Expert warns against neglecting education as Malawi sends only one student at 2017 African Spelling Bee

An education expert Lewis Mbaula who is also the Executive Director of National Spelling Bee in the country as well as Co-Founder of the continental African Spelling Bee Contest has canvassed the need for government, private sector as well as Malawians at large to invest in education inorder to safe guard the futre of Mother Malawi.

Mlilima managed to finish top five

Joint winners of junior category

Mbaula said this few days after the 2017 African Spelling Bee Contest that was held at Maropeng Heritage of Human Kind in Johannesburg South Africa where Malawi sent only one representative instead of six due to lack of funding.

He said a country that fails to invest in education mortgages its future and warned that as a country, Malawi needs to know the evils of neglecting education.

“Malawi was represented by Standard 7 twelve year old Violet Mlilima only because we could not raise air tickets for all six representatives despite all the pleading. It is a pity that our priorities are upside down. We do sponsor things that would kill and destroy the youth like social weekends and musical shows neglecting
the real game changer which is education” Mbaula exclusively told Nyasatimes.

“My heart honestly bleeds when I see these kids failing to participate in international educational events like the African Spelling Bee and I feel bad when we fail to promote our kids due to luck of resources”
He added that Malawi was supposed to be represented by Lerato Asedi (Mkwichi CDSS),

Vanessa Sherry (Blantyre Baptist Academy) and Dorica Chiumia (Darlo Girls) in the Senior Category while Clara Useni (Wisdom Centre), Kutemwa Nyasulu (Bedir) and Violet Mlilima (Baptist Christian) were supposed to contest in the Junior Category.

However, it was Mlima only who managed to fly on a safe sponsored trip and was accompaned by her parents and School Teacher who was sponsored by School.

Uganda and the host nation South Africa shared the Junior Championship while Nigeria won the Senior Category Championship.

Malawi’s representative Mlilima managed a top five finish after being successful in all the five rounds.

Next African Spelling Bee Competition will be held next year and will be hosted by Ethiopia.

About twelve nations took part at this years competition.

Meanwhile, regional contests in readiness for next year’s continental show piece are already underway.

The Spelling Bee project in Malawi is being carried out in Partnership with the Department of Inspectorate and Advisory Services under the Ministry of Education Science and Technology through South West Education Division.

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Felix Mhango
These guys are oganised, I have personally watched the Spelling Bee contest in Malawi and they have always impressed me how they go about it with little resources. Last year they were able to fly Malawian children to the African Spelling Bee, should we say they were organized that time and not now because this has happened ? We have seen the whole Malawi National Hockey Team failing to raise air tickets and end up travelling outside the country by bus, would you say they were disorganised? The article says that they work with the ministry of education and i… Read more »

Put your house in order first, you will get sponsorship, you guys (I mean Organisers of the contest) are just disorganised, sponsors need organised people


Sponsors also look at the track record of the organisations or projects they are sponsoring. In this case who is running the spelling competition? Are they credible enough for the sponsors to trust them? Sponsors look for organised and trustworthy projects and instutitions.


Those who sponsor social weekends etcetera are in business trying increase their visibility and make profits. Blame those who die as a result of engaging themselves in social weekends. So it is wrong to sound like thats a worst investment when we all see countries have kept supporting education for so long inform of scholarships etc. Lets accept that you were in a complex situation


Our priorities seem upside down indeed. How can we fail to send 6 children to RSA as a nation? It’s a pity.


So sad to see nation failing to invest in the right areas……this could have even motivated these kids to up their game

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