Keng gele – the ancient first born initiation of the Nagovis
A blind Yuri man beats the odds in the world of business

Papua New Guinea’s ninth prime minister


Born at a time
When ethnic clash was at its peak
When black was black and inferior
And white was the color of Superiority
Coloured was the centre of everyone’s attention
Even though it was not of my making
Who could have said my journey was going to be easy
Being coloured was as a minority back then
As it is a majority today
I believed my birth was not a mistake

People talked I knew
From the moment Awambo Yari gave me life
How much more has she faced
Through public mockery
That I myself did not face
Being different was the very motivation
that made me who I am today

I did not choose to be who I am
But I have chosen to be what I am
Because I was determined
To prove others wrong

Coloured back then was shame
As it is pride today
But I put on my cloth of determination
A belly full of sweet potato
And a helmet of perseverance
As my tiny bare feet
Took on the challenge
Of carrying me to school

Day in, day out
My little bare feet never wearied
For I knew the torn little books
In the little bush hut of a schoolroom
Held my dreams to somewhere
Places I have only seen in books
That were nothing but pieces of leaflet
That gave my dreams a deeper meaning
So to that somewhere where I was going
I was certain for sure
Only my attitude did persevere
Have I come this far

As my mind hungered for knowledge
And these same feet carry me on
To find my identity
Of the person I wish to become
And the dreams I long to fulfil

I have become all that
I ever wished for in this only life I possess
As these same old feet never failed me
Carried me into the House of Parliament
The Haus of Papua New Guinea
As I stand straight and firm
With outstretched arms as your leader

I may not be perfect as was my journey
But I promise to give you my best
For a perfect world exists only in a dreamer’s mind
Many may misjudge
Many may backstab
Many may criticise
I will not utter or defend what can’t be justified

Let time be my judge
Let history call my name
Let the pages of my Land record a story
That will judge me as a Leader, a Person, a Father
I am Peter O’ Neill.


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