Ericka Cherotich from St. Patrick’s Academy Cheptuiyet in Kericho County, is the winner of the 2021 National Letter Writing Competition for young people aged nine to 13 years, comprising entrants from both public and private primary schools across the 47 counties.
Cherotich, aged 13, who hails from Soin/Sigowet sub-county within Kericho, took part in the competition, organized annually by Posta Kenya in liaison with Universal Postal Union (UPU)- International Bureau, Ministry of Education and Communications Authority of Kenya (CCK), took home a cash prize of Sh50,000 and a certificate.
The class 8 pupil beat Larry Barack from Riara Primary School in Nairobi County who came in second and received a cash prize of Sh30, 000 and Hope Okach from Milimani Hillcreast Academy in Migori County who was third placed and won a cash prize of Sh20,000 and a certificate as well.
Speaking during the prize presentation to Cherotich, Postal Corporation of Kenya Kericho branch manager Willy Chirchir said Kericho County has been on the winning list and urged other young learners to follow suit and become good writers.
“In the year 2018, Kericho topped the competition, with a pupil from Progressive Chepchep Academy, while in 2019, the county emerged position three, courtesy of a student from Moi Tea Secondary school.
This is laudable as this will definitely motivate young learners in the County to follow the footsteps of those who have won and aim at becoming good writers,” said Chirchir.
In her acceptance speech, Cherotich who was accompanied by her parents Jennifer and Evans Sang said she was happy that her hard work paid off, though the win was unexpected as this was her first time to enter such a competition and thanked God, her parents and teachers and classmates for support.
“I was not sure I could write, but given I had the time I decided to give it a try and now that I am the winner, I thank God. I made the right decision. I want to thank my parents, teachers and fellow classmates for their support as I wrote down the letter, which I would work on up and until one o’clock in the morning just to have it perfect,” said Cherotich.
The 2021 National Letter Writing Competition winner revealed that she aspires to become a writer and poet and was hopeful of joining Kenya High School for her secondary school education.
The competition was divided in two categories, junior participants aged 9-13 years targeting primary school pupils and a senior category for those aged 14 to 18 years targeting secondary school students.
The learners were required to write a letter to the immediate former Education CS Prof. George Magoha, about how Covid-19 affected their education since March 31, 2022.
The letter-writing competition rules were that they should not exceed 1000 words and parents or their guardians were not allowed to assist in composing the writing.
All compositions were supposed to be sent by post and appropriate postage stamps affixed on each envelope with only one entry allowed in each envelope posted.
Kenya is a member of the Universal Postal Union (UPU), a specialized agency of the United Nations that coordinates postal policies among the 192 member countries.
By Sarah Njagi