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Another big step in PNG writing: Enga Writers on the march

Enga Writers Association logoDANIEL KUMBON

THE Enga Writers Association was established at a meeting last Tuesday with an initial membership of eight people who also form the core of the first interim executive.

There are no titles but members are expected co-ordinate their activities as volunteers.

This is just the beginning and more work will be done to register the association and provide it with permanent executive members.

Any person who contributes a poem, short story, essay or book is an automatic member of the Enga Writers Association.

The pioneering members are Akii Tumu, Mark Sakol, Leo Maso, Ruth Minape, John Kawi, Johannes Kundal, Robert Pyaru and Daniel Kumbon.

Akii Tumu is the Director of the Enga Cultural Centre. He had been involved in writing several books on Enga culture with Professor Polly Weisner of the University of Utah, the major work being Historical Vines, published by the Smithsonian Institution.

Mark Sakol, a former high school teacher and principal of Wabag Primary School, is working on three books, one of which is his own biography. Mark’s manuscripts are being looked at by Dr Steven Winduo of the University of Papua New Guinea and selected friends. Originally from Madang, he has taught at many schools in Enga Province.

Ruth Minape and Leo Maso are two high school teachers currently working at the Enga Cultural Centre. They will teach cultural education in Enga schools.

John Kawi is a senior teacher at Wabag Primary School who, together with his principal Mark Sakol, is encouraging staff and students to write poems, essays, short stories, legends and other literature. They hope to publish an anthology like Ku High School in Simbu in 2015.

Johannes Kundal has been writing his own autobiography starting from the time of the legendary Huli and Opone brothers who fathered the people who now live in Huli and Enga provinces. Daniel Kumbon is helping him as mentor and editor. Extracts of Johannes’ work have begun to appear in PNG Attitude. Mr Kundal works as Director of Public Health in the Enga Provincial Health Authority

Robert Pyaru is deputy headmaster and language and literature teacher at the new Mulitaka High School in Laiagam District. He hopes to get his students to write and publish an anthology.

Daniel Kumbon is interim chairman of the Association. He published Remember Me and other stories from Enga Province in 2015 and I Can See My Country Clearly Now this year. He is now working on Johannes Kundal’s autobiography and also a collection of poems, cultural essays, satirical poems and first impression pieces on Enga Province. Daniel ran the first Enga Writers Association in the 1980s and 1990s.

The Enga Writers Association is formedTwo of the main objectives of the Association are to encourage everybody who is able to read and write to become involved in the development of literature to sharpen their minds and encourage the younger generation to read and write.

Daniel Kumbon introduced the PNG Attitude blog and the Crocodile Prize to members, asking them to spread the word that people can make money with their essays, short stories and poems if they enter the annual competition. Nobody among the new members knew about the existence of the Crocodile Prize.

Another objective is to get all students in tertiary institutions, high schools, secondary schools and upper primary schools to read and write. The committee feels that students in Enga schools can do well in maths, science and other subjects but not English.

The committee strongly feels that, if students can be encouraged to read and write a lot, their English scores will improve in the Grade 8, Grade 10 and Grade 12 national examinations.

Although, the interim committee members did not talk about providing incentives for people who wish to write, senior Telikom PNG executive, Corney Korakan Alone, also from Enga, told Mr Kumbon that he will sponsor the essay category if we will run a competition like the Crocodile Prize.

“Keep up with the excellent work you're doing,” Corney said. “We're impressed with your effort and firm beliefs.

"Why Tribal Warfare is Bad for Enga would make an interesting essay and debating topic in all our schools back home if the writers association can drive that.

“Being based in Port Moresby, we don't have much flexibility to engage fully with the education of our youngsters back at home,” Corney said.

“However playing a small part as a small sponsor, I am sure we can not only positively influence the thinking of some of our people but inspire some of our people to re-think, re-imagine and place common good ahead of the wasteful thinking on tribalism's immediate short term gains.”

This is an encouraging offer that members will talk about at our next meeting at which time we will invite the Provincial Administrator or Director Education to distribute the Crocodile Prize Anthology and Trickery at the Crocodile Pool – the children’s book sponsored by The Paga Hill Development Company - to selected schools.

Comments

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Julius Jethro

Very proud of you Daniel and your team. You have set a new course for the PNG in Literature

Daniel Kumbon

I hope all members of Parliament from Enga provinces read this story sourced from PNG Loop today. Not so much because one man had allegedly cut off another man's organ but because the accused doesn't read and write.

A man facing a charge of causing grievous bodily harm needs help in understanding his police investigation files because he is illiterate.

From Enga province, Thomas Warepa appeared at the Waigani District Court on Friday where a ruling was supposed to be handed down.

That ruling did not take place because Warepa is illiterate and cannot read nor understand his case files.

Warepa was arrested and has been in court over allegations he attacked another man and cut off his testicles.

"Your case is an unusual one. You had an issue with another man, you grabbed his testicles and broke them. You caused grievous bodily harm to this man," Magistrate Cosmas Bidar told him.

Despite the nature of his case, Magistrate Bidar allowed an adjournment of his case to Oct 14.

"Court will go through your files and see where your case goes but you must find a lawyer to help you understand your files,” he told Warepa.

Warepa told the court that despite being given his files, he needed help reading it to understand what police found against him.

George Merian via Daniel Kumbon

My senior bro Daniel Kumbon, I am so elated and thrilled to see your book amazingly reviewed by a renowned Professor and Anthropologist.

Your legacy is too big to emulate in a world where literacy is phasing out in a threatening phase but I would like to thank you so much for setting the outstanding literacy benchmark in Enga in general and Kandep in particular.

I am looking forward to consulting with you in working on upcoming literary works. God bless you so much and I really enjoyed reading this review!

Note: The above comment from 'Building Blocks of Writing Skills' facebook page with George Merian

Stanley Amben

Kaimi yakapilin o!

John K Kamasua

Way to go!

Aimos Joseph Akem

Way forward for Enga. Congrats Daniel

Michael Dom

Power house effort. Keep going strong, Daniel.

Raymond Komis Girana

Congratulations bro. You've just set not only an example but a challenge to us who still have to form our associations. Congrats.

Joe Herman

Very nice, Kaim.

Rashmii Bell

Well done to you, Daniel and all members of the Association. Best wishes:)

Philip G Kaupa

Congratulations Daniel and your team. Very proud of your spirit in literature.

jimmy drekore

Congratulations Daniel, am proud of you

Francis Nii

Congratulations, Daniel, for keeping the fire of literature burning in Enga. Well done.

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