Ntsika Poetry competition


The Ntsika Secondary School Poetry Competition had two categories: junior (Gr. 8 – 9) and senior (Gr. 10 – 12). Each entrant could only submit a single poem for consideration and it was expected to reflect the theme of their category. For juniors, the theme was community and for seniors, diversity. Our aim was to promote creativity and writing with a focus on the learners’ societal context to provide them with an outlet to express their ideas and experiences. Local poet, Harry Owen, was kind enough to help us with the judging, although he doesn’t like the word ‘judge’. Rather, he says that he had the tough job of choosing winners. He is adamant that every poem had a beauty of its own.

The winners are as follows:

Juniors – Ovayo Mfihlo (1st place), Thandokazi Phinyana (2nd place) and Asemahle Qoko (3rd place).

Seniors – Silindokuhle Nquma (1st place), Zandile Valela (2nd place) and tied in 3rd place, Asimo Nunu and Sinengomso Nombewu

Honourable mentions go to: Chuma Mani, Bubele Fesi, Natasha Chibira, Sokhana Moyikwa, Kelly Musasa, Sinovuyo Hempe, Anelisa Calu, Sanda Lukwe,  Asemahle Singata and Sive Teyise

We had wonderful sponsorship from Bargain Books who supplied books, key rings, and vouchers for our winners and the Makhanda (Grahamstown) Spur who sponsored a meal voucher. Their support is greatly appreciated.

Thanks again for all your support of our learners’ achievements.

Community, Please Answer!
Community! Community!
I’ve been calling you
so many times
but you seem
not to be answering.
Why can’t you answer me?
Community, please answer!

We have to discuss something.
There is something wrong.
There is a big problem!
You can fix it –
Stop being silent and answer me!
Community, please answer!

We are scared to get out;
things are falling apart.
Please can you intervene?
Stop them from destroying you!
Stop them from destroying us!
Community, please answer!

Why are you so silent?
Are you shy or afraid?
Why can’t you intervene?
Why don’t you come out?
What is wrong with you?
I’m begging you –
Please answer!

This place is full of crime;
this place is full of gangsters.
Things are falling apart.
Our youth is falling down;
your beauty is being destroyed.
Please, Community. Please!
Take action before it’s too late!
Community, please answer!
You cannot watch things falling,
you cannot watch things falling down.

You cannot watch your dignity falling,
Just stand up and do something!
We are no longer safe in your place,
we are no longer safe in your hands –
Please Community, I’m begging!

Remember how beautiful you were?
Remember how safe and proud you were?
You were the happiest place to be!
But look now:
you’ve turned into this dark and black place.
No! No! Stand up and fight community!
Community, please answer!

Ovayo Mfihlo (Grade 9) – Junior winner

Together we are Africans
I am a black African woman;
African roots run deep in me.
I am an African who is free –
free to feel safe in my own skin,
free to embrace my culture,
free to pave the way for others.
Together, we are Africans.

This is my Africa.
You are my African people.
You are my African sisters and brothers.
Unity is not discrimination nor hatred –
unity is love and respect.
Africans unify and unite.
Together, we are Africans.

I am and you are an African.
Embrace who you are, my African queen.
Feel beautiful in your skin, my African king.
Be the change you want to be;
see no colour through your eyes:
Together, we are Africans.

Silindokuhle Nquma (Grade 11) – Senior winner

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