The AKF launches the 2024 Ahmed Kathrada Foundation’s Annual National Essay Writing Competition Against Racism

01 July 2024

The Ahmed Kathrada Foundation is excited to announce the commencement of the 2024 National Essay Writing Competition Against Racism. This competition aims to encourage critical thinking, raise awareness, and stimulate discussions on the critical issue of racism within our society, especially among the youth of South Africa.

Entering its 8th year, the competition is open to young people aged 13-21. With a firm belief that education is a powerful catalyst for social change, the Ahmed Kathrada Foundation invites students from across the nation to participate, express their views, challenge stereotypes, and contribute to the ongoing battle against racism. The competition opened on Sunday, 30 June 2024.

This competition aims to inspire young individuals to voice their opinions and help address the pervasive issue of racism. To create a better world, it is essential to recognize and include the voices of young people affected by racism in various environments, such as schools, playgrounds, universities, and even homes. South Africans continue to experience frequent incidents of racial discrimination in educational institutions nationwide, highlighting the persistent impact of racism on all societal levels.

The Ahmed Kathrada Foundation’s National Essay Writing Competition Against Racism serves as a vital platform for young people to delve deeper into the apartheid history of our country and hone their critical thinking skills. By participating in this competition, young people are encouraged to explore the complexities of South Africa’s past and analyze its enduring impact on the present. Through research, thoughtful reflection, and introspection, participants gain invaluable insights into the struggles and triumphs of those who fought against apartheid and the enduring legacy of Apartheid in South Africa. The competition aims to foster a culture of critical inquiry, empowering young minds to question prevailing racial narratives and envision a more just and equitable future.

Submissions can be in the form of essays, poetry, or original artwork. Prizes will be awarded in each category:

1st Place – R1000 and a new laptop

2nd Place – R500 and a new laptop

All participants will receive certificates of participation. Winning entries will be featured on the foundation’s website, social media platforms, and publications, ensuring that these young writers’ exceptional work reaches a broader audience.

Participants should submit entries related to one of the following topics:

  1. Is Zionism = Racism?
  2. My Anti-Racism Manifesto
  3. The impact of Apartheid on a born-free generation
  4. The influence of pop culture on racism

To enter the competition, applicants should send their entries to Entries can also be hand-delivered to the Foundation’s offices at Signet Terrace Office Park, Block B, Suite 2, Guinea Fowl, Extension 1, Lenasia, Johannesburg. The competition’s closing date is Friday, 30 August 2024.

The following rules and guidelines are applicable to the 2024 National Essay Writing Competition Against Racism:

  • Participants must be between the age of 13-21.
  • All entries must be accompanied by an entry form stating all details required of the participant.
  • One entry per participant. Joint or multiple entries will not be considered.
  • All entries will only be received via email (, or physical copy delivered to the Ahmed Kathrada Foundation offices (Signet Terrace Office Park, Block B, Suite 2, 19 Guinea-Fowl Street, Lenasia, 1827)
  • Only shortlisted candidates will be contacted.
  • Plagiarized content will be disqualified.
  • Essays submitted must be between 1000 -1500 words.
  • Poetry and artwork must be accompanied by an explanation of no more than 500 words.
  • Artwork entries must not be bigger than A3 in size.
  • Competition winners from the past two years are not permitted to enter the competition.
  • The competition is only open to participants residing in the Republic of South Africa.

NOTE: Failure to comply with these rules and guidelines will result in automatic disqualification.

For inquiries, please contact:
Rethabile Ratsomo
Anti-Racism Programme Manager
011 854 7037





General enquiries:
Tel: +27 (0)11 854 0082
Fax: +27 (0)11 852 8786

Media enquiries:
Tel: +27 (0)79 898 1902

Youth enquiries:


Signet Terrace Office Park,
Block B, Suite 2
19 Guinea-Fowl Street
Lenasia, Gauteng, 1827
South Africa

P.O. Box 10621
Lenasia, Gauteng, 1820
South Africa


In pursuing its core objective
of deepening non-racialism,
the Ahmed Kathrada Foundation

Promote the values, rights
and principles enshrined in the
Freedom Charter and the
Constitution of the
Republic of South Africa;

Collect, record, promote and
display, through historical
artefacts and contemporary


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