King George VI School scoops R80 000 in SA competition

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KING GEORGE VI School will hold celebrations today at the institution for coming out tops at the 2015 eighth edition of the Zwakala Africa competition held at the John Kani Theatre in Newtown, Johannesburg, SA on February 27.

NONHLANHLA SIBANDA
OWN CORRESPONDENT

Zwakala is an SABC and DStv South Africa-owned initiative aimed at raising awareness of deaf people through art performances and has been running for more than seven years.

In 2013, African countries were invited to participate in the competition for the first time and among them are Botswana, Lesotho, Namibia, Mozambique, Swaziland and Zimbabwe.

Speaking to Woza Weekend, teacher and dance club instructor at the King George VI, Courage Chipatiso, who accompanied the children with disabilities to South Africa, said they had every reason to celebrate great achievements.

“The event is meant to celebrate winners who have done us proud as a school. They will present their acts and that of other countries as a source of entertainment,” Chipatiso said.

King George VI arts director and public relations officer Tapiwa Nyengera said the children were elated by the trip as it gave an opportunity to meet other pupils hard of hearing from other countries with different cultures and social backgrounds.

“It was an exciting experience which saw deaf students from sub-Saharan Africa battling it out on stage, showcasing their best performances. This programme has attracted a lot of attention as shown by an increase in the number of participating countries,” Nyengera said.

The competition was an intensive five-day programme that culminated in the final gala night of the awards. The first four days were mainly orientation for deaf learners on some common signs that were to be used during the event. This was a fusion of sign language from 11 different countries.

“All participants were accommodated in The Garden Court Hotel, Milpark.

“Elevators, taps with running water and fancy flushing toilet systems were marvels for many deaf children, some of who had travelled from the most remote parts of Africa,” Nyengera said.

In the February 27 finals, Zimbabwe scooped the main prize and also came tops in Category C (special talent) and second in Category A (storytelling for juniors). All winners in these categories were won from King George VI School.

A scholarship was awarded to Loveness T Majoni to study at the National Institute for the Deaf in Cape Town.

The Zimbabwe team received commendations for behaviour, punctuality, efficiency and focus.

Hard work, commitment and determination from the pupils contributed to the success of the whole team.

Tapiwanashe K Tekede won first prize for Category C dpecial talent – mime, bagging R8 000 plus R15 000 for the institution; Brighton T Ndlovu came second for Category (A) storytelling scooping R7 000.

Majoni, Sikhanyisiwe Mlothswa, Primerose M Chuma, Nyashadzashe Nzanza and Lewis Golintethethe came first in the drama category D scooping a total of R40 000 plus R150 000 for the institution.