from the editors desk

Despite the difficulties presented to all schools this year,
2020 started and ended on a positive and exciting note
for Hermannsburg School as you will see in the articles below. 

Thank you to Westville Senior Primary School for submitting the thought-provoking poem, Multiplying Molecule, written by sisters Husna and Yusra Kara, who are proving to be budding poets.

I'm looking forward to organising your 2021 festivals which we are offering live at your school as done in the past, or as a virtual adjudication. The latter is a successful and enjoyable alternative which several schools took advantage of during this challenging year.

Booking details and other office info can be found below,
but first a message of thanks from our Chairman, Mervyn McMurtry.


As of midnight on 26 March 2020, the Speech and Drama Association faced an uncertain future. As a non-profit organisation, the Association is dependent on entry fees for its financial existence, and the Coronaviris lockdown ban on public gatherings soon resulted in the cancellation of all festival bookings.

The creative foresight of a number of teachers and adjudicators provided a solution to the challenge. With some misgiving, given that the performance of speech and drama depends on live interaction, for the first time since its inception more than 75 years ago, the Association conducted a virtual adjudication, with pupils having to record their entries for adjudication. With adjustments and guidelines formulated, other schools and studios began to follow on from the first pioneering project.

Since March, 11 virtual, and with the easing of lockdown regulations, 10 live festivals have been held. And what a pleasure it is to state that all have been a courageous and gratifying success, from which the pupils, teachers, parents and adjudicators have gained so very much. Hopefully, then, more festivals will be booked for the new year.

On behalf of the Association, I extend our sincerest thanks to every person involved, with the knowledge that, despite the enormous challenges that we, and so many individuals and organisations have had to, and continue to endure in this uncertain present, there is hope for the future. 


Founded in 1943 by Elizabeth Sneddon we were originally known as Durban Speech and Drama Festival. During the mid-sixties this name was changed to Speech and Drama Festival of South Africa and in the millenium year 2000 we were officially registered with the Department of Social Welfare as Speech and Drama Association of South Africa, which is still our official registered name.

However, in keeping with the modern world, and appropriately in this year of so much change in all our lives, it was decided to rebrand ourselves to be more contemporary and appealling to our youth, whilst still retaining our registered name - hence SADASA was born.

Our thanks to Fenella Rivalland and Loud Crowd Media for our contemporary and punchy SADASA logo.


The 2020 Award for the best monologue by a high school student was awarded to Grade 12 student, Nqobile Sithole, from Hermannsburg School.

Adjudicators Mervyn McMurtry and Margie Marnewick found her outstanding performance from Kramer vs Kramer heartfelt and sincere.

Nqobile was recently presented with her Award at the Hermannsburg Matric Awards Ceremony.

Hermannsburg School Principal,
Mr Trevor Harbottle, with Nqobile Sithole.


For over 20 years Hermannsburg School has been an active member of the Speech and Drama Association, entering items in the festival in English, Afrikaans, German and isiZulu. This year, Nqobile Sithole's outstanding monologue, performed during the school's online adjudication, earned her the Bruce Piper Award.

Founded in 1856 the school is one of the oldest private co-educational boarding schools in KZN.
At the beginning of this year it was bought by ex-pupil Zula Mkumla who, with the principal, Trevor Arbottle, staff and board of directors, is implementing plans to renovate and modernise the school's facilities.

Read the inspirational story about Zula Mkumla and Hermannsburg School below:



By Husna and Yusra Kara
(Westville Senior Primary School)

Theorists theorise the begining of the world
From a miniscule atom to an ever-growing planet.     
However, between all these theories and ideologies
Could they ever forsee 2020?

We started the year with goals and plans
And now can't do a simple act of love, holding hands.
What happened to this being the year when we achieve
the opportunities we had?

This virus is a thief.

Distance is the new norm and suddenly everyone is clean.
We love a world that obsesses over health
and hygiene.

But then there are those who take advantage of one's patience,
who drop their masks when they speak,
who hang out like people aren't becoming weak,
Who ignore all the protocols because they've decided
this pandemic should be called fake.

We are glorifying a pandemic
We are sugar-coating a disease
This world is becoming hostile
And yet we sit here at ease!

What happened to fighting for our beliefs?
What happened to empowering the weak?
What happened to educating those in need?
We've lost our sense of humanity.

So I stand before you all, criticising my people
for their actions - but for their inaction too.
You've abused the future of the youth
so stop acting like this is some big laugh.

Stop acting like this is something crafted for a story.
Please just pause your mimicked reality
because this isn't some movie scene.
This isn't some plot conspiracy.

Predictions aren't concluded, Oscars aren't awarded. Director? Hahah! What are those?

It's just you, 7 biliion others and a multiplying molecule
So let's defeat it.

Submitted by Westville Senior Primary School


and WESTVILLE SENIOR PRIMARY SCHOOL for their generous donations to the bursary fund.

The recipients of these, as well as the Elizabeth Sneddon, Jilian Hurst and Hazel Meyer Bursaries,
will be announced when they have all been notified.


Bookings for your 2021 festival - live or virtual - may be made by phoning or emailing the office on:
031 201 6356 / 082 445 5365 /

There is no increase in fees for 2021.

Membership Fee - R475 per school/studio
Individual items - R35 per item
Group items - R85 per group
Admin fees - from R220 to R660 according to total entry fees.

Please note that the office will be closed during the school holidays.

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