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Musinga Grabs Eko Prize For Literature 

By Nadege Lekungha Sama — Celebrated playwright and actor, Victor Elame Musinga, emerged winner of the 2012 Eko Prize for Literature during a solemn ceremony in Yaounde last weekend.

Musinga wielding his award

Musinga grabbed the award alongside other winners for the Eko Prizes for Emerging Anglophone Writers which included Margaret Afah a non-fiction writer, Giftus Nkam a fiction writer, Lieutenant Colonel Fred Anyang, a poet, and Magdalene Shiri Hale Awah, a playwright
The Anglophone Cameroonian Writers Association, ACWA, in partnership with the Eko Foundation for Furtherance of Literature, EFFL, incorporated in the USA, rewarded Musinga and the four other literature writers for their outstanding works of creativity.

The award ceremony, which brought together a group of artists, was the initiative of EFFL to recognise and promote Anglophone Cameroonians to master their own narratives so as to preserve the rich potentials of the nation. Musinga with over 60 plays told The Post that even though his award of FCFA 500,000 made him happy, he regrets the fact that the country lacks sponsors willing to organise such competitions to promote meritorious writers.

As a result, he says he will work hard to involve the Minister of Arts and Culture in subsequent writing programs. According to ACWA President, John Nkemngong, partnership with EFFL is to promote and preserve the rich traditional and oral literature in Cameroon language, to prevent them from going extinct.

Nkemngong explained that there is need for such partnership as it will in the long run promote a writing culture. He said such initiative is important especially for children as it would enable them delve into the past. The ACWA President, therefore, called on more writers to pour out their ideas and visions so as to make the country a better place.

The speech of the President of the USA-based Eko Foundation, Prof. Smith Lyombe Eko, read by Dr. Victor Mbome Njie, urged Cameroonians to write about their own experiences. “If Cameroonians cannot exploit their rich African cultural heritage as raw material; if they cannot tell their own stories and write about their own experiences, then their stories will be told from foreign perspectives,” he said.

Prof. Eko revealed that the foundation will continue the donation of awards to emerging writers in drama, fiction, non-fiction and poetry. He said EFFL remains committed to excellence in Anglophone Literature and that writing is the most cost effective way of transmitting human achievement since “people who do not write do not exist when their life is over.”

First published in The Post print edition no 01910

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