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Mr Marape – we’re still trying to meet

Betty Wakia  Caroline Evari and Jordan Dean
Writers Betty Wakia, Caroline Evari and Jordan Dean await prime minister Marape. “Patience is bitter, but its fruit is sweet,” said Aristotle


PORT MORESBY – To try to get a high level discussion underway on Papua New Guinea literature, we’ve tried on two occasions to meet with prime minister James Marape.

The first time was on Wednesday 22 January after we received information that Mr Marape was willing to meet Betty Wakia , Daniel Kumbon and me in his office at the Manasupe Haus at 2pm the following Friday.

But Daniel had already travelled to Wabag, so we reached out to Jordan Dean and met the following day to have a quick chat and brainstorm around what to say at the meeting.

We turned up at the Manasupe Haus on that Friday and waited for more than an hour only to be told the prime minister had gone to play golf and would meet with us on Sunday at the Airways Hotel at 3pm.

Again we showed up, this time at the Airways and waited for two hours until five only to be told that the meeting was cancelled and we would be contacted when another date and time was confirmed.

We were assured that the prime minister is aware of our petition and will still make time available to meet with us. It is 25 February as I write this, and we have not heard anything yet.

We understand that the prime minister has more important agendas to attend to and we will be patient knowing that he has given his assurance that he will meet with us.


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Philip Kai Morre

The prime minister can bring back PNG by promoting books, which is more authentic than any other means.

Our senior writers are trying their best to see him but the prime minister may have important events to attend to, like playing golf.

It's worth waiting but how long are we going to wait to see Hon James Marape.

Lindsay F Bond

Hey, Mr Marape, did your staff 'diarise' the discussion for 30th February? After all, 29 February comes round again and again.

Seriously, writers are focused individuals and largely work alone. So if they collaborate as this group has, in order to state the benefits for your newish nation, they are collectively and each contributing to national advantage.

Where and when to meet? That ain't difficult. Twice I have had the pleasure of a pre-arranged conversation with accomplished author Caroline Evari at Mosbi Airport.

Ms Evari has been visiting schools in two PNG provinces bringing to students the joys of that accomplishment in writing, and publishing. And at no cost to the schools or the students.

As prime minister you can encourage your nation's citizens by noting such volunteerism, and in writing.

Also if prison breakouts are your present concern, author Alan Reed wrote "Papua New Guinea's Last Place" (2003), and mentions the subject of storytelling by folk after their release, along with starting new lives. Ah, redemption, and of the kind that amends, meeting with least cost.


Sad that the title emits notions of last as 'least' instead of lasting and pleasant and peace.

Iso Yawi

Thank you, Carol, Betty, Jordan and Daniel. My heart is with you all.

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