Regional Funda Mzantsi Championships
Mr Phiko Mbambo (in uniform) with Mr Sunnyboy Mndawe, together with 40 selected inmates

During September, the Department of Correctional Services from Limpopo, Mpumalanga and the North-West region, hosted a three-day reading competition, called Funda Mzantsi Championships.

The Funda Mzantsi event was set to take place at the Bethal Correctional Centre from the 18th until the 20th of September 2018 and it was hosted by the Department of Correctional Services, in partnership with the South African National Library’s Centre for Books.

The initiative was taken as part of instilling learning, reading and writing skills amongst inmates. An estimated 85 male and female offenders belong to four book clubs within Limpopo, Mpumalanga and the North-West and they have competed against each other in all 11 official languages.

The competitors participated in various categories such as book reading, storytelling, book reviewing, debate and spelling. On the first day of the competition, the inmates, adjudicators and officials gathered for an opening ceremony where all were welcomed by the Area Coordinator Development and Care, Dominique Zulu, as well as the Head of Correctional Centre, Enock Chonco.

The Regional Coordinator of Education and Training, Tebello Mahlangu, praised the inmates for participating. During the last day, 40 participants were chosen to represent the region at the National Championships in George, Western-Cape, from 1-5 October 2018.

Acting Regional Commissioner, Phiko Mbambo, encouraged all the participants to continue to enrich themselves by reading and he also challenged the selected 40 to come home with various trophies whilst in George. He furthermore thanked the organisers for making Funda Mzantsi possible.