Zwakala! Let the Deaf be heard!


zwakala1A world first – Zwakala Africa 2015

Dtv’s Zwakala Africa 2015 was a resounding success. Friday 27 February saw the deaf finalists of 11 African countries taking part in the 4 different categories of this annual competition.

The finalists arrived in Johannesburg on the 23rd of February. From 24 – 26 February rehearsals took place at the John Kani theatre. In the evenings games, cross-cultural exchanges and entertainment were scheduled, much to the delight of the 88 finalists.

The countries represented were:

  • Botswana
  • Lesotho
  • Malawi
  • Mozambique
  • Namibia
  • Seychelles
  • South Africa
  • Swaziland
  • Tanzania
  • Zambia
  • Zimbabwe

The welcoming speech was done by Ms Iris Cupido of the SABC Foundation.

Zwakala’s patron, Minister Lindiwe Sisulu was represented by her sister, ambassador Beryl Sisulu. A well wish from Deputy Minister Mabuda Fassie, of Arts & Culture was screened at the event.

Category A – Story telling ages 5–10 showcased a variety of entertaining stories.

It was amazing to see the confidence of these youngsters who, coming from small villages, faced a packed audience for the first time.

Judges for the night – Alison Swannack (black dress), Kgomotso Christopher (Pink dress), Ayisha Ramjugernath (blue jean) & Isaac Monchwe (Guy)

The winners were:

1st Namibia

2nd Zimbabwe

3rd Seychelles

Category B was a musical category for all ages

1st Malawi

2nd South Africa

3rd Lesotho

Category C Special talent all ages

1st Zimbabwe

2nd Malawi

3rd South Africa

Category D Drama by a group of 5

1st Zimbabwe

2nd Seychelles

3rd Mozambique

Each finalist received a goodie bag filled with generous contributions from various donors.

The Cash Prizes were:

1st Price 8000

2nd Price 7000

3rd Price 5000 and

Winning School 15000.

The work, especially category D, was raw and honest and reflected the often sad reality of this silent minority faces in Africa.

The mayor of Johannesburg has challenged Dtv to invite 20 countries next time and both him and ambassador Beryl Sisulu agreed that in future schools in Johannesburg should be bussed in to learn more about deaf learners who try and make the best of life despite their disability.

Tune into Dtv at 12:00 on Saturdays only on SABC3