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You know you’ve got a winning Google Doodle on your hands when prominent politicians are tweeting about how powerful it is. That’s the case with the doodle South Africans are seeing today. The difference between it and most of the other iconic images created by the tech giant however is that it was created by a school-kid.
Described by Western Cape premier Helen Zille as “magnificent”, the doodle is the winning entry in Google’s nationwide competition aimed at celebrating 20 years of democracy in South Africa.
What a magnificent South African Google Doodle today. Gave me goose bumps.
— Helen Zille (@helenzille) December 3, 2014
The competition saw Google invite school children across the country to create a Google Doodle depicting the “South Africa of Their Dreams”.
The overall national winner, Katya Ludick, is a Grade 8 pupil from Noordheuwel High School in Krugersdorp and is meant to illustrate a South Africa free of poaching. “We must fight for those that can’t speak,” Ludick said of her doodle.
As well as appearing on the Google homepage, the doodle won Ludick’s school a R100 000 technology grant.
Doodles were submitted across four age groups: Ages 6-8; Ages 9-11; Ages 12 -14; and Ages 15-17. Our celebrity of judges picked their top 20 finalists after which the public voted for category winners as well as their ultimate winner.
Celebrity judges included: DJ Fresh, author John van De Ruit, Springbok great Pat Lambie; Survivor champ Graham Jenneker, music diva Yvonne Chaka Chaka, Spud star Sven Ruygrok, and media and tech entrepreneur Seth Rotherham.
The 20 finalists were flown to Johannesburg for a special awards ceremony in the city’s trend art district of Maboneng. The awards were presented by the judges as well as the Deputy Minister of Communications Thembisa Stella Ndabeni-Abrahams and Google South Africa Country Director, Luke Mckend.
“The entries show how talented our children are. It is good that we have an event like Doodle 4 Google to encourage creativity and imagination among our children,” said Deputy Minister of Communications Tembisa Stella Ndabeni-Abrahams.