Five entries shortlisted for the 2017 Crocodile Prize Cleland Family Heritage Category Award

The 2017 Crocodile Prize Cleland Family Heritage Category received a collection of interesting topics that were written about and sent in. This continues to highlight our rich tapestry of stories which is an intricate and significant part of our Papua New Guinean cultural heritage. Our forefathers created, maintained and strengthened relationships through stories in Papua New Guinea. The skill of storytelling is like a rope being weaved together in varying styles, colours and strength for a perfect bilum to capture and carry the rich and unique culture and heritage of our people. Stories were sacred and were told appropriately and respectfully at the right time. Stories in Papua New Guinea were culturally used for several noble purposes by our ancestors and they were exchanged freely and as gifts. Knowledge was transferred through stories and traditional mark-making. Telling stories was embedded into daily activities. Stories were sung in songs for the dead and the living, for harvest, for births and celebrations. Our elders were super banks of knowledge and information and ensured this intangible asset was handed down to the right person in the family to continue to take this knowledge and practice into the future. All stories were told for each generation to pass on as a way of safeguarding history. Stories were also entertainment in themselves and evening sessions by the fire created warmth and unity amongst families, friends and tribeswomen and tribesmen.

The Cleland Family has been the sponsor for this category since the inception of the competition. This family has a rich story of their connections to PNG, a place they call home. They see without doubt the significance of capturing these stories. Our culture has evolved significantly but these literary entries are a captured snapshot of the piece of time.
Thank you for those who have sent in stories from their knowledge banks, found in their story shelves and readily available in their pockets. Thank you for being part of a process to help document our culture.
Congratulations to have been selected as winners of the 2017 Crocodile Prize Competition Cleland Family Heritage Category. The shortlisted entrants of the competition come with diverse backgrounds and experiences. Listed below are the titles and the names of entrants considered as winners.

The Entries and the Entrants

 Busanu by Julie Sugoho

 The Necessity of Integrating Traditional Engan Education with Modern
Education by Simon E Davidson

 Mwata’yala (A legend about the lake people) by Jordan Dean

 Gabubu (A legend of the White Dove) by Jordan Dean

 My Family Heritage – NGAI by EVAH KUAMIN BANIGE

Busanu by Julie Sugoho
Julie is a Customs Broker based in Lae, Morobe Province. Julie loves to read and do many things besides her work and her Volunteering with an NGO. She started writing at around 2012, when she joined Toastmasters, because she had to write her own speeches. She has been taking part in the Crocodile book prize since 2013.

My Family Heritage – NGAI by EVAH KUAMIN BANIGE
Evah Kuamin Banige is an Administration Officer in Lae, Morobe Province.
She is passionate about writing, helping children and advocating for change and development in her community. She wrote: ‘Victims of violence have to rise up and speak out for their own good. I believe I have taken the biggest step to write about my experiences as a woman facing violence through this competition’.
She has been writing since her primary school days. She won a prize for the story of her experience in the 1994 Twin Volcanic Eruptions which was published in book of collection of short stories. Part of 4th Year Journalism Thesis was published in the South Pacific Islands Journalism Communication. One of her entry won the 2012 World Health Organization (WHO) Best Award in the Print Category of the PNG Media Awards.

The Necessity of Integrating Traditional Engan Education with Modern Education by Simon. E Davidson
Simon E Davidson is from Mulitaka Village, Wabag in the Enga Province. Simon is a Pastor by training and currently work as a teacher who is interested and enjoys creative writing, especially poems, essays and novels. He started writing in 2013, after many false starts. He wrote poems and short stories and a few novels which are yet to be published. Some of his short articles were published in the PNG attitude blog.

Mwata’yala (A legend about the lake people) by Jordan Dean
Jordan Dean works as a Director (until confirmed) of Grants Management Organisation in Port Moresby, NCD. He has been writing as a hobby for over a decade. Several of his poems and short stories have been published on international sites and magazines including: Power Poetry, Dissident Voice Magazine, Creative Talents Unleashed, Tuck Magazine, Micro Poetry, Story Write, Spill Words Literary Press and PNG Attitude.
Jordan has published 4 books: ‘Tattooed Face: A collection of Poems’ (2016), ‘Follow the Rainbow: Selected Poems’ (2016)), ‘Stranger in Paradise & other Short Stories’ (2016)) and ‘Silent Thoughts: Exploring Poetry’’ (2017)). These books are available on Amazon.

Gabubu (A legend of the White Dove) by Jordan Dean

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2017 Competition Report

Compiled by Gretel Matawan and Emmanuel Peni

This is an account of the 2017 Crocodile Prize Competition

The Voluntary Organising Committee (VOC) of the Annual 2017 Crocodile Prize Literature Competition in PNG is happy to announce that a successful year of literature competition has come to a close. We would like to thank all the sponsors and the public who have sincerely supported this competition.

There have been several queries on when the winners will be announced. The VOC is excited too to know about the winners.  However, the winners will have to be administered through a lengthy process of judging and selection.  Our Volunteers have put together the folders (9 altogether) of the entries. Below is the summary of the entrants and the entries for this year.

This is the 7th year of the Annual Literature Prize.  This year the VOC received 245 entries from 87 Papua New Guinean writers and artists.

The Table 1.0 shows that the majority of the writers are from NCD. The VOC did its best to use several media platforms to reach every PNG citizens.  It is unfortunate that very few entries are coming in from outside of NCD.  The Committee is looking at accepting written pieces on paper from remote places in 2018.  Otherwise, the VOC will do its best to reach out to the people of PNG in 2018. Hopefully we get some entries from even those provinces not listed here:  West Sepik, Southern Highlands, Hela, Western Highlands, New Ireland, Central and other PNG citizens living abroad. We have an entry from Fiji.  We can confirm that it is from a Papua New Guinean citizen.  We would like to also report that the entries from Gulf Province were from Kikori secondary schools after a visit by a member of the VOC in 2017.   Our publicity and communications team have learnt a lot in promoting writing in the last two years of work in PNG. Literature spaces and activities in PNG have declined to a state of irrelevance.  This is a tragic and frightening trend when considering Google and fb and Alibaba and more are fighting and in the process spending billions to get information from people around the world. When will Papua New Guineans wake up and write our own history, experiences and our aspirations?  Why do we let outsiders do it from their reference point and own our stories?

Table 1.0 shows the Provinces and the number of writers/artists who have sent in their literary piece(s).

Provinces (Areas) Number of Entrants
AROB 3
East New Britain 3
East Sepik 3
Eastern Highlands 4
Fiji 1
Gulf 3
Jiwaka 2
Madang 2
Manus 3
Milne Bay 2
Morobe 5
Mt Hagen 1
NCD 46
No Response 2
Oro 1
Central 1
Simbu 1
West New Britain 3
Western 1
Grand Total 87

 

There are 8 categories showing here in which entries have been received for. Of these entries two other category winners will be selected from.  These are: Emerging Young writer and Women in Writing.  The figures in the table clearly show that poetry is the most preferred literary piece to be written and sent in at 53% of the total. It is exciting to see that short stories went over half a century.  The VOC will work hard to help the writers/artists of PNG write or illustrate more our experiences, past and our dreams. It is unfortunate that Heritage writing continue to register low levels of entries. One can easily imagine anyone telling a tumbuna story (we have thousands) or describe a cultural experience.

Writing for children is one category; the Crocodile Prize is going to promote more in the next couple of months. We are interested to have more stories for our children so they become readers of our own journey.    

VOC will be more available for Essay and Journalism category next year after the Crocodile Prize blog has been upgraded to Premium.     There will be more interaction and discussions on the entry pieces sent in.

Table 2.0 shows the number of entries received for the categories in which prizes were secured for 2017.

The 2017 Categories Number of Entries
Short Play 3
Essays and Journalism 26
FB & NBC Radio Comp 4
Heritage Writing 14
Illustrations 3
Poetry 130
Short Stories 52
Writing for Children 13
Total 245

It is exciting to see that the 60% of the entries came from the economically active population of ages between 21 – 40 years (refer to Pie chart 1.0 below). It is unfortunate that the older population who would have had many experiences and culturally more rooted sent in less this year.  It is presumed that those who have resigned or have their careers stalling (11% of the total entries) would find passion somewhere else and writing and illustrating could have been a healthier, productive and meaningful diversion.

Chart 1.0 also gives a good indication on the members of the writing societies whom the VOC will target next year to promote, guide and support and engage in the literature competition. Even if they do not want to participate, their entries or submission can be used to add to the body of knowledge captured for generations to use to understand the evolution of the PNG cultural heritage.    
Where to from here:

The process of identifying the winners will take two months. Firstly, the folders will be sent to those who will cull (select what can be judged) from whatever numbers down to 10 entries. The 10 entries will then be sent to the judges who will then select only the top 5 entries. The top 5 entries will lastly be sent to the sponsors who select the winner.  We will announce the 5 shortlist at the end of January 2018. The winners will be announced at a Ceremony at the Grand Papua Hotel on the 10th February 2018.  There will be an official gathering where the 2018 Crocodile Prize Competition will also be launched.  Stay tuned for the announcements and the winners and the launching.

A burning question to discuss is the participation of women in PNG. Both 2016 and 2017, (under the leadership of Papua New Guineans) have proven beyond doubt the participation of women in writing has gained its foot hold.  There are more women sending in entries (55 %) than men folks.  The quality and diversity of the entries far outweigh that of men. Women were the youngest of the entrants and the oldest. Last year’s winner of the Paga Hill Foundation Writing for Children Category was a 14 year old girl from Bougainville.   Females were more active in asking for information and following the rules and guidelines.  The tides have turned and so there must be a category for Boys in writing and Men in writing.

The only issue encountered by the administrative team of the VOC was the lack of respect to the rules and procedures. One of the entrants sent in 23 entries altogether. Clearly this person did ignore the rules or did not bother to ask for clarification.  Others continue to send in entries without the entry forms.  This may sound like hard work to you as an entrant, but technology has made it so easy. One can literally take a snap shot of the entry from and inbox this through fb messenger or email it in picture format.

The VOC takes pride in our work in one tiny area of literature in PNG. What we are especially proud about is our process on identifying the winner.  Our selection and judging process is very stringent. We want to instil integrity into the processes and give an opportunity for the public, sponsors, supporters and participants to believe that we have been transparent and accountable. We want to show and prove that we can be objective and manage wantok system, nepotism and any other possible foul play or conflict of interest.

Otherwise the VOC are privileged to be given the opportunity to lead the Crocodile Prize. The VOC would like to congratulate everyone on their efforts and wish everyone a success in their different endeavours.

 Our Sponsors:

Sponsors Category
Port Moresby Arts Theatre Best Short Play
PNG Chamber of Mines and Petroleum Essays and Journalism
Haltmeier Family FB & NBC Radio Comp
Cleland family Heritage Writing
Yet to Announce Illustrations
Kina Securities Poetry
Kumul Petroleum Holdings Limited Short Stories
Mineral Resources Development Corporations Women in Writing
Library for all, Australia Writing for Children

 

The Interim Working Committee

Chairman: Emmanuel Peni, (Author, Director – People Centred OD Consult)

Deputy Chair: Joycelin Leahy (Blogger and Author, operating out of Brisbane, Australia)

Other member of the working Committee:

Ruth Moiam, Consultant (World Bank Communications)

Martyn Namorong, (Blogger, National Coordinator – EITI)

Baka Bina, (Supreme Courts – Human Resources)

Gretel Matawan, (Communications, Institute of National Affairs)

 

The Witch Hunt – Poetry

A poem by llyana Garap

witch_photo_1
Enter a caption

Courtesy Tom Lee via Flickr / Creative Commons / https://flic.kr/p/qW8iEj

 

Witch Hunt

 

Please stop!

You’re hurting me, please stop I cried

I’m sorry that your brother died.

Your brother was my son, you see,

So stop this pain. You’re hurting me.

I’m sorry that your father died,

He was my husband, at my side.

He was so old, he could not walk,

He even found it hard to talk.

I’m sorry that your daughter died.

In God’s own hand she’ll now abide.

She was my grandchild, dear to me,

I would not harm her, don’t you see.

I did not kill them, that is true.

Please ask God, and he’ll tell you.

You come into my kunai house,

And drag me out, as cat drags mouse,

You burn me with an iron so hot,

Took all the strength that I have got.

You cut my skin with sharpened knife

You’ve tried so hard to end my life.

You destroy my house, which is my home.

I’m doomed forever, now to roam.

I’m not sanguma, pointing bone,

Please go now. Leave me alone!!!!!!

 

This is another example of a writer’s poem that has been assisted by Chips. If you need some help with yours, please send your work to crocprize@gmail.com

We also would like to publish some stories, poems and photographs associated with literature in PNG. All contributions will be considered with feedback for the writer.