Es­says on the dads they don’t know

Ma­nen­berg girls soar into top 16 in writ­ing com­pe­ti­tion

Cape Argus - - NEWS - Nwabisa Ma­siza STAFF RE­PORTER nwabisa.ma­[email protected]

TWO MA­NEN­BERG pupils have de­fied the odds of growing up in a gang-rid­den sub­urb to ad­vance to the fi­nal 16 of a na­tional es­say-writ­ing com­pe­ti­tion. An­tonique Dick and Am­maarah Ja­cobs, both 16, from The Lead­er­ship Col­lege (TLC), are among five pupils from the West­ern Cape to ad­vance to the fi­nal 16 of the Fa­ther Es­say com­pe­ti­tion.

“I en­joyed ex­press­ing my­self in the es­say, even though I was writ­ing about some­one who I never got a chance to meet,” said An­tonique, whose fa­ther was killed in a shoot­ing in Gu­glethu when she was two.

“I found the com­pe­ti­tion to be very in­ter­est­ing be­cause I am some­one who is pas­sion­ate about writ­ing.

“I also got in­ter­ested in par­tic­i­pat­ing be­cause of the topic, as some­one who has never had the ex­pe­ri­ence of hav­ing a fa­ther.

“It was very emo­tional for me, and the es­say con­sisted of ques­tions that I wasn’t com­fort­able ask­ing other peo­ple. “It was like a let­ter ad­dressed to him.” An­tonique, who is a twin, said she had mixed emo­tions, and that writ­ing the es­say had given her good ex­pe­ri­ence in ex­press­ing her­self.

The com­pe­ti­tion, which has been run­ning for four years, is open to Grade 11 pupils. This was TLC’s first time par­tic­i­pat­ing in the com­pe­ti­tion.

Grade 11 teacher Fiarouz Hat­tas said: “I think this was a bril­liant op­por­tu­nity be­cause many of them bot­tle their emo­tions, and this was the op­por­tu­nity for them to ex­press them­selves, as in the case of both the pupils.

“I am very proud of them and I think they wrote very good es­says, es­pe­cially in ex­press­ing their emo­tions.

“I could ac­tu­ally feel the sad­ness with them through read­ing their pa­pers. I am proud that they achieved suc­cess.”

Am­maarah was proud of her per­for­mance.

“I never thought I would make it and was very un­sure about it, as I am not good at ex­press­ing my­self and my emo­tions.

“When I wrote the es­say I felt empty be­cause I don’t re­ally know my fa­ther and don’t have a close re­la­tion­ship with him.

“But writ­ing the es­say was like ex­press­ing how I would like the re­la­tion­ship to be.”

Hat­tas said the school would be en­ter­ing the com­pe­ti­tion again next year.

The pair ad­vanced to the fi­nal 16 among 65 en­trants na­tion­ally.

Among other schools to com­pete were Brack­en­fell High School, King Ed­ward High School, Alexan­dria High School, PT Sanders Com­bined School, Naval­sig High School, Kopa­mong High School, As­sump­tion Con­vent School, Tsh­wane Sec­ondary School, Belfast Academy and Ho­er­skool Pa­triot.

THE ES­SAY CON­SISTED OF QUES­TIONS I WASN’T COM­FORT­ABLE ASK­ING OTHER PEO­PLE. IT WAS LIKE A LET­TER AD­DRESSED TO HIM

PIC­TURE: BHEKI RADEBE

EX­CEP­TIONAL SKILLS: An­tonique Dick, left, and Am­maarah Ja­cobs, are stu­dents at The Lead­er­ship Col­lege in Ma­nen­berg.

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