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Karonga and Blantyre rule National Spelling Bee

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Karonga and Blantyre triumphed in this year’s National Spelling Bee held at Crossroads Hotel in Lilongwe on Wednesday.

Karonga came out victors through 12-year old Misheck Mwangofi from Lupembe Primary School, who outclassed other contestants to emerge winner in the rural schools category, whereas Blantyre came out top through nine-year old Vione Kagaso from Kalibu Academy Primary School.

The two went home with trophies, cash prizes, two school bags each and some writing materials from Super Maheu and World Vision International as well as books from Yaio.

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National Spelling Bee Founder Lewis Mbaula yesterday described the grand finale as thrilling in that contestants put up splendid performances.

“It was a nerve wrecking and emotional contest, full of fun mixed with tears and laughter. 62 children from across the country fought for vocabulary supremacy. We had contestants from Karonga, Chitipa, Nkhata Bay, Mzimba, Mzuzu, Kasungu, Dowa, Lilongwe, Machinga, Mulanje, Neno, Blantyre and Chikwawa,” Mbaula said.

He also said that, in a pure gesture of support, Independent Schools Association of Malawi Vice President pledged to support a girl child, Gladys Gideon, from Bwanje in Ntcheu District, who was a finalist.

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Charles Nkhata from Mzimba District and Takondwa Mathews from Bwanje took position two and three, respectively, in the rural category.

In the urban category, Nokubonga Ntopa and Darren Mnyenyembe, all from Diversity Academy in Chikwawa, tied on position two.

This year’s learners competed at every round of the contest since March before the grand finale.

Deputy Minister of Education, Science and Technology Madalitso Kambauwa has since hailed organisers for the contest, describing it as inspiring, educative to every child.

World Vision International acting Director Chimombo pledged to do more in the contest next year.

“We also call upon other companies to join us to make this competition bigger and reach out to more children across the country and improve reading culture and literacy levels,” Chimombo said.

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