An occasional series about some of the people administering this year’s Crocodile Prize
BERNARD Singu Yegiora, 30, a lecturer in international relations at Divine Word University, was educated at the University of Papua New Guinea and Jilin University in China, from where he holds a Masters degree in International Politics.
“I developed a passion for writing back in 2009 when I was studying in China,” the Kundiawa-born Bernard says.
“Away from home and my family, writing helped me get over the loneliness.
“Mathew Yakai, a journalist, had this column about China-Pacific relations in the Sunday Chronicle and asked PNG students in China to write articles about our experiences.
“Soon after that, while still in China, I discovered PNG Attitude and have since written articles for the blog and the Crocodile Prize.”
Bernard prefers writing informative articles about his field of knowledge and what he finds interesting.
“I feel I have poems in me but have not seriously put pen to paper,” he says. “I hope to squeeze out one or two in the not too distant future.”
Bernard believes the Crocodile Prize is the future of Papua New Guinea: “It promotes talented PNG writers and helps them develop their writing skills.
“The mixture of modern technology through use of the internet along with the traditional publication of the Anthology makes this competition stand out from other literary competitions.”
Bernard forecasts that the Crocodile Prize is on the path towards being institutionalised and will, in coming years, be a key player in developing a literary industry in PNG.
“Just like other indigenous groups around the world, the indigenous people of this island nation have stories they want the world to know,” Bernard says.
“Most of these stories have not been told before.
“Indigenous literature has the potential to foster nationalism and patriotism in a country where it is not common.
“The more ethnic groups learn about each other through their stories and poems, the more they will come to understand each other.
“In time they will see the other ethnic groups as part of them and part of the larger grouping which is the state of PNG.”