Rwanda takes third place in African spelling competition

Rwanda was among the countries that took part in the African Spelling Competition on Saturday November 24 in Mombasa, Kenya. This was organised by Brain Teasers Rwanda, and the theme of the competition was “The Africa I love”.

10 countries participated in the competition, they included; Zimbabwe, Uganda, Rwanda, Nigeria, Ghana, Sudan, Botswana, Ethiopia, South Africa and Kenya.

Each country had five student representatives. Out of 50 students, Donatha Mukashyaka, a student of Rafiki International School, Nyamata, emerged third. Nigeria won first position and Uganda got second place.

Mukashyaka was awarded with a gold trophy, certificate, and a medal.

She says that the competition was stiff; however, she was glad to be among the winners. She gives the credit to her teachers that organise spelling competitions at school level which trained her and other students to prepare for the competition.

“I used my free time, I used night hours to consult the dictionary for complicated words; also Google was of help for new words,” Mukashyaka notes.

Mukashyaka with Richard Kaweesi, the CEO of Brain Teasers Rwanda (left) and Sam Asiimwe,  assistant director at Rafiki International School Nyamata. (Photo by Nadege Imbabazi)

According to Richard Kaweesi, the CEO of Brain Teasers Rwanda, for students to take part in international spelling competitions, Rwanda Examination Board selects 40 best schools in the previous national examinations to compete on a local basis, as they choose the best performers. At the end of these competitions, those qualified for finals are the ones who represent Rwanda.

Sam Asiimwe, the assistant director at Rafiki International School Nyamata, explains that such competitions are vital since they improve the vocabulary of students; it is for this matter that schools should start conducting termly spelling competitions at all levels.

“We encourage students to use the library so that they are equipped with knowledge and learn the right spelling and pronunciation of different words, both in Kinyarwanda and English,” he notes.

Asiimwe calls upon teachers and school leaders to stack libraries with enough reading books and to provide a conducive environment that enables students to read, but putting God first.

Kaweesi says that the spelling competitions are targeting each child; their aim is to improve the reading culture in Rwanda.

“This year, we started a new programme called “The holiday Spelling Competition” where we will train students to spell during holidays at Mount Kenya University. This will prepare them for International spelling competitions,” he says.

Donatha Mukashyaka at The New Times offices on Tuesday.

He says that he looks forward to seeing Rwanda host the East African spelling and reading competitions every year.

Other Rwandan students that took part in the competition are; Adul Karim Mugisha, a student at  Riviera High School, Kabuga, Marie-Jeanne Uwera from Rafiki International, Nora Karire from Espoir de la venille, Nyamata and Jean De dieur Niyonzima from the Institute of the Blind, Nyaruguru.