Every year during the winter holidays, FunDza gets invited to facilitate workshops hosted by Ikama Youth as part of their Winter School holiday tutoring programme. Ikamva is one of our beneficiaries and is a South African non-profit organisation focused on the empowerment of youth through education, e-literacy training and career guidance.
The workshops took place in venues across Cape Town and included I.D. Mkhize, Intshukumo High School, Mandela High School, Oaklands High School and Ntsebenziswano High School.
Nothing puts a spring in one’s step quite like spending time with 249 motivated young people in the dead of winter. Most of these youngster’s friends were cuddling up against the elements, enjoying leisure time whilst we were dissecting essays. “Was that a discursive essay? Or was it persuasive? Why do you say that?”.
We had loads of fun with ‘Writing Good Essays’, ‘Creative Me’ and ‘Writing Me’ workshops. Some of the participants blew us away with their very descriptive essays covering topics like travelling by taxi. We particularly enjoyed the opening paragraph of a group writing activity:
“Taxis are as dirty as if they were transporting pigs. Siyaya drivers fight with Quantum drivers, because Siyaya vans cost more and the cost increases every month, some people being unable to afford them. When Quantum vans travel long distances, they like competing with each other, as though they are women carrying bags.”
Stories conjured up by our non-holidayers included plane crashes, people being killed and stuffed in a wardrobe; a Maths teacher who used to be the mother of one of her pupils who was kidnapped, unbeknownst to either of them; a grandmother who gave her son a Mini Cooper for his birthday only to have him and his friends chased by gangsters a week later leading to the car being written off.
Albert Einstein was quoted as saying that the true sign of intelligence is not knowledge but imagination. If this is true, then we were privileged to engage with and be in the presence of intelligence. Thank you to our funders and beneficiaries who give us opportunities to increase our reach to young minds and hearts.
“I enjoyed the last exercise which was ‘risking it all for a friend’, I can use to teach my peers all that I have learnt.” ~ Khanyisile Mguda
“Writing a story might make me heal from the pain and express my feelings better.” ~ Aza Ntlaka
“I enjoyed writing and sharing with other people. I would like to know more about writing because I don’t really know my talent.” ~ Yolanda Botha