Choirmaster Mathews Tuhafeni Michael who led learners of the Rundu-based Dr Alpo Mbamba Secondary School to victory in the Anti-Corruption Commission (ACC) Song Competition in Swakopmund last Friday, says apart from being talented, discipline was key in them winning.
“This means a lot to us, not only as the school but also for the learners,’’ said Michael who specialised in music at the University of Free State in South Africa and is currently an integrated performing arts teacher.
“I was very confident about us winning the competition, because of the amount of preparation we put in, especially when it came to the competition song which constituted about 50% of the marks. I knew then we would definitely excel,” he told Youth Corner.
Michael also credited the integrated performing arts subject that started equipping learners as per the new curriculum.
“Of course, the majority of the learners that we had in our group are part of the first-ever performing arts curriculum from our school, which is the integrated performing arts subject, so the immense knowledge and talent that they possess, shows how the subject has developed them as future musicians,’’ he noted.
The team comprised of learners from grades 8, 9, 10 and 11.
“Our preparations were top-notch, and it went very well, I’m lucky that I have very disciplined learners in the choir who made preparations go very smooth. But we did have a bit of hiccups here and there due to external examinations which affected rehearsal times and so forth but otherwise, in terms of the music preparations, we didn’t face a lot of challenges because most of the choir members are in the performing arts class. They read music a little bit and they go practice on their own at home,’’ he said.
The choir scooped N$25 000 for their outstanding performance.
The Monica Geingos SS from Otjozondjupa ended second and took home N$12 000, while Angra Pequena SS from the //Kharas region secured third place and N$7 500. Mweshipandeka High School from Oshana region ended fourth and was awarded N$5 500.
The competition was launched in July and aimed at harnessing the power of art in raising awareness about corruption, its detrimental effects on society, and the need for collective action to combat it.
Out of 55 schools from 13 regions, 33 schools participated in the first elimination round, where 13 schools were selected for the inter-regional competition, from which the top four were chosen for the grand finale.
ACC acting director general Advocate Erna van der Merwe said the competition is one of the commission’s initiatives to respond to the National Anti-Corruption Strategy and Action Plan (NACSAP) 2021-2025. “From 03 August 2023, the ACC collaborated with key stakeholders such as the Ministry of Education, Art and Culture; Ministry of Information and Communication Technology, and the Namibian Broadcasting Corporation to promote a culture of integrity through the song competition by secondary school choirs in all 14 regions across the country,” she noted at the finale.
Only the Kunene region did not participate this year.
- Additional reporting Nampa