Samira charges Ghanaian writers to tell the Ghanaian story

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Samira Bawumia with the winners

The Second Lady, Mrs Samira Bawumia, has stressed the need for more writing in the country for the Ghanaian story to be well documented.

In her view, it is imperative that Ghanaian writers tell the narratives as it is, saying “there is a real danger of losing out on the varying perspective of our Ghanaian-ness, especially through our written stories.”

“If we do not document and share them, who will do that for us?” she queried.

Speaking at the ceremony to present prizes to the winners of the maiden edition of the Samira Bawumia Literature Prize (SBLP), the Second Lady underscored the importance of writing and its effects on society.

“The importance of writing and the art of storytelling cannot be over-emphasised. Writing is an essential skill; it’s a craft that takes dedication and commitment and one of the primary basis upon which learning and intellect can be assessed,” she said.

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“People who read and write engage their imaginations, and this opens up portals to endless possibilities. The most successful of any generation are those whose ideas solve problems in their communities and our world,” Mrs Bawumia added.

Expectations

The Second Lady further revealed that the initiative, under the Samira Empowerment and Humanitarian Project (SEHP), is to complement the efforts of the Ghana Association of Writers.

“We want to support Ghanaian writers to tell our own stories because it is our stories that are worth telling,” she said.

Mrs Bawumia encouraged parents to engage their wards in reading as it opens up the worldview of the kids, adding that the creativity of children should not be stifled.

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“You can write within your field because it is creativity…so whatever it is you want your child to be, you must encourage them to read,” she advised.

Writers’ workshop

Uncle Ebo Whyte, Editor-in-Chief for the various entries of the initiative, said there would be writers’ workshop for the finalists to help the applicants to further produce quality write-ups.

The maiden edition of the initiative saw over 1,600 young amateur writers submitting their entries, out of which 30 finalists were shortlisted in three literature categories – non-fiction, short fiction and poetry.

However, nine young writers were recognised and awarded for their efforts in the categories.

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The first runners-up for each category went home with a certificate of participation, three books written by Manasseh Azure Awuni, laptops and a cash prize of GHC5, 000 each.

About SBLP

The Samira Bawumia Literature Prize (SBLP) is an annual literary prize for the best short fiction, poetry and non-fiction prose by young Ghanaians living in Ghana.

​It is to develop and support homebred writing talent, through publishing opportunities, cash prizes, as well as publicity across print, radio and digital channels.

The initiative is open to Ghanaians living in Ghana, aged between 15 and 25.

 

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