THE newly-formed Simbu Writers Association is making the marketing of the Crocodile Prize, Simbu Writers Association and Simbu Children Foundation to Simbu schools an ongoing activity.
Last Thursday, Mathias Kin and Francis Nii killed three birds with one stone –bringing the Crocodile Prize, SWA and SCF to the hearts and minds of the future elites of Simbu and PNG and their mentors at Ku Secondary School in the Sinasina-Yongomugl District.
Very early in the morning the previous day, while cicadas and the roosters conducting their dawn rites, my mobile buzzed awakening me from the dream world.
It was a strange occurrence and, as is my habit, I didn’t answer the first time. I knew the caller would ring again if they really meant to call me. The phone rang again.
I answered it and it was Jimmy Awagl, the English teacher at Ku Secondary School and a founding member of Simbu Writers Association.
“Mr Nii, my Grade 10 students are having their written expression exam next week and I am inviting you to talk to them about writing and give them some inspiration. If you are willing to come, I will pick you up at one”, Jimmy said.
After some discussion, we fixed the event for the next day with Mathias Kin to accompany me.
Mathias is a metallurgist by profession. He worked for the Simbu Provincial Government and then joined the private sector for some years before leaving his job to become a private citizen.
He is one of the founding members of SWA and was a contributor to PNG Attitude in 2012.
Mathias is currently writing the history of Simbu and its early contact with the outside world. He hopes to publish the work by the end of this year.
Ku Secondary School is located about seven kilometers from Kundiawa beside the Okuk Highway.
At 1.45 pm on Thursday we arrived at the school to be welcomed by principal Ware Mukale and staff.
After an introductory speech by Jimmy Awagl, the principal officially opened the session.
I was the first speaker, basing my talk on the importance of the English Language in today’s socio-economic sphere and the three basic methods of mustering the language – reading, writing and speaking.
I connected this with the Crocodile Prize national literary competition and the establishment of the Simbu Writers Association and its objectives and aspirations.
Mathias Kin inspired the students with the struggles and hardships that he had experienced as a student that brought him to what he is now and motivating them to work hard.
Then he talked about Simbu Children Foundation, the home grown charity and its objectives and how amazingly the organisation had connected with Simbu elites in PNG and around the world by taking advantage of modern internet communication.
The students were smiling and clapping hands throughout our talk and we were happy that the messages got home. Our time and effort were not wasted.
After question time, Jimmy and the principal thanked us for the talk and declared that Ku Secondary is the first educational institution in Simbu to become a member of Simbu Writers Association. Mr Mukale promised to pay the registration fee at the third meeting of SWA scheduled for 13 June.
On behalf of Mathias and me, I thanked the school for their invitation and presented a copy of my novel Fitman, Raitman & Cooks: Paradise in Peril to the principal for the school library. The formal session ended with handshakes and hugs.
After a cup of coffee at the staff office, we returned to Kundiawa late in the afternoon.
Promoting the Crocodile Prize, SWA and SCF to schools will become an ongoing activity for SWA.