The village boy who became chief censor
01 November 2021
| Mim's Diary | Edited
POPONDETTA – Jim Abani’s journey in life began at remote Bibira No 1 village in Oro Province, where he was the third child in a family of nine children (two of them adopted).
Jim started his educational journey at Safia Community School and moved on to Popondetta High School in 1983.
As a child from a remote village, the challenge Jim faced was trying to understand and adapt to the things that kids in town had.
His parents were subsistence farmers and finance was another challenge.
“I could not even afford five toea to watch movies that were shown at the school during weekends,” Jim says, “but I had good class mates who took me out.
“For school fees and financial support, my elder sister stepped in to support me.”
Jim did not have a fixed dream career.
“At school I assisted school’s ancillary staff during work parades as a boarder. That was when I told myself that I was going to be an electrician with Elcom (now PNG Power) after I completed my studies.
“My interest was to work at BCL mining in Panguna but the crisis was mounting at that time so I could not get there.
“Back then every young men wanted to work in banks and at PTC (now Telikom), so I thought I should get a job there or probably become a policeman or a soldier.
“But I did not end up doing any of those jobs because they were not in line with God’s plan for my life,” he said.
Jim ended up in Port Moresby where he attended odd training courses. His three sisters worked and living there then so he moved from one house to another babysitting their children.
“Those were family obligations, I did not do that for payment because family is about looking out for each other and sharing what we have,” Jim said.
“I believed that good things come when we got ourselves busy, humbled ourselves and when we respected our family.”
Jim started his career with a private company in 1991 where he worked for two months before getting a job with the Department of Home Affairs and Youth in the Censorship Office.
His education journey had not ended yet. He obtained a Certificate in Community Field Work, a Diploma in Public Administration from the Administrative College and later went on to get a Diploma in Human Resource Management and a Bachelor in Management from Divine Word University in 2014.
“I am currently working with Office of Censorship in the Ministry for Community Development and Religion as Chief Censor of Papua New Guinea,” Jim said.
“My permanent appointment became effective in October 2020.”
Jim, now 52, once could not afford five toea to watch a movie but is now the boss who approves films and movies for viewing in PNG.
He decides what movies can be viewed on local TV stations, video libraries and at the cinema.
Jim has come this far through God’s leading in his life and because of his very supportive family.
“My elder brothers and sisters wanted me to be like them, to come out of a village and be someone, and I did that,” he said.
“My parents passed on when I started progressing in life. I pay tribute to them for raising me to be the man I am now.
“I also want to thank my two late big sisters and my first cousins for their contribution, support and encouragement.
“My wife has been full of patience and very supportive since 1997.
“Behind every man's success is an understanding and a supportive woman and I want to thank my wife for being that woman. I salute you all.
“Above all, all glory and honor goes to God for his blessings in my life.”
Jim’s advice to young people is for them to never give up but to persevere and achieve their goals.
“God created every individual with a purpose, no one is useless but some people make themselves to be that way,” he said.
“Many village kids succeeded from discipline and respect, and with determination to be what they are now both in public and private sectors.
“I am one of those who grew up in that manner to be successful, you can be too.”
Mr Abani's journey deserves respect, as it is quite different from what we read today of some rascal elements in the Popondetta area. So good to see it said "to come out of a village and be someone, and I did that” and “Many village kids succeeded from discipline and respect, and with determination."
Yet there is more that can be said of every generation.
One report of science showing how things were in the deep forgotten past is in https://www.bbc.com/news/science-environment-63036911
There, as it might be said "cast in stone" is an impression made by a long ago, a 'footprint' perhaps in sand and now seen of compressed stone. The small but unmistakable misshapen small toe shape, tells of times past.
"It's a tailor's bunion," Dr Burns explains. "They were habitually barefoot, so when they sat down, the little toe would have rubbed on the ground."
Posted by: Lindsay F Bond | 04 October 2022 at 12:04 PM