number of young people who are keen to express their views on pertinent issues in the country,” said the Foundation’s Executive Director, Neeshan Balton.


“Collectively over the two years, we have collated the views of almost 2000 young people from various parts of the country on issues related to racism. This is probably one of the largest collections of insights into youth voices on racism. We hope to continue engaging with these young people on an ongoing basis as we scale up our youth work in the coming months and years,” Balton added.


“The essay evaluation process has been an insightful experience for all those who were involved in it. Being able to read the ideas and views of the young people and the various ways that they have interpreted our topics has certainly added greater depth and value to our own understanding of the issue,” said the Foundation’s essay writing competition coordinator, Dawood Raphalalane.


The top 15 youth who were selected include, in no particular order:

  • Jetro Mosotho
  • Nobuhle Abigail Malindi
  • Innocent Mashudu Bale
  • Xolani Innocent Ringane
  • Mercia Benathi
  • Hlengiwe Gwebu
  • Lesego Reabetswe Lamola
  • Andiswa Ntshona
  • Carole Thokwane
  • Keneilwe Ascentia Segabutla
  • Firdaus Sayed
  • Wilco Roets
  • Tshiamo Phalatsi
  • Lerato Melato
  • Tyla Prinsloo

Raphalalane indicated that all 1019 essay writers will be posted certificates acknowledging their participation. “We want to thank all the essayists not only for participating in the competition, but for taking the time to grapple with the issue of racism, something that remains a problem in South Africa and globally.”



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