Francis Nii: Man of indomitable spirit
Hostile laws challenge Melanesian media

Help us assemble the Francis Nii Collection


NOOSA – On this day Francis Nii, one of Papua New Guinea’s most eminent literary figures, is being buried in the soil of his Simbu homeland at Kundiawa.

And also today, PNG Attitude establishes a fund to ensure that the many words and deeds of Francis Nii will endure and not be lost to the future.

Early commitments to the fund already total $1,400 on the way to a target of $10,000.

The money will be used to initiate a project to collect Francis’s most significant essays, articles, poetry and commentary into a book which will also include some of his fellow writers’ observations of his work and his life.

The collection will honour Francis’s writing and other good works and continue his advocacy for the proper recognition of home-grown Papua New Guinean literature.

Dependent upon how much money we can collect, the book will be made freely available to PNG libraries and other appropriate institutions as well as being sold commercially.

It will also be gifted to Francis’s family and the groups and people he was closely associated with in Simbu.

We are asking readers of PNG Attitude and organisations that support the development of PNG literature to donate to the FRANCIS NII COLLECTION so we can complete this project before the end of 2020.

As well as our gratitude, all donations of $50 or over will receive first edition copies of the FRANCIS NII COLLECTION.

We are asking you to donate whatever you can afford – large or small – to make this project a success.

Bank transfers can be made to:

Keith Jackson
National Australia Bank
BSB 082-302
Account 50650-1355

When you have made your donation, email me at [email protected] and let me know.


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Mathias Kin

Thanks Keith for this excellent initiative. I will go through my collection of his stories (and pictures) of FN's life of selfless devotion to Simbu and PNG, SCF and SWA, our Simbu schools and to humanity, and send to this collection.

Here is short update on his funeral arrangements so far: All FNs friends from his different associations in Simbu and outside are contributing towards his funeral expenses. We took the body to the funeral home in Goroka yesterday.

After proper treatment and handling to the body, we will pick it up again and bring back to Kundiawa on Monday morning. There will be a short memorial service at the hospital chapel conducted by Francis's friend Dr Fr Jan Jarworski.

The next day, his body will be taken on the 4 hour 4 wheel drive south to his village Yobai in Salt Nomane. He will be buried in his village in a prominent place besides his father who only recently died three months ago.

His 'matmat' is prepared by his brother and architect Edwin Wem. Our group of friends will also bear the cost of this matmat.

I will update all FN's friends on PNG Attitude continually on this.

We all have lost a special friend, a very able champion in a disabled body.


Mathias, thank you so much for all the detail. Many people will appreciate this. And once our dear friend is safe back in Yobai and things settle down, we'll hook you up with us to provide information and images for the book. We will put together a small team to work on design, layout etc. Please pass on all our respects and great sadness to Francis's family and other mourners - KJ

Philip Kai Morre

Thank you Keith, it is an honour to donate for a good cause. Francis Nii is gone but his legacy will remain.

The hour before his death I was with him at his bedside but no words were spoken from him. He glanced at me with a smiling face for the last time.

His wife, Cathy told me, "He talks about you and all the writers to say thank you but has hasn't seen you."

Francis died a hero's death. He was a man who should have died a long time ago, but his inner strength made him live longer.

No one will ever publish a book in his dying moment with almost half of his body faded away. It was a miracle that I had witnessed.

The book Philip refers to that Francis recently published under the Francis Nii Publications imprint is 'Flight of a Jungle Eagle'. It will be reviewed by Philip Fitzpatrick in PNG Attitude tomorrow - KJ

Caroline Evari

This is a very beautiful initiative and will be greatly appreciated.

Kenny Pawa

Great initiative,

Thank you PNG Attitude

Susan Conroy

Hi Keith, I will share and try and encourage donations.

Thank you, Susan, we will greatly appreciate that - KJ

Michael Dom

This is the fine tradition of PNG Attitude.

The book will be an excellent and enduring legacy.

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