A 13-year-old Vishal Mukesh Thakwani of Delhi Public School International, Ghana was adjudged the best speller in Ghana for 2016 at the regional level of South Asian Spelling Bee contest held last Sunday.
Vishal beat 21 other spellers nationwide to clinch the ultimate title which saw him took home a cash prize of $300, a certificate and a plaque.
Second and third runners-up, Anmov Dftray and Shreshita Arora who also took home a certificate, plaque, $200 and $100 respectively gave Vishal very stiff challenge during the final stages which lasted for almost an hour.
Vishal will on August 5, 2016 together with Anmov Daftary represent Ghana at the National Championship in New Jersey, USA.
The stiff competition saw Vishal being given a hot race, but he was able to standout and clinched the victory. The audience had a good time with the competitors as they were kept glued to their seats by the spellers’ display of prowess in the battle.
Vishal beamed with a smile after he was declared the winner. “I am overwhelmed and cannot express my joy but to thank everyone here”, he said, promising to win the national competition to make DPS International and Ghana proud.
Prior to this win, Vishal was the 2015 Spelling Bee Champion of Ghana. He was the first runner-up in the 2014 National Champion of the Spelling Bee Competition.
Coordinator of the South Asian Competition, Mr Barney Gallassio was impressed with the spellers. He congratulated Vishal for the feat and wished other competitors well.
“The National Championship will be a special event where we are keen to see the champion of champions in the National Competition, and we hope Vishal will make his school and country delighted,” he said.
He urged parents to encourage their children to read often and read a variety of books; “teach them how to use the dictionary and promote the enjoyment of the English language.”
Mr Mukesh Thakwani, Director of DPS International, Ghana could not hide his joy when his son once again won the competition. He seized the opportunity to thank the coaches of the participants for bringing out the best in the students and urged them to do more.
He congratulated teachers and management of the school for the training and knowledge they are impacting into the children and assured the school and Ghanaians that DPS International, Ghana will bring the National trophy to Africa.
Parents present at the function expressed their excitement at the competition claiming it has brought them together as a family and gives their wards confidence as well as a boost in their academics, especially in the English language.
They suggest that the event should be held periodically in every school pledging to always encourage their wards to compete.
The South Asian Spelling Bee is an annual literacy platform for children of South Asian descent. It is an annual contest held each June and July to select the top two spellers nationwide. It is also aimed at teaching students the proper and effective use of the English Language.
The competition is open to any student between the ages of 8 and 14, who has at least one parent or grandparent who is of South Asian descent, or whose lineage can be traced to Afghanistan, Bangladesh, Bhutan, India, Maldives, Nepal, Pakistan and Sri Lanka.
Since its launch in 2008, the South Asian Spelling Bee has been aired in over 120 countries on Sony Entertainment Television Asia as a multi-part series.
This is the maiden competition held in Africa for children up to 14 years of age.
The contest was conducted in written and oral format which served as the elimination as well as the selection process for the finalists. Children had to spell over 15 words correctly to qualify for the afternoon oral round and from there the top three were awarded prize money and the top two qualified for the finals.
The event was organised by the South Asian advertising firm, Touchdown Media Inc. and sponsored by Metlife, a leading global provider of life insurance, annuities, employee benefits and asset management. Sony Entertainment Television was the exclusive rights holder and broadcast the event across the globe in over 119 countries.
Mr Mukesh Thakwani (Director of DPS International), Mr Barney Gallassio (Coordinator of the South Asian Competition) and Ms Pupam Kavi (Producer of Touchdown Media Inc.) at the 2016 South Asian Spelling Bee contest held at DPSI in Tema, Ghana.
Organisers and winners of the 2016 South Asian Spelling Bee contest held at DPSI in Tema, Ghana. From left to right: Mr Mukesh Thakwani (Director of DPS International), Mr. David Raj, Headmaster of DPSI Ghana, Mr Barney Gallassio (Coordinator of the South Asian Competition), Shreshita Arora, Anmov Dftray, Vishal Mukesh Thakwani, Mrs Helen David, Ms Pupam Kavi (Producer of Touchdown Media Inc.) and Mrs Tanuja Thakwani.
Participants at the 2016 South Asian Spelling Bee contest held at DPSI in Tema, Ghana.
Mr Mukesh Thakwani, Director of DPS International
Mr. David Raj, Headmaster of DPSI Ghana, at the 2016 South Asian Spelling Bee contest held at DPSI in Tema, Ghana.
Ms Pupam Kavi, Producer of Touchdown Media Inc, organisers of the 2016 South Asian Spelling Bee contest held at DPSI in Tema.