We managed to end apartheid and survived HIV and AIDS. What will stop us from overcoming Covid-19? asks 12-year-old, Iviwe Blaai, a Grade 7 learner at Ithuba Wild Coast Community College near Mzamba Mouth in the Eastern Cape.

Iviwe Blaai

As I am sitting at my desk, I can already hear the president says this pandemic is over. I can imagine people walking up and down in the community. Taxis are full, passengers not wearing masks. Ah, and the travelling! How I can’t just wait for that – and stores, casinos and schools just opening well without hesitation. And for us kids everything will return to normal.

But there will be good things I will remember about lockdown, like spending time with family. Mom not working, my aunt at home, me at home, everyone at home. It was fun. I will miss playing cards, and watching soapies with them. My favourites are Uzalo an Rhythm City.

Pretty masks

I will remember everyone wearing a mask, some of them seasonal and really pretty, like the ones with feathers and flowers, even in my favourite colour – pink.

Joyous song and dance

And listening to music at home and singing at home just singing for the joy of it, listening my favourite type of music, amapiano – and dancing! How I love dancing because it is fun even though I have two left feet.”


Even reading is fun for me over the holidays. I have been reading a book called Nice Shot, Cupid! from the myth Omania written by favourite author, Kate McMullan. She has also written, Have a hot time, Hades!Say Cheese, Medusa and other interesting books.”

And I shall remember when I first head the word Corona. At first,  I thought it was funny if you ask me,” wrote Iviwe. That was before the pandemic hit South Africa, it’s impact now sorely felt.


I miss time spending time with my closest friends and Covid-19 has also affected by education really badly. At school we take shifts and some of my friends are not in the same group. I hope the pandemic does not continue to affect my education studies really bad because I would really like to be a lawyer when I am older. I want to stop criminals and protect the innocent. There are so many criminals in our country, selling drugs and killing our youth. I want to stop that. This is why I want to be a lawyer.”

We will survive

We will survive this virus, if you ask me. Nelson Mandela managed to end apartheid; South Africa survived HIV and AIDS. What will stop us from winning the battle against the virus.

At my school, we sanitise, wear masks, and follow all the rules of Covid-19, I think the whole world should follow all the rules of Covid-19 so that we can fight the virus, I think what should happen is that all other classes should go back home and start home schooling. The only grades who should go to school are Grade 7’s and Grade 12’s, I think salons should close and other business should close so the spread of Covid-19 doesn’t go fast like it is already happening.

Nature will run its course

I also think Covid-19 has a good affect on nature. The ocean and beaches are  quiet, clean and peaceful. Covid-19 has inspired poetry to rise like the piece written by Haroon Rashid.

I felt empty inside while reading it. It really touched me, especially that part that says that we come back we should remember that we are quests (of the world) not it’s masters. I think Harron Rashid s trying to tell us that we we should stop doing things like cutting down trees and causing pollution by throwing away papers and plastic. We should not throw things away, but recycle. Above all, we should always try to make the world better place. – Iviwe Blaai, Ithuba Wild Coast Community College

  • This is a slightly edited version of Iviwe’s Blaai’s entry to Roving Reporters journalism themed writing project, Life After Covid: The Future We Want catering for school learners in South Africa from Grade 7 upwards. Click here to read more shortlisted entries submitted by various schools in KwaZulu-Natal and Eastern Cape. 

For adjudicators’ reference: Entrant 02_ Iviwe Blaai

A younger, Iviwe Blaai, celebrating happier days at Ithuba Wild Coast College before Covid-19, Photo Marcus Dobmeier


Image courtesy pikist.com

After the Covid-19 pandemic, will everything return to how it was before – or will we change how we live in the future? Will we realise the need to make this world a better place, both for people and for nature?

These are the key questions in Roving Reporters’ journalism-themed writing project, Life After Covid-19 – The Future We Want, catering the school learners in South Africa from from Grade 7 upwards.

The competition forms part of a broader reporting project supported by Super Save and Media Development and Diversity Agency.

“We are encouraging high school children to document their experiences of the pandemic and reflect on how they would like to see the world change for the better,” said Roving Reporters director Fred Kockott. “Reflection is a first step to change, and this project gives learners a voice and an opportunity to have some agency in how their future unfolds.”

We plan to run the competition through to the end of the school year, with a top entry published every fortnight.

Schools that wish to submit entries should click here to access the entry forms and writing guide to share with learners who wish to take part.

We encourage schools to use the writing exercise in ways that fit in with the Life Sciences, Life Orientation and English curricula.

For further information contact Fred Kockott on 083 277 8907 or email fredk@rovingreporters.co.za

Now read: Poet’s take on life after Covid-19: “We fell asleep in one world and woke in another”