Nigel George, 9, of the Colihaut Primary School emerged victorious over a field of eleven students in the 2017 Kweyol Spelling Bee Finals.
The students went through sixteen rounds of competition at the Arawak House of Culture in Roseau on Wednesday 17 May 2017 after which Nigel George tied with Kaela George of the Paix Bouche Primary School.
The two students then went head to head in a tie breaker round in which Nigel came out victorious.
A tie breaker round was also used to determine the third-place winner, between Hilkaiah Constance of the Goodwill Primary School and Anessa Laurent of the Light House Christian Academy.
Nigel George placed first with a total of forty-two points, Kaela George second with forty points and Hilkaiah Constance third with thirty-eight points.
Nigel stated that although he was nervous, he tries his best, and thanked his teachers, parents and sister for assisting him in his preparations.
“I am very happy and excited, because it feels nice to win. I didn’t really have any difficult parts, but at the start I was quite nervous because of the crowd. I want to tell those who will go up next year to try their best and do not be afraid of the crowd. I want to thank my mummy, my daddy and my sister for helping me, my teacher Ms. Bontiff and my family and friends for accompanying me,” he stated.
The other contestants were Reille LeBlanc of the Penville Primary School, Alicia Africa of the Wesley Primary School, Makayla Othon of the Mahaut Primary School, Yannick Thomas of the St. Mary’s Primary, Kurtis Alcendor from the Grand Bay Primary, Makaylah Royer of the Baroness Patricia Scotland Primary School, and Franadella Auguiste of Salybia Primary.
One of the judges of the competition, Delia Cuffy Weekes, stated that it is always satisfying to see how well the children spell.
“This competition was a very good one. It is always amazing to see and hear how well the children are able to spell. And you cannot really commit everything to memory so we really have to congratulate them, the teachers and everyone how helped them prepare for the competition. And it is especially apparent where they get to that round when they have to spell words that they are not familiar with,” she stated.
She added that many adults are unable to do what these students have done.
The Paix Bouche Primary School copped the Kweyol Spelling Bee title from 2012 to 2016.
The Kwéyòl Spelling Bee is part of efforts by the Konmite pou Etid Kwéyòl (KEK) and the Cultural Division to promote written form of the Kwéyòl language.