Take advantage of your skills to create jobs – 2nd Lady to writers
The Second Lady, Samira Bawumia has advised writers to take advantage of their skills to create jobs for themselves and inspire others to pursue their goals.
According to her, writing was an art that had the power to inspire, educate, and transform lives as well as to capture and convey stories and experiences that might otherwise be lost or forgotten over time.
Speaking at the award ceremony of the 2022 winners of the Samira Bawumia Literature Prize (SBLP) in Accra last Monday, she encouraged the youth to read and write saying, that the most successful of any generation were those whose ideas solve problems within their communities or the world.
The event saw Phinehas Osei, Luther Dewilaa Fembeti and Michael Amankwaa Adu emerge winners of the Short Fiction category while Henneh Kwaku Kyereh, Makonk Najah and Anna-Maria Poku were the winners in the Non-Fiction category.
For Poetry, Gabriel Awuah Mainoo, Afua Awo Twumwa and Khadia Alexandra Okai-Koi were the winners.
First-place winners were awarded laptops and a cash amount of GH¢5,000, second winners got GH¢3,000 and GH¢2,000 the third-place winners.
The 4th to 10th place winners in each category received GH¢1,000 in addition to all top 30 shortlisted entries across categories being published in the 2nd edition of the Anthology “All Ghana a Stage.”
“The importance of writing and the art of storytelling cannot be overemphasised. Writing is a powerful tool that allows us to express our thoughts, emotions, and experiences. It is a powerful tool that allows us to share our ideas, our perspectives, our hopes, our aspirations, and our lived experiences.
I encourage you all to continue to read and write. A people who read and write engage their imaginations; and this opens up portals of endless possibilities,” Mrs Bawumia added.
The Second Lady stressed on how writing could help to preserve and document history and culture as well as pass down important lessons, traditions, and beliefs from generation to generation.
However, she expressed concern about how the Ghanaian history had not been captured whereas in other countries, there were documentary evidence of their history in order for generations to come to tell it.
She paid tribute to some African literary giants such as Efua Sutherland, Ama Ata Aidoo, Chinua Achebe, Ngugi Wa Thiongo, who chronicled the history of Africa’s colonisation, independence struggle, and search for self-identity.
Mrs Bawumia entreated contemporary African writers to tell their stories both fiction and non-fiction in its place the global village.
Launched in 2020, the Samira Bawumia Literature Prize is a biennial literary prize that seeks to create a nurturing and supportive environment for aspiring young Ghanaian writers to grow, develop, and highlight their literary skills.
Since its inception, the competition has received over 2,200 entries. Out of this, a total of 60 selected winners have been provided with cash prizes and books.
BY CLAUDE NYARKO ADAMS