The pen is mightier than the sword


The South African Youth Essay Writing Competition Against Racism is inviting young people between the ages of 15 and 25 and 26 and 35, from across South Africa, to share their reflections on racism.

Grand prizes are on offer for the winning essays, including laptops and cash.

The competition, in collaboration with Khwerha Ye Afrika and the Ahmed Kathrada Foundation, is supported by the Department of Arts and Culture, Foundation for Human Rights, Steve Biko Foundation, Spotlight Creations and other local organisations.

“The purpose of the competition is to provide young people with an opportunity to use their writing talent creatively and to share experiences, encounters and untold stories of racism,” said Tommy Khoza, executive director for Khwerha Ye Africa.

Busisiwe Nkosi from the Ahmed Kathrada Foundation’s Youth Leadership Programme said the initiative comes as a response to national debates on racism. She added, “What’s unique about this competition is that essays can be entered in any of the 11 official languages as chosen by the participants.”

To enter, your written essay must be between 1 000 to 2 000 words in any South African language of your choice on the topic of racism. Submissions can be sent via email, post or hand delivery. The closing date for submissions is 31 March and winners will be announced at a special awards ceremony in Johannesburg.

Send your submissions to with the subject ‘Essay Submission’ or fax to 086 573 3643. They can be posted to PO Box 6804, Halfway House, 1685 or hand delivered to 69 Market Street, Kimax Building, Office 11B, Boksburg North.

Please ensure that all your contact details are included.

Details: Melissa 011 892 0399/081 702 5862.

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