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Writing 'links the human mind with the voice of God’

Winner - Busa Jeremiah WenogoKEITH JACKSON

ECONOMIST Busa Jeremiah Wenogo, 30, winner of this year’s Crocodile Prize for Journalism, tells it like it is from his home in Port Moresby’s Erema settlement. And 'like it is' is often rough and desperate (see story below).

The PNG Chamber of Mines & Petroleum is a long-time sponsor of the important Award for Essays & Journalism in the Crocodile Prize and there is a distinguished list of previous winners: Martyn Namorong (2011), Emma Wakpi (2012), Francis Nii (2013) and Sil Bolkin (2014).

“I am absolutely thrilled and delighted to have won this prestigious award,” said Busa. “To be honest I thought I was not going to win given that there were so many good entries from other writers throughout Papua New Guinea. I doubted my chances, so this is really a big surprise.”

Busa was born in Port Moresby General Hospital in 1985, the eldest of a family of five born to Wenogo Busa and Kilip Tewei. (My son Simon was also born there in 1967.)

The family originally came from Tiri village in the Polopa area of Erave in the Southern Highlands. “Being born and bred in Port Moresby, I consider fellow Papua New Guineans and foreigners as my brothers and sisters and PNG as my home,” Busa said. “I am a nationalist and a global citizen.”

Busa’s father is a retired pipe patcher who was made redundant in June after working with Monier (PNG) Ltd for 37 years. Wenogo is from the Tipurupeke clan while his wife of 30 years, Kilip, is from the Tokolopau clan.

Busa is married to Dikolia Emmanuel and they have a son, Eugene Chesed Wenogo, who was born in October 2013. Dikolia is from Basilaki Island in Milne Bay Province and is expecting their second child around Independence Day next month.

He lives with his family, parents and siblings at Erima and works as an economist specialising in informal economy with the Consultative Implementation & Monitoring Council (CIMC) in Port Moresby.

At present, Busa is working on his first book with assistance from Ed Brumby. “While I am working on this book I am already thinking of producing another book looking at the issues surrounding the informal economy in PNG which is a subject that is close to my heart,” Busa said. “I am also contemplating a book detailing the history of my people.”

Busa is full of praise for the Crocodile Prize project. “Your time and commitment to read through every piece and apply your editorial skills for refinement is beyond my comprehension. It is the key to the success of the many writings that get published in PNG Attitude.

“This award, as much it is a recognition of my writing skills, is really a testament of your wonderful sacrifice and commitment that you have put into giving PNG writing the wings it needs to fly.

“I would like to commend Jimmy Drekore and the entire crew at Simbu Writers Association for taking on the mammoth task of organising the 2015 Crocodile Prize Awards in Kundiawa. You answered the call not on your own behalf but on behalf of the country as a whole to continue on this wonderful venture.

“You taking on this role will play a crucial part in opening up the world of literature to PNG dreams, passions, tales, legends and accounts of its struggle to forge a place in this fast moving world.”

Busa credited much of his success to “the abundant talent and skills that God, our heavenly parent, has blessed each and everyone us with.

“Inspiration from God gives each and every one of us the fire and drive to voice our concerns about certain things in life through our writings. I always perceive writing as communication between the mind of a human and the voice of God,” he said.

“Writing is a spiritual thing to me as it allows me to enquire, ponder, approve or disapprove about something while in total silence. It is a mind battle over which road the writer must take.

“What comes out of one’s writing is the path that the writer has agreed to take. Those whose voices are genuine and need to be heard as wide as possible are gifted by God with the skill of writing so that history will continue to reverberate that sincere and honest message for as long as it is required to usher in a better future for all humanity.”

Busa also said he wanted to encourage other Papua New Guinean writers to keep writing.

“It is a powerful medium to raise our voices on issues that affect each and every one of us. Before one decides to write one must first determine a focal point from which to write from. One should always be guided by certain principles, ethical or moral standards, when writing.

“As our country is rapidly transforming let us write with an awareness that the world is eager to read about what you have to express from deep within. PNG is part of the global community so let us write locally but speak globally.”

Finally Busa thanked the PNG Chamber of Mines and Petroleum for sponsoring the award for essays and journalism.

“Your sponsorship is a reflection of support for writing in PNG. I am sure that your investment in writing will be a precursor to reforms that will lead to transformational effects in PNG, if not now then definitely in the not too distant future.

“I would like to encourage you to keep supporting this wonderful initiative as it is an integral part of your commitment to the people of PNG.”


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Busa Jeremiah Wenogo

Paul thank you very much for your kind and encouraging comment. I can only wish for more writers to speak for those who are voiceless. More of such writers will gradually contribute to positive change in our country.

Paul Waugla Wii

Congrats Busa. You are a champion, a voice for the oppressed in society.

Keep on writing.

Busa Jeremiah Wenogo

Thanks Ron. Congratulation to you as well..

Ron Kone

Congrats Jeremiah. Proud of you.

Busa Jeremiah Wenogo

Thank you Robin. May all the glory be to God, our heavenly parent.

`Robin Lillicrapp

Congrat's, Busa. You have done well. "In everything, give thanks."

Daniel Ipan Kumbon

Certainly God speaks to people in different ways to get His own defined message across to His creation.

I think the same set of questions was asked of all the winners of this year's Crocodile Prize but see how Busa has responded. And how David responded yesterday.

I believe there is a Living God who holds PNG together despite the few who plunder the riches of paradise. PNG will rise despite the odds.

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