On the 18th of May 2019 Africa Unite School Club together with the Cape Town Museum, a Western Cape provincial museum, partnered on an inter-high school quiz centring Africa as a continent and as a conceptual tool for unity. This quiz was in celebration of Africa Day which marks the foundation of the Organisation of African Unity (OAU) the precursor to the African Union (AU) on the 25th of May 1963. The Africa Day quiz took place at the City of Cape Town Council Chambers, Civic Centre, Hertzog Boulevard, Cape Town. Africa Unite invited the Grade 9 & 10 learners from 8 Schools around Cape Town, one of which was unable to attend due to the proximity of their exam period. The following schools attended the quiz; Dr Nelson Mandela High School (Nyanga) , Hector Peterson High School (Kraaifontein), Masibambane Secondary School (Kraaifontein), Heideveld High School (Heideveld), Rosendaal High School (Delft), Portland High School (Mitchell’s Plain), and Apex High School (Blue Downs).
Africa Day is intended to celebrate and acknowledge the successes of the Organisation of African Unity (OAU now the AU) from its creation in May 25, 1963 in the fight against colonialism and apartheid, as well as the progress that Africa has made, while reflecting upon the common challenges that the continent face in a global environment. In conjunction with this the Inter‐high School Quiz focused on challenging the knowledge of young learners on the African continent.
Through the promotion of knowledge about the African continent the quiz aimed to:
• promote a socially inclusive Cape Town and Western Cape.
• promote social justice and human rights.
• reflect on Cape Town and its relationship with the rest of the continent.
• eradicate inequality, prejudice, stereotyping, racism, xenophobia and promote social cohesion.
• create awareness of the Cape Town Museum programmes.
In pursuit of these goals a booklet was developed by Africa Unite and the Cape Town museum. 3 Booklets per school were distributed in the period leading up to the event in order to guide the learners in their preparation for the quiz.
The quiz was prefaced by a performance by BlackRoots Marimba, whose powerful music set the scene for a day that was both engaging and informative for the learners. Before the quiz itself began Dr Zahid Badroodien, Mayoral Committee member for Community Services and Health, opened the day with a welcome address which centred on the role the youth of South Africa must play in uplifting of their communities. Neliswa Dludla, an associate of Africa Unite, spoke on the origins and importance of Africa day, and its message of African solidarity in the face of colonial legacies. A learner from Apex high asked in response to this, what it meant to be African. Neli, in turn, allowed space for the learners themselves to introspect on this question by encouraging them to know their values, and to look within for what resonates with their identity and to not look at what society has put out there to determine who you are. She left the learners with the message that activism begins from within.
The quiz ran successfully, with an overwhelming amount of enthusiasm and involvement from the learners. The 56 learners involved and interactive among themselves, providing an encouraging teamwork mind-set.
After 4 Rounds and a total of 92 questions, the results were: Portland High School in 3rd place; Rosendale High School in 2nd place; and the victors of the day being Heideveld High School who took home the 1st place plaque and had us all in awe of how intelligent the youth really is. The Cape Town Museum provided a plaque for the winning school, and this will be engraved with the school’s name for them to keep until the next quiz.
Efforts like these are an attempt to bridge the gap in their knowledge about South Africa’s neighbours and the African continent in general. With this realisation, Africa Unite and the Cape Town museum intend to make this quiz an annual event.
The quiz proved to be a successful event, which the learners seemed to enjoy immensely. By the end of the day, there was an overwhelming positive energy, from everyone involved, with the students expressing their enthusiasm for the next quiz.
Furthermore, what stood out throughout the quiz was the reaction of the club learners towards the day. As they had enthusiasm throughout the whole session, therefore absorbing all the information relayed to them, and making the most of the learning opportunity.
Africa Unite would like to thank the Cape Town Museum for their partnership in such an initiative and the City of Cape Town council for welcoming us into their space. Further, we’d like to thank the matrons and patrons who accompanied the learners, ensuring that they arrived and left safely.
We at Africa Unite are looking forward to next quiz, in 2020.
Learn more about our partner for this event:
The Cape Town Museum is a Western Cape provincial museum with the mission to explore and reflect on Cape Town as a dynamic network of people, processes and natural and man‐made features that extend beyond the official geographical boundaries of the City tells the story of Cape Town. In depicting Cape Town, the Museum aims to:
• Challenge the popular notion of the geographical space of Cape Town.
• Challenge the tourist gaze of what is important sites.
• Challenge the colonial timeline.
The Museum does not have building yet and its exhibitions are either online or travelling exhibitions in public spaces.