And so it happened that last Monday I was able to publicly announce that Mr Namah had appointed me as his official biographer.
I want to thank the Opposition Leader for his trust and confidence that I will portray the truth and nothing but the truth in my forthcoming biography of him.
A few friends have told me already that “it is a great honour” and I absolutely agree that it is an honour to portray the real life story of a political leader who philosophically believes both in “the calm before the storm and the sunshine after the rain”.
Namah also says that “in life we are destined to face challenges and one of the challenges we will always face is negative and positive critics”.
I want to thank all the people who have encouraged my writing online over the last few years by taking the time to like, read, comment, compliment and criticise my posts.
Most notably I mention East Sepik lawyer Michael Wagambie who suggested after my O’Namah Reborn post earlier this year on Sharp Talk that I write a book on PNG political history.
Over the years, I have acted as a stringer and had letters and stories published in the print media. Helping to cover the Moem mutiny in 2001 for Australian media from my hometown of Wewak was a notable highlight.
I have also been researching and working on my husband’s unpublished manuscript based on his diaries about his own fascinating political history.
I am confident that I am capable of carrying out the massive task of thoroughly researching and writing a detailed, in-depth, objective and balanced biography telling the full inside life story about the fascinating, inspiring- and widely misreported and misconstrued - PNG political leader Belden Norman Namah.
To tell the truth, a major reason I find Namah such a fascinating subject is because of the misreporting about him out there.
I know how easy it is to be misreported. I’ve been misquoted and misreported a number of times. The most damaging was in 2009, when NBC National Radio ran news reports about the arrest and imprisonment of 17 prominent Papua New Guineans in Jayapura.
I was quoted as advising people to beware of travelling to Jayapura because of the high level of corruption, and soon after rumours spread throughout the Sepik that I had also been locked up.
As a result, one careless journo with the Post Courier, who didn’t even bother to call or email me, described me a “freed female prisoner”.
In fact, I had left Jayapura before anyone was arrested – after narrowly avoiding being set up and subjected to an extortion attempt by corrupt Indonesian officials.
In this cut and paste internet era, being misreported is unfortunately more widespread than ever - partly due to lazy, armchair journalists who plagiarise other writers’ work and who do not investigate and check out information to establish the facts.
Lazy, self-opinionated writers write about their subject with great authority without ever meeting, talking or communicating in any way with their subject.
It is much easier for them - at the click of a mouse - to cut and paste incorrect information and to repeat gossip. Just look at stories on different blogs about PNG politicians and take note of how many times they have been directly quoted.
My off and on sojourn on Sharp Talk and other PNG social media over the last few years is at an end, although I still may post the occasional story– such as one I have in mind about the fledgling PNG herbal industry, in which I played a prominent role in recent years.
I’d like to invite readers to email me any information or stories about Belden Namah so I can check them out. I can be contacted via firstname.lastname@example.org. Alternatively, please comment on this post.
Even if you do not know Namah personally, you are welcome to send me your opinion and any information connected to him, his life history, his family, people and village, former student friends, old army comrades, ex-cellmates, parliamentary colleagues and staff, and the rest.
I will keep your identity confidential should you wish to remain anonymous. I promise I will respond to every single message.
Thank you for your time. God Bless You and God Bless Papua New Guinea.