Good morning and welcome once again to the Post Office.
Reminiscing! I can vividly recall during my school days when I wrote letters; my left palm pressed hard against a paper on the top left, I would ensure that I wrote P.O Box (Post Office Box), dear…, and complete with yours… I knew that if I do not articulate all these, I will lose marks. What an experience of expressing one’s emotions through a letter…
Director of Ceremonies, distinguished guests, ladies and gentlemen, we are gathered here this morning to celebrate and reward excellence. I extend my sincere gratitude to all of you for honouring our invitation. Thank you for joining us to witness the honour soon to be bestowed on the top three achievers of the 2014 UPU Letter Writing Competition for Young People;
Osego Bampei, from Mowana Junior Secondary School
Ayanda Ogone Keakantse, from St Arnolds Primary School
Lentletse Dikupa, from Morale Junior Secondary School
We (Botswana) have been partaking in the UPU Letter Writing Competition for Young People for years now. The Competition was launched in 1971 to create awareness on the important role the postal sector plays in our society.
The Competition is an excellent way for young people to develop their writing skills and to express their thoughts clearly and foster their enjoyment of letter writing. Most importantly it helps strengthen the bonds of international friendship, one of the basic missions of the Universal Postal Union (UPU). Furthermore, it teaches young people to appreciate the art of letter writing.
This year we experienced growth in this Competition, both in terms of the number of schools participating and the number of letters received. 1231 letters from 127 schools were received as compared to 448 letters from 52 schools received in 2013.
The theme for the 2014 Competition was;
“Write a letter describing how music can touch lives”.
All the three ladies are heroines, I was caught in awe when reading all the 3 letters, and they played around with words. The theme allowed the students to be creative.
I vividly remember nodding my head when Osego remarked;
“Music touches the soul and inner self as Mzwakhe Mbuli once said in one of his poems, “our music is rich and soul lifting.” Through it we tell the world our beliefs, feelings, dreams and it has the power to change one’s mood. We often get comfort, consoled during the funeral of a loved one; we cheer up because of that music.”
I affirm that music can indeed touch lives in so many ways. Osego emerged position 1 locally by obtaining 90% while Ayanda 80% and Lentletse 75%. Not only are these 3 beauty with brains creative writers, I have been informed that although Osego Bampei is reserved, she exerts herself in everything she does and forms part of most of the academic clubs at Mowana JSS.
While, Ayanda Keokantse is the School Head Girl and an “A” all round student who performs well in all academic areas.
Lentletse Dikupa is described as a gifted learner, who has the potential to work an extra mile when allocated tasks both academically and non-academically, She is currently top student in form 3 at Morale JSS.
An envelope once told a stamp “stick to me and we will both go places” I am telling you, if you stick to writing letters you will go places as well. A letter carries a message inside it; it is then covered by an envelope with a stamp on top that carries a message about a country.
Writing letters is a window for creativity, it improves one’s composition and writing skills. A letter paves ways to marriage, a way to jobs, and it strengthens relationships within the society through condolences letters when a loved one has passed on and blessing letters during celebrations. A letter cements so many relationships.
Distinguished guests, ladies and gentlemen, let me take this opportunity to express my heartfelt gratitude to all the schools that participated in the 2014 UPU Letter Writing Competition for Young People. Teachers from Mowana JSS, St Arnolds Primary and Morale JSS thank you for making it possible for us to compete at international level, as Osego’s letter was submitted at the Universal Post Union for the next round of adjudication. Although we did not make it to the winning positions, we remain optimistic for a ‘gold’ one day, as we have proved our capability in 2011 when Charlene Tlagae, a then form 2 student at Crescent School in Lobatse was awarded position 3 and got the country a bronze medal.
To the parents of Osego, Ayanda and Lentletse, my message is, be a motivation to other parents for their children’s education. It is humbling and encouraging to see parents who are committed to join hands with teachers in their children’s studies.
I would like to particularly thank Botswana Examinations Council (BEC), Mrs Rammoni and Mr Ntsabane, for facilitating the local adjudication process and being a strategic partner in this activity. We are indebted for the BEC leadership for the support they continue to extend to BotswanaPost. My sincere gratitude to Mrs Lillian Sihamba, Mrs Kepaletswe Z. Moroka and Mrs Windy Molefi, for marking the scripts.
Once again congratulations to Osego, Ayanda and Letletse, we are proud of you and please encourage your peers to commit to their studies and letter writing like yourselves.
Director of ceremonies, ladies and gentlemen the results for the 2014 Competition are out, and the first three positions have been awarded to letters from Bosnia and Herzegovina (gold), China (silver) and Philippines (bronze).
The UPU has also announced the 2015 theme;
“Tell us about the world you want to grow up in”
I take this opportunity to invite schools to partake.
Director of ceremonies, distinguished guests, ladies and gentlemen, once again thank you for gracing this occasion; we are honoured by your presence.
Ke a leboga.
*Moleta is The Chief Executive of BotswanaPost.