Young orators test their skills

MOVER: Zola will jam with Tupac. Pic. Veli Nhlapo. 08/07/05. © Sunday World.
MOVER: Zola will jam with Tupac. Pic. Veli Nhlapo. 08/07/05. © Sunday World.

Victor Mecoamere

Victor Mecoamere

The provincial finals of the Anglo American- Sowetan Young Communicator Awards have started and young public speakers are pitting their skills against one another.

The competition empowers young people with sound writing, speaking and conversational English skills, helping them to take control of their lives and to make a sound contribution to their communities. The competition's "alumni" include Zola, aka Bonginkosi Dlamini, pictured, who won the competition in 1996, and Asanda Magaqa, a radio journalist at the SABC in Eastern Cape, who was a national runner-up in 2000.

Asanda recently scooped a regional prize in the first-ever BBC Africa Radio Awards. Last year, she won the Vodacom Journalist of the Year Award.

The prize money for the national finals is a R30000 bursary for the winner, R20000 for the first runner-up and R15000 for the second runner-up. The respective winning schools receive R10000, R7000 and R5000.

In the first elimination, held in Nelspruit, Mpumalanga, the top three winners were Sibusiso Khoza of Sitintile High School, Monalisa Dladla of Highveld Park High School and Nondumiso Mbambo of Sibusisiwe High School. Khoza will represent the province in the finals, in Johannesburg in June.

Anglo Coal, a division of Anglo American, sponsored the Mpumalanga leg of the competition. They also financed the regional workshops last month.

In Free State, sponsored by Anglo's New Vaal Colliery, the winners were Star Khulu of St Michael's High School, Lucretia Mekoa of Brebner High School and Puleng Mokolokolo of Boshoff High School.

The other provincial eliminations of the Young Communicators Awards will be held in Upington, Northern Cape, tomorrow; Mmabatho, North West, on April 21; Polokwane, Limpopo, on May 5; Worcester, Western Cape, on May 12; Durban, KwaZulu-Natal, on May 15; Soweto, Gauteng, on May 19; and East London, Eastern Cape, on May 26.

The national finals take place at the Anglo American head office in Johannesburg on June 9.