Rumbidzai Ngwenya Features Writer
“Never look down upon yourself, where there is a dream, there is success and where there is success there is no limit. Even the sky is not the limit, you can go beyond. All you have to do is spread your wings and fly until you can’t fly anymore, then continue flying.”
These are unusual sentiments especially coming from an 18-year old girl. But the girl in question is not ordinary, she is a winner.
She is the second prize winner in the 2018 Sadc Essay Competition. She was honoured at a ceremony that was held recently in Windhoek, Namibia.
The winning Zimbabwean student – Primrose Thandeka Tshuma – is an A-Level student at John Tallach High School in Bulawayo.
Her essay that won her US$1 000, a Samsung Galaxy phone, a laptop bag, flash disc and a Huawei key holder was titled: “The role of the private sector in developing industries and regional value chains in the Sadc region.”
In an interview with the Herald recently, Primrose exuded wisdom, speaking with confidence about her achievements in the Sadc essay competitions.
She claimed it’s just the beginning for her.
Her interest in writing started in 2015 when she was in Form 3 at the same school. Back then neither did she know where it would take her nor the power that lay within a pen and paper.
In that year, she entered the Potraz letter writing competition where she was part of the top 10 winners. She won a laptop for the school. It made her realise that if she was determined, she could do better. From then on she never stopped writing.
Primrose believed she could win at this year’s Sadc essay competitions.
“I am astonished by the power of writing. Just because of writing I have visited places, met presidents and Sadc delegates, flown in a presidential charter plane and won amazing prizes. I think it’s a good thing I have started writing at an early age, watch this space!” she said beaming with a huge smile.
“I am glad I was determined. With just a pen and paper without determination I would not have made it. I told myself that since this was my final year at high school, I had at least to attend the Sadc essay competition. I worked hard.”
On her return from Namibia, she was honoured with US$2 000 cash from President Mnangagwa which she described as God’s grace.
“God favoured me through President Mnangagwa and lifted me up from the ground to the highest mountain,” she said.
“I got the chance to meet the President in person at State House when we returned to Harare in the company of Vice President Chiwenga and the Minister of Primary and Secondary Education among others. I am really grateful, I managed to buy my own things that I have always wanted.”
Primrose is a bright pupil who has always done exceptionally well in her school work since she was young.
After completing primary school at Coghlan Primary School in Bulawayo in 2012, she obtained five units at grade seven. Later at O-Level she obtained a whopping 9As, a B and 3Cs.
Today, she is an upper six pupil at John Tallach doing Pure Maths, Biology and Chemistry where she is positive she will pass with flying colours.
Her inspiration comes from reading books by different writers.
“I come from a family with a strong reading culture. I was inspired by Shimmer Chinodya, a renowned Zimbabwean novelist,” said Primrose.
“My senior school mate Sibusiso Mthunzi who once won another SADC essay under a tourism theme also inspired me. I knew I had to write and my instinct told me I was a winner too.”
Primrose got support from her family and teachers, especially the senior master at John Tallach High School, one Mr Bope.
“Mr Bope is the one who usually takes care of these competitions. I am glad he encouraged me to write the essays,” she said.
Winning is now motivating Primrose to work harder and scale new heights.
“Winning made me a public figure and I have been motivated to work harder for my final exams and in everything I do so that I maintain the pace I have set for myself. I want to become a role model to other young girls through excelling in my studies,” she said.
She also wants to be a role model to other girls.
“I being the only girl in the top three at the Sadc essay competitions made me realise that sex is just but a category. I am motivated to do bigger things, nothing is impossible. There are things that are said to be for boys, now I feel I can do anything, even better than boys. That is the feeling I wish every girl should have, the feeling of dominance,” Primrose said.
Primrose wants to be an independent and empowered young lady through attainment of education.
Although she may be a marvellous writer who may have a bright future in writing, she chooses to specialise in helping others.
She is dreaming big.
She wants to be a pharmacist or dentist and have her own surgery in the future.