The contest will see 10 high schools in Berea competing for the number one spot. Each school will be represented by one candidate.
“Since Ultimate FM is specifically designed to address issues that concern our youth, we found it fit to give back to them,” the station’s manager ‘Mabatho Lithebe told the Weekender on Tuesday.
“As most of our programmes allow callers to discuss certain topics with our presenters, it came to our attention that most people use slang or the so-called “SMS language”.
“We as a government station decided to have a poetry session that will help student rectify the broken English that they use,” she said.
Lithebe said the poetry competition will be in English which is an international language that is spoken in most of the world.
She said it is imperative that Basotho youths are fluent in the language.
“English is regarded as our second language which makes it so sad when you have a caller who is unable to express himself or herself using the language,” she said.
“We are hoping that this project will instill the correct use of the language in our youth.” Lithebe said all participants will be awarded certificates that will serve as their references as they choose different careers in life.
The top three will also walk away with trophies and the winner will also receive gifts that
will boost their academic performance.
The competition, which is set to be an annual event, was kick-started in Leribe in May and will take place in all the 10 districts of Lesotho.
Each district’s winner will compete in the big poetry competition scheduled for December here in Maseru.
“Our districts have more than 10 schools so we are working with each district education office which selects schools and those schools will choose a student to represent it.
“It was easy because most schools already have English clubs so they can amicably elect their best.”
All the poems from the contenders will appear in an anthology to be released in December.
“We are not just having a contest but the poems are going to be published in a book named after the competition. We have also realised that there are those students that can actually write but have stage fright, so we have also given them the chance to bring along their poems for them to be published in the book,” Lithebe said.
“As much as Ultimate serves as a platform for our youth where they can say their views, we are also trying to broaden our listenership and offer students career guidance regarding the media industry which mostly uses the English language.”
She added: “We travel with local artistes who will be performing for these students and telling them about the challenges they face and how to tackle them.
“From here Ultimate FM will be having a spelling bee for primary students which will also serve as a means of instilling the correct use of the English language,” she said.