by Roxanne Daniels
“I’m sitting in my dark bedroom, working on the only available surface. I’m writing feverishly, plummeting ahead with my new story idea. An hour goes by in which a whole year’s adventure has taken place. Then suddenly I reach the conclusion of my exciting story, with its pages littered with messages about being environmentally friendly. I note the perfect timing as my best friend bursts into my room and declares that she has just finished writing her story. It’s very different to mine and hers is actually non-fiction, while mine is fiction.”
If the above scene excites you, the Puku story competition might be for you. The competition is part of the Puku Literature festival, and is running for the very first time this year. REDESA (Recycling and Economic Development Initiative of South Africa), who is one of the sponsors of Puku, wanted to add something new to the festival, which is how this event was born.
Ziyanda Gysman is in charge of the PUKU activities this year and is excited for the competition, saying to teenagers, “Go for it! Be creative as possible.” This is an opportunity for teenagers from the age of 13 to 19 to write a story in isiXhosa with the theme being anything to do with the environment or recycling.
Gysman tells entrants that the slate is completely blank; teens must take full advantage of this opportunity. There is even a chance to win prizes as well. First prize is worth R10 000, second is worth R5000 and the third best story will be awarded a prize worth R3000. Over and above this, the top ten entrants will receive a gold medal. The deadline for stories to be entered is the 24th of July with the results being announced on International Literacy Day (8 September) this year.
If you’re nervous, use those nerves as some energy to get that writing hand going! Good luck!
If you would like some more information, here is the PUKU site.