South Africa’s Funda Mzantsi Marks 13 Years of Literary Transformation

  • Celebrating Literacy and Inclusivity: The Funda Mzantsi Championship, now in its 13th year, is a collaborative effort between the Department of Correctional Services, the National Library of South Africa, and George Local Municipality. It promotes literacy, a love for reading, and inclusivity by bringing together inmates and book clubs from various backgrounds.
  • Competitive Literary Categories: The championship features competitive categories such as impromptu reading, debating, spelling bee, and book reviewing, with participants from all nine provinces of South Africa. This event encourages intellectual growth and communication skills among inmates and participants from universities, public schools, and the community.
  • Impact Beyond the Competition: Funda Mzantsi Championship aims to eradicate illiteracy in South Africa and provide inmates with a second chance in life. It emphasizes the transformative power of reading, fostering empathy, creativity, and knowledge acquisition. The Department of Correctional Services highlights reading as a bridge to a brighter future and personal development.
Funda Mzantsi marks 13 years of championing literacy

In a celebration of literacy and a testament to the transformative power of reading, the Funda Mzantsi Championship is poised to mark its 13th year of existence. The collaboration between the Department of Correctional Services (DCS), the National Library of South Africa (NLSA), and George Local Municipality continues to be a beacon of hope and enlightenment for inmates and the wider community. From October 2nd to October 6th, 299 inmates from all nine provinces of South Africa will gather in George, Western Cape, for this prestigious literary event.

For over a decade, Funda Mzantsi has been synonymous with fostering a love for reading and literacy. It has been an exciting and educational experience for both participants and spectators alike. What sets Funda Mzantsi Championship apart is its unique blend of interplay between book clubs from diverse backgrounds, bringing together inmates and representatives from universities, public schools, and the broader community.

The championship features a range of competitive categories that test the participants’ literary prowess and communication skills. These categories include impromptu reading, debating, spelling bee, and book reviewing. The literary works selected for this year’s championship include titles such as “Imizila Yegazi,” “Indodana yoNongo,” “Umandisa,” “Small Things,” “Om op eiers te dans,” “Tshedza tsho tovhowa,” and “Ngaka Mosadi mooka.”

The overarching goal of Funda Mzantsi Championship is to enhance the culture of reading and eradicate illiteracy in South Africa. The participation of the National Library of South Africa ensures harmonization and proper coordination with other programs sharing similar objectives.

The impact of Funda Mzantsi Championship extends beyond the competition itself. It serves as a crucial initiative aimed at equipping inmates with the skills and opportunities for a second chance in life. By nurturing a love for reading and intellectual growth, the program empowers individuals to make better choices and become more discerning citizens.

In a statement, the Department of Correctional Services emphasized the importance of reading in personal development, saying, “It is through reading that we acquire knowledge, learn about different cultures, explore scientific discoveries, and understand the wisdom of the ages. Whether it is reading textbooks for academic excellence or diving into literature to cultivate empathy and creativity, reading is the bridge to a brighter future.”

The Funda Mzantsi Championship serves as a shining example of how education and literacy can transform lives and communities. As it celebrates its 13th year, this event reminds us all of the enduring power of the written word and the potential for positive change it holds, not only for inmates but for society as a whole.

For those interested in witnessing the magic of the Funda Mzantsi Championship firsthand, mark your calendars for October 2nd to October 6th, as George, Western Cape, prepares to host this remarkable celebration of literature, learning, and second chances.



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