Mdaweni Boitumelo – Advent Hope Christian School

Back to homepage

Covid-19 sparks unpexected cure

Covid-19 cured my long lived habit of finger sucking. Nature is clearly the best teacher, writes Mdaweni Boitumelo of Advent Hope Christian School in Hluhluwe, KwaZulu-Natal.

Lockdown, for me, turned out to not only to be a stage where the President forced us to stay at home,  but also stopped us from doing things we always do.

The lockdown treated me well and badly also, but I cannot overlook the milestone gained in my life – forgoing my long lived habit of finger-sucking! It was my daily habit. My mother tried and failed to stop it. My teachers too. Everybody seemed to have surrendered. Then Covid-19 came. I had a master who rebuked my habit at once and for all. The mask provided a muzzle that prevented me from sucking my hand – in less than a week I was cured. Wow! No more finger sucking for me!

On the other hand, the lockdown did not treat me well because we could not go to school. I could not see my friends. Neither could I visit places. There was no group play. No free walk with friends. Going to the park with or without friends was prohibited too. The lockdown did not respect my rights as a child. So I was not very happy.

The message I would like to give to the President, is that he must first check how the rights of children are violated by emergencies such as lockdown.

So what does that mean?

In future, we should understand that not every habit in us as children can be stopped by shouting and shouting at us. Instead nature is the best teacher. So sometimes in future we should have parents and teachers who allow nature to teach us lessons. It is the best teacher! – Mdaweni Boitumelo.

  • This is a slightly edited and revised version of Mdaweni Boitumelo’s entry to Roving Reporters journalism themed writing competition: Life After Lockdown – The Future We Want. Click here to read more shortlisted entries submitted by various schools in KwaZulu-Natal and Eastern Cape. 


For adjudicators’ reference: Entrant  19_Boitumelo Mdaweni



Image courtesy

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

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