Eastern Cape

Address 41 Admiralty Way, Summerstrand, Port Elizabeth, 6001
Contact Person Mrs Janet Blignaut
Tel Number 041 583 1427
Mobile No 082 202 2393
Email janetbl@iafrica.com

Although the main project of the Eastern Cape branch is the National English Olympiad writing competition, the branch involves itself in many other activities –
Phakamani Creative Writing Project

Click here to see report.

The Star Schools

English classes are held every Saturday morning. The project is aimed at developing the maths and science of selected township pupils. English is included, as it is the medium of instruction.

College of Speech and Drama Teachers

An annual donation is made by the branch to the College of Speech and Drama teachers to help sponsor their public speaking competitions. In addition the branch sponsors the High Schools’ P ublic Speaking competition which is also run by the speech teachers in conjunction with Toast Masters.

The college representative has said that without SACEE’s sponsorship the school competitions would have to come to an end in Port Elizabeth.


NMMU Tutors’ Workshops

The branch continues to fund a Tutors’ workshop for graduate students run by Dr Di Ayliff at NMMU. These students, who tutor undergraduate students in small groups, have little knowledge of the communication skills needed. The tutors are taught how to help the undergraduate first-years with their grammar and expression. They are also given tuition on leadership and teaching skills as well as taught how to try to improve the students’ English.

Other sponsorships by the Eastern Cape

Matric Herald
Sponsorship for supplying this pubication to two township schools was resumed in 2011. The Herald generously started to supply many schools with enough copies of the newspaper’s Tuesday edition for each Matric to receive his/her own copy. Mzi did report that some of the township schools were not receiving copies and this has now been taken up with the Herald.

Dumani library
Dumani school is a hard working Motherwell school and the branch have sponsored books for their library for several years. This sponsorship will continue.

Speech Teachers’ competition
The full high schools’ public speaking competition is sponsored by the Eastern Cape branch. This full festival will now only take place every second year. However, the teachers will run mini festivals at their indididual schools during the intervening years.

English Olympiad (FAL)
In 2014 the branch increased its sponsorship of the Top 20 winners and added a further R6000 for disbursement to the top 3 FAL Olympiad winners. In 2015 the branch voted to set aside R30,000 to be disbursed at the discretion of the FAL examiner – to be effective from 2016. It was envisaged that up to 5 awards of R6,000 each would be made

Update on Mzi Mahola 2015

Last year the ‘Lushington’ project fell away. Mr Mahola found his family commitments too great to venture far. However, the Eastern Cape branch sponsored 12 candidates from Solomon Mhlanga, remunerating Mrs Bulelwa Jack and two school girls from Riebeek College for mounting workshops.

Mzi is the resident Eastern Cape SACEE poet. He has recently brought out a new poetry collection and is in the process of publishing a novel.

Reports from Mzi Mahola on his
workshops in Lushington

A project which was funded by the
Eastern Cape branch of SACEE.

Extracts from Mza Mahola’s report dated 25 April 2012

” I made two visits to Mziwemfundo Junior Secondary School; one on 13 March and the second on 11 April…………

………On the morning of my second visit. I spent some time with the drama teacher discussing the play which she was going to direct after we had made auditions for actors. The theme of the play is viruousity. It focuses on the principle of sowing and reaping, and it inculcates moral regeneration in our fast degenerating societies.

After discussing our characters the drama teacher informed me about a particular boy who has had a very rough life. The boy grew up with his mother in Grahamstown. He had abandoned school and joined a gang of delinquents dealing with drugs. They robbed and killed a Somalian shopkeeper. The boy was convicted of murder because he had pulled the trigger and he was sent to serve his sentence in an institution for delinquent juveniles. Upon his release, his mother decided to change his environment. She sent him to Lushington to be with his unemployed father. The boy is now doing his best to mend his ways and be somebody in life. He is older than other boys and is motivating them to keep away from drugs and not to waste their chances in life. Teachers are helping him with food so that he can enjoy school because there is nothing at home.

We both agreed to try him in the role of the main character, the villain, because the play has that character. He was called and I sat down with him and explained why he was needed in the play. He was eager to take part. I explained to him the type of character that I wanted. He showed interest and I auditioned him. He impressed me and so I gave him the script. …..”

Mzi Mahola’s report dated 29 July 2010

I made two visits to the Lushington schools this year.

In February I contacted the Nkonkobe Department of Education concerning the planned dates of my visits. They promised to send observers. I found their interest encouraging because I had often asked for their support without success. I invited them for the 17th of March when I would be visiting the Junior Secondary School, Mziwemfundo.

The first lessons, on ecological systems, took place at Mzomhle Primary on the 16th of March. There was tremendous interest because the lessons were well structured. I used charts instead of staffed models of animal specimens which would have been more ideal. The Bayworld Librarian helped me with animal photos which I developed into charts.

I was supposed to have spent three days on this visit. Due to departmental issues all educators were asked to report at the Department office on the 17th. The remaining lessons were, therefore, deferred for the 13th of April.

Two observers from the Department attended the lessons on the 13th. They stayed for the whole duration and their presence and positive evaluation were encouraging. It was even more reassuring when they expressed their wish to have the lessons extended to other schools as well. But we will find out about this later, when I approach them for support.

The World Cup has come and gone and learners and educators have tight schedules to make up for lost hours. I do not think it will be wise to make another visit this year.

There is a new 8-page tabloid in the Metro; it is called Central News and is published by Ms. Nyameka Madikizela. It first appeared in July. SACEE is again mentioned for its wonderful support of the rural schools project.

Extract from an earlier report 2009

There was concern amongst educators about the shortage of reading material for students. I encouraged them to persevere as often things turn up at the right time. When I left them I had no idea that on the next visit I would be coming back with an answer to their problem.

My second visit in September was even more fulfilling because, not only was I coming for a workshop for learners, I was also delivering books donated by Alexander Road High School as well as from other concerned individuals.

During the workshop a message was given to me that more children had started writing poetry after my last visit. The recognition given to one of their friends when she had read to the group, had motivated them. I have now compiled a booklet of some of these poems. I am looking forward to arranging more workshops with these children. Their commitment and enthusiasm is rewarding and encouraging.