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Writing the wrongs of racism

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Aarti Bhana
March10/ 2017

Students and youth are invited to submit essays documenting issues of racism, with cash prizes to be won. 

An essay writing competition is appealing to students and the youth to document untold stories of racism.
Hosted by Khwerha ye Afrika projects in partnership with the Ahmed Kathrada Foundation (AMF), the competition hopes to address the rising tide of xenophobia and racism in South Africa.
“Young people make up the largest percentage of the population and they are the future leaders of South Africa and we know that they come across racism on a daily basis and these essays will allow us to use these stories to create workable solutions,” said Busisiwe Nkosi, Youth Programs co-ordinator for AMF.
“We hope to promote building an integrated inclusive South Africa,” she added.
Executive Director of Khwerha ye Afrika projects, Tommy Khoza, told Wits Vuvuzela that stories of racism in South Africa go undocumented and this is an opportunity for the youth document the “untold” stories of racism they face.
Khoza said this must become a project of national interest and should engage as much people as possible.
Essays can be submitted in any of the 11 official South African languages. Nkosi said this is to allow young people to express themselves in a language they are most comfortable in.
She said a team of young educators and leaders have been put together by the two foundations to form the adjudication panel for the competition.
Third year BA psychology student, Vernieda Williams, said racism is a social construct but in South Africa we have put it into categories, “and that’s why we hate each other”.
She added that hate is not natural, but that it is learned.
“As youth we should say no to xenophobia and racism, we must be united in our racially mixed communites, because whatever the youth stands for is what the country becomes,” said Williams.
The competition is open to youth under two separate categories, i.e 15- 25 and 25-35 and essays can be between 1000 and 2000 words. Essays can be emailed to info@khwerha@gmail.com or sent to PO Box 6804, Halfway House, 1658. Entries close on March 31, 2017.

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Aarti Bhana