Building the life we wish for, one word a time.

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Building the life we wish for, one word a time.

Published on: September 3rd, 2021

Negotiating adolescence promises to be an interesting journey. Imagine navigating high school grades; parents and their enduring love that might not feel like love at the time; positive and negative peer pressures, as well as a rapidly developing body and mind. For some teenagers like Calvin and Wanayi, this furnace disguised as growth has the potential to be a forging fire instead of a melting one. Two young adults with different dreams, different backgrounds but one common flame of determination – to write their own destiny! Here is why Uthando Centre is celebrating these bright minds:

Congratulations are in order to Wanayi Jenje (16) and Calvin Kamphinda (18) whose short stories made it to the semi-finals after they both entered Jon Elkon’s MEGASAGA 4 Short Story Competition. Born in South Africa, Jon Elkon is a UK-based published novelist and poet – his short story competition opened on the 12th of May, inviting anyone from anywhere to submit a story containing 100 words from start to end, title included. Young people within our Child and Youth Development programme (CYD) were encouraged to apply, they even attended a short writing workshop at Uthando Centre – and what happened next was something we all did not predict.

On the 7th of July, Jon Elkon announced the shortlisted entries on his website. After noticing that most entries were coming from young people aged between 14 – 18 years, the author made it public that for the first time ever, he will have two categories running simultaneously. The junior champion stands in line to win £25 (R513) with the senior prize standing at £100 for 100 words!

On the 28th July 2021, the winners were announced on Jon Elkon’s blog and Uthando Centre could not be more proud of our young people, proud of every young person who took on the challenge with courage and submitted an entry. Wanayi Jenje was ultimately the Junior Champion. What fills our hearts with joy is that our SRC members, Wanayi and Calvin who are chairpersons for Creative Minds and Peer Educators respectively, are also both in the NPC Junior Board – such synchronicity is staggering! The link below includes all short stories that made the shortlist, Calvin is in the race with his story, A Rainy Pandemic, while Wanayi exceeded everyone’s expectations and submitted 3 stories, ‘Little World, Big Child’,