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Reasons to be Proud - #R2bP: Mandela Uni second-year Education student, Kenan Davids has won the first prize of R50 000 in a short film competition for students under the theme of “the beauty of the Dutch language”. 

The competition coincides with the celebration of the “Week van het Nederlands” (Week of the Dutch Language) from 1 to 8 October 2022 and was organised by the Southern African Association for Dutch Studies (SAVN) and the South African Centre for the Netherlands and Flanders (SASNEV). It was open to registered university students in South Africa and Namibia.

Kenan, 20, is studying towards his BEd (Senior and Further Education and Training phase in the Humanities stream). His lecturer, Dewald Koen, was speaking to the class about learning Dutch when he was a student. Kenan was very interested in studying Dutch, so he followed up with the School of Media, Language and Communication Director, Prof Marius Crous, who told him about an after-hours course at Stellenbosch University. Kenan then enrolled for this Dutch for beginners online short course which was offered over 10 weeks.  

“The whole idea of my film was to portray the beauty of the Dutch language, so I wrote a poem about what I think the beauty is and how Dutch and Afrikaans are related. The pictures contributed to the messages of a person, trying to study Dutch, to be able to speak it and to discover his roots in the Dutch language”, Kenan says.

He played with the concept of sister languages. Afrikaans is his mother tongue, and his short film is a letter to his aunt, who is Dutch and lives in the Netherlands.

He believes he won the competition because of the way in which he approached the theme. Part of the competition was for people to provide him with feedback, and they liked the idea of how he portrayed the Dutch language with Afrikaans in the film.

Kenan, who matriculated at Otto du Plessis High School in Gqeberha, will use his prize money to visit his aunt and his family in the Netherlands, as well as other places in the Netherlands and Belgium, to learn more about their culture, language, and the people.

The competition is funded by the embassy of the Kingdom of the Netherlands and the Flemish representative in South Africa.

“I am very passionate about languages and teaching, and I am also a member of the ATKV (Afrikaans Language and Culture Association). In my free time I write poems and have published some of them on the LitNet website”, Kenan said.

Watch his film

Contact information
Ms Elma de Koker
Internal Communication Practitioner
Tel: 041-504 2160