Essays on the dads they don’t know
Manenberg girls soar into top 16 in writing competition
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
EXCEPTIONAL SKILLS: Antonique Dick, left, and Ammaarah Jacobs, are students at The Leadership College in Manenberg.