Write On Issues Affecting Ghana …GWA Tells Writers

THE PRESIDENT of the Ghana Writers Awards (GWA), an NGO committed to develop the Ghanaian literary arts industry by awarding both published and unpublished writers, Zadok Kwame Gyesi, has admonished Ghanaian writers to write on issues affecting the development of the country. He said there were many interesting social issues writers could write on to enable policy makers to frame policies that would address such challenges. Mr Gyesi was speaking to the DAILY HERITAGE on the state of the Ghanaian literary arts industry and how it could be developed. He wondered why writers “don’t write on any of the current issues affecting our country instead of focusing our attention always on colonial rule and how it affected us.” “We write to inform, educate and entertain our readers. Let us write to inform and educate policy makers on issues that are affecting our country and suggest solutions to such problems”, he advised. He, however, implored writers especially the young and upcoming ones not to look down on their potentials by what others say about their writes ups. “You don’t need to stop writing because somebody has said you are not good, but rather, let such comments be your inspiration and developed your writing skills proper so that that person will congratulate you next time”, he advised. The Vice President of GWA, Mr Kingsley Kojo Antwi said it was worrying that a country like Ghana had no proper awards for its writers. He said when writers were not given the needed priority; it would not help the country to develop its creative industry. “Writing plays very essential role in telling people about our culture”, he said, adding that mobilizing funds to organise an award for writers was a difficult thing in the country and therefore called on cooperate bodies to support the creative industry. “It is really difficult organizing an awards for writers because many cooperate organisations are not willing to sponsor such events”, he lamented. Mr Antwi who won the 2013 “Inspirational Poet Award” organised by the Philippines to honour the father of visual poetry, Dr. Penpen B. Takipslim said when writers were awarded, it would encourage more children to develop their interest of becoming writers. The Coordinator of GWA, Mr Seth Siaw on his part said if immediate attention was not given to the literary industry could discourage many writers to develop their careers. He bemoaned that the creative industry had not been made very unattractive to many young writers. “We need to come out with initiatives and policies that will encourage more young people especially students to venture into the creative arts industry”, he said. The Financial Secretary of GWA, Mr Emmanuel Asieme expressed worry over the government’s inability to formulate policies to develop the literary arts industry. He said the government should designed policies that would inculcate reading habits among school. In addition, he said, when children developed the act of reading would be easier for them to aspire to become writers. Mr Asieme who is a motivational speaker, however, expressed grave concern over the lack of wiliness on the part of cooperate bodies to sponsor initiatives geared towards developing the literary arts industry in the country. “One of the cardinal concerns of the creative industry in the country is lack financing”, he said, adding “Have you ever heard any allocation for the literary arts industry in the budget before?” he questioned. He, therefore, called on the government particularly, the Ministry of Tourism and Creative Arts to focus more on the literary industry.