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African Spelling Bee

  • African Spelling Bee Federation 173 Oxford Road Rosebank
  • Johannesburg, Gauteng
  • 2196
  • +27632844317


Posted by Roger Dickinson on 31 October 2023, 11:40 SAST
Roger Dickinson photo

13 OCTOBER 2023



Sun City, South Africa: – The grand finale of the African Spelling Bee South Africa, held from October 9th to 11th at the mesmerising Sun City, saw the culmination of months of intense competition and spellbinding linguistic prowess. This prestigious event showcased the extraordinary talent of young spellers from across South Africa and brought together the best junior and senior category spellers to vie for the coveted title.


Over the past six months, 41 exceptional spellers from various regions of South Africa had fiercely competed in provincial and regional competitions to secure their place in the national finals. The African Spelling Bee South Africa is not just a contest of memory; it is a test of comprehensive language skills, spanning the school curriculum and general knowledge of language.


In the Junior category, the following remarkable spellers emerged victorious:

        Ifeomachukwu Osondo (13), proudly representing St Mary’s Primary School in the Western Cape

        Lesedi Seemane  (13), a shining talent from Dendron Primary School in the Limpopo region

        Salusiwe Mkambapi(11) hailing from Resmond Primary School in KwaZulu-Natal (KZN)


In the Senior category, the top three spellers who showcased exceptional linguistic finesse were:

        Corinne Laffan (15), a brilliant talent from St. Theresa School in Gauteng

        Bayyinah Manjoo (15), representing Rustenburg Girls High School in the Western Cape

        Lauren Henderson (15), another outstanding speller from Rustenburg Girls High School in the Western Cape


Roger Dickinson, the CEO and Founder of the African Spelling Bee, emphasised that this competition transcends mere memorisation. It is a platform that assesses the participants' extensive knowledge of language, from simple single and double vowels to complex words such as names of cities, countries, loan words, and even South African slang words. The progamme also promotes pan-Africanism and indigenous languages asking spellers to also know greetings, food stuffs and famous landmarks from across Africa as well as the spelling of names of African luminaries.

Dickinson also pointed out that this competition was their most diverse and inclusive to date with spellers come from across all socio-economic, racial and religious contexts in the country.


The junior category finals concluded with the spellers tackling the word 'cacophony,' while the senior category spellers grappled with the word 'sycophantic.' The mastery displayed by these young talents was truly remarkable, making the competition a memorable event for all involved.


The African Spelling Bee South Africa continues to be a testament to the power of language and education. It not only celebrates the rich linguistic diversity of South Africa but also nurtures the future leaders and communicators of our nation. The competition would not have been possible without the dedication and hard work of the participants, their teachers, and the support of their families and DBE officials.


The Top 3 Juniors and Top 3 Seniors now make up Team SA which will be competing in the 6th continental African Spelling Bee in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia from the 5th to 9th December 2023.


But for the Spellers it was not just hard work as they were treated to a day at the Lost City and the Valley of the Waves.

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