WCED learners dominate the Spelling Bee finals! | Western Cape Education Department
WCED learners dominate the Spelling Bee finals!

WCED learners dominate the Spelling Bee finals!

18 October 2023

The Western Cape Provincial African Spelling Bee winners participated in the National Preliminaries at Sun City, in the Northwest Province from 9 – 12 October 2023.

Rhyle Adams (Klein Nederburg Senior Secondary School, Paarl), Ifeomamachukwu Osondo (St Mary’s Primary School, Gardens) and Asiphile Ngutyana (Wallacedene Primary School, Kraaifontein) competed against 27 juniors from across six provinces in three gruelling rounds of spelling.

Lauren Henderson, Asiyah Adams, Martina Mlilo and Bayyinah Manjoo, all from Rustenburg Girls’ High School in Rosebank, represented team Western Cape in the senior competition.  

The following winners were announced to represent South Africa in the African Spelling Bee in Ethiopia in December 2023. Half of the South Arican team consists of Western Cape learners!

African Spelling Bee SA Top 3 Juniors:

  • Salusiwe Mkambapi (KZN)
  • Ifeomachukwu Osondo (Western Cape) - St Mary’s Primary School, Gardens
  • Lesedi  Seemane (Limpopo)

African Spelling Bee SA Top 3 Seniors:

  • Corrin Laffan (Gauteng)
  • Bayyinah Manjoo (Western Cape) - Rustenburg Girls’ High School in Rosebank
  • Lauren Henderson (Western Cape) - Rustenburg Girls’ High School in Rosebank

The Spelling Bee is not a test of memorisation but rather of the understanding of words and language. A word list was thus not provided. Spellers are encouraged to prepare widely.

The speed rounds had categories taken from across the curriculum. Learners had to use their textbook glossaries to prepare for those rounds. Round 3 had very specific topics to prepare for.

The Western Cape team did very well in the speed rounds and it was astonishing to see how many words the learners could spell in 60 seconds. They kept the adjudicators on their toes. The words varied in complexity level and was across various topics. In round 1 they were required to spell the names of languages, space and astronomy terms, Mathematics terms, Geography terms, names of animals, greetings in South Africa languages, scientific terms, etc.  

In round 2 learners were challenged with words from some of the following categories: words from Latin Origin; South African slang words; food from around the world; words from Greek; African loan word; words from the national anthem, etc.

The juniors were required to know names of flowers and parts of the human body for round three whilst the seniors had to familiarise themselves with words related to political movements/parties and words related to music.

With the gruelling rounds completed, the learners with the most correct spelt words were placed in a top 5 category where each learner was given the same word to spell. The top three were identified in this way.

The Western Cape’s Ifeoma Osondo, in the Junior section was challenged with the word “juxtapose” which she dealt with ease and placed herself in the top three and secured her place in the South African Junior team. Lauren Henderson knocked her opposition out with the spelling of “quixotic” and in the second round of the top 5 Bayyinah Manjoo secured her spot to Ethiopia with the spelling of “sycophantic”.

David Maynier, Western Cape Minister of Education, said: “We are extremely proud of these learners, who represent our province on the national and international stage. I wish them the very best as they prepare for the competition in Ethiopia from 5 – 9 December 2023.”

For more information on the African Spelling Bee – please visit: https://africanspellingbee.com/

WCED learners dominate the Spelling Bee finals!