Onele Dimane – Ithuba Wild Coast Community College

Provide us with sanitisers, Mr President!

Winning a previous Roving Reporters writing competition, helped Onele Dimane buy food for her family, but lots more help is needed for people in Mzamba village, writes the Ithuba Wild Coast Community College Grade 7 learner.

My name is Onele Dimane from Mzamba Mouth village and a school known as Ithuba Wild Coast Community College. I so wish I could win this competition and help my mother with her debts. One of them are school fees for my sister and I. So she has only paid half the fees, which is R750. She does not know how to pay the rest, because she still has to feed us.

Separated from friends

The year is ending soon, and we are still facing this pandemic. At school we don’t have any break and each class is divided in two groups (to observe social distancing). All my friends are in another group and come on the other week when I am not at school. This makes me sad.

Books before boys

There is an alliteration I like and it boosts me up when I feel down. It says: Books before boys because boys bring babies and that reminds me of betrayers. My favourite part of the day is night when everyone can just stay at home and sleep instead of moving around outside.

So much has changed because of Covid-19. People need help as they have no money,  sanitisers or food.

In my community tavern owners still operated, and some people behave as if they are free, but if I would say Spaza shops must close, I would be wrong  because owners need the money.

If everyone could be provided with masks and sanitisers it would better as everyone would wear them when going to the shops.

Momentary relief

I remember when me and my family were facing lots of hardship, and I entered Roving Reporters writing competition, Life in Lockdown in Mzamba. When I heard I came first we were all happy because I could buy groceries and things for my family.

As far as the future goes,  I imagine South Africa being less populated by people and animals. People are not serious about this pandemic that has power to kill.

Be kind, Mr President

If was the president I would send trucks into rural communities to give out hand sanitisers. If you are a president you should look after your people not just because of money but for kindess too so that people should never forget you. I would make sure my fellow South Africans would never suffer, and make parents able to look after children by raising the grant money. We should all work together to end people’s suffering. – Onele Dimane, Grade 7, Ithuba Wild Coast Community College

  • This is a slightly edited and revised version of Onele Dimane’s entry to Roving Reporters journalism themed writing competition, Life After Lockdown – The Future We Want

For adjudicators’ reference: Entrant 04_Onele Dimane



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”