Chris Hani Art School pupil Anelisa Silayi thrilled attendees as she defeated more 20 other pupils from different schools in a Financial Literacy (FinLit) Spelling Bee competition held at the school to win the championship title on Mandela Day.
FinLit Spelling Bee is the first ever Spelling Bee incorporating financial concepts.
The competition seeks to create little financial stars across the country through the StarSaver programme of the Banking Association of South Africa. Pupils are not only trying to pronounce a variety of financial words, but they will also revel and build a wealth of financial knowledge at the event.
The competition saw pupils from Chris Hani, Harry Gwala, Siphamandla, Sizimisele and Sinako secondary schools battling it out in the tongue-twisting, wordy edutainment competition.
All spellers were Grade 8 pupils doing economic management science (EMS as StarSaver is integrated within this subject within the school curriculum.
At a packed Chris Hani hall, Anelisa surprised the house with her knowledge, financial vocabulary and abiltiy to spell.
After the event, the cool and calm winner said she hoped to take her achievements beyond the competition.
“Winning this is beyond exciting. I am over the moon to have made my school and fellow pupils proud,” she said.
However, she admitted that the competition was not easy. She thanked other pupils for taking part.
“I am grateful to the school for choosing me to be their ambassador in the competition.
“But the opposition and my school mates were brilliant too. We need more of these competitions to wake us up a bit,” she said.
Chris Hani principal Madoda Mahlutshana was equally excited. Mr Mahlutshana said he is happy because his school seemed to enjoy winning competitions.
He said the school had recently won a music competition in Gauteng and now this.
“I am incredibly happy to have a winning school. Credit must go to the teachers and pupils.
“We seem to make a habit of winning things.
“This is what we have been working for. As teachers we are here to create leaders.
“This is a great achievement,” he said. Mr Mahlutshana said he was impressed with the quality of the competition.
He hoped that it wwould be held again.
Thabo Tlaba-Mokoena, general manager of the Banking Association of South Africa, said the association was humbled, grateful and most delighted to have worked with the Chris Hani Art School.
He commended Mr Mahlutshana for demonstrating a passion for the empowerment of pupils through various learning methodologies.
“The competition is an accessory component of the StarSaver Programme of the Banking Association of South Africa formerly known as Teach Children To Save South Africa to inculcate a culture of saving in children and youth.
“We are grateful to have worked with the school and other schools around the country.
“We are pleased with what we saw here.
“Chances are that we might come back, who knows,” he said.
Iconic South African hip hop star, Tebogo “ProVerb” Thekisho who is the StarSaver Programme Ambassador, encouraged parents to speak about money and saving with their children.
Proverb said it was a problem that children are not taught to save and invest from an early age.
“We do not talk about saving money, about planning for the future and financial concepts with our children.
“When I grew up nobody talked to me about investing; I had to find out when I was older.
“This is not on. We need to start engaging our children about the future,” he said.
He also encouraged the pupils to learn about their future and take education seriously.
Towards the end of the competition, a pledge to read was read out by all who attended the competition, including financial gurus from various banks and financial institutions.
At the end of the competition the winners and participants walked away with various prizes that are for educational purposes including calculators, business and economic studies dictionaries, pens, ruler sets, financial literacy games, word games, backpacks, drawstring bags, books on entrepreneurship and self-empowerment, as well as ProVerb’s The Read Tape CD and StarSaver and FinLit Spelling Bee branded T-shirts, Monopoly games, trophies, and more.