African spelling champs to compete in South Africa for continent’s spelling crown


Finalists from 13 African countries will gather at Maropeng, Gauteng to compete for the title of Africa’s champion on Saturday, December 16, in the second annual African Spelling Bee.

Participants from throughout Africa will compete for the incredible grand prize of a full undergraduate scholarship to attend the prestigious Monash South Africa campus in Roodepoort, Gauteng as well as cash prizes.

“Together the Spelling Bee organisations have run national competitions impacting well over 7 million young people,” says African Spelling Bee convenor Roger Dickinson. “Research has shown that learning to spell and learning to read rely on much of the same underlying knowledge and equip learners with a sound educational grounding,” he adds, emphasising the value in the learning process.

President of Monash South Africa, Professor Alwyn Louw, adds “This will be our 14th youth spelling competition scholarship and second bursary for the winner of the African Spelling Bee to attend Monash South Africa and we are pleased to continue this support for promising young learners”.

In preparation for the event, participants have to read among other texts, the founding document of the African Union and Thabo Mbeki’s I am an African speech. In addition to the competition itself, participants will be treated to a tour of the Maropeng site and the Sterkfontein caves by Maropeng curator Lindsay Marshall. Words from these ‘fossil-fuelled’ tours and words from the prescribed reading will also be used in the competition. Participants will be hosted by Maropeng at their sustainable learner-friendly venue called Hominin House.

Says Marshall: “It is an incredibly unique opportunity to share the heritage of our continent with these participants, and it is our hope that they will, in turn, share this interactive learning experience of our shared origins with their friends and family when they return home”.

Participants will be hosted by Maropeng and The Cradle Tourism Company, the local tourism association.

These remarkable competition entrants represent their home countries including; Botswana, Ethiopia, Ghana, Kenya, Lesotho, Liberia, Malawi, Nigeria, Sierra Leone, South Africa, Tunisia, Uganda and Zimbabwe “It’s exciting to have 13 African countries participating and we look forward to that number increasing in the years to come,” Dickinson concludes.

About the sponsors:

About Monash South Africa (MSA):

Monash South Africa (MSA) campus in Johannesburg is dedicated to support South Africa and the continent to meet its diverse economic and educational needs by producing graduates that are internationally relevant.

MSA has two academic faculties: The Faculty of Business, Engineering and Technology, and The Faculty of Social and Health Sciences, as well as a one-year pathway Foundation Programme that articulates into MSA undergraduate degrees.

Founded by Monash University, MSA became the first institution in Sub-Saharan Africa to join the Laureate International Universities. To learn more, visit

The Cradle of Humankind World Heritage Site

The Cradle of Humankind World Heritage Site, and area of 53 000 hectares, was listed as a World Heritage Site by UNESCO in 1999. This site holds global significance as it contains a superbly preserved record of the various stages in the evolution of humankind over 3.5 million years. It is now a universally accepted fact that it is the Continent of Africa that is the birthplace of our human species. Nowhere else on earth does there exist such definitive and conclusive proof of our common origin as a species and thus of our common destiny.  Africa is our collective home-from-home. In the words of Professor Phillip Tobias, “Africa gave the world Humanity. And that is no small thing”.

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