Sunday, December 10, 2023

Annual youth authors awards promise to be a big hit

Hype is building up around Annual Young Authors Awards, (AYAA) as the coveted creative writing project is billed to kickoff the coming week in schools around the Kgatleng Educational Region. In an interview with the Sunday Standard, project coordinator Kagiso Selabe (Gorri Aldoras Golivar-pen name) said everything was in place to set up a platform to nurture a new crop of creative writing artists.
As part of the project, which is the first of its kind in the country, the coordinator will tour all government senior secondary schools in Botswana and a selection of junior secondary schools, making up a total of 48 schools. 
The project aims at nurturing and honing students’ creative writing skills, and inducting them on copyright and intellectual property issues.
The process will culminate every year with a competition for students who would be required to buy copy of his latest novel, Banda Wa Mokone for Twenty Pula as an entry ticket to the competition.
The climax of the competition will be the glamorous Annual Young Authors Awards to be held at one of the prestigious lodges in Gaborone. Golivar indicated that prices are a gold trophy and P10 000.00, a silver trophy and P5000.00 and a platinum trophy and P2500.00 for 1st, 2nd and 3rd price respectively.
“For the first time aspiring young creative writers will have an opportunity to do what they love with a reasonable reward for their hard work. For a long time, writing artists have not had a platform to show their talent, even in president day competitions, creative writing artists are not featured” he said. 
Golivar said the projects also intends to crack the myth that the Batswana do not have a culture of reading as well as create a new intelligentsia that shall be the guardians of our culture, folklores and traditional believes through the written word.  He emphasized the importance of creative writing artists in any developing country, as they have the ability to help in shaping a democratic socio, economic and politically advanced state through their observant portrayal of real events in a creative writing artwork.
“In developed countries we have seen the creative writing industry being a significant economic player. In America, creative writing in the engine that makes the multi- billion dollar Hollywood economy tick.
In the United Kingdom we have seen JK Rowling, the author of the Harry Potter children book series becoming the richest woman in that country, all because of her creative writing talent,” the Banda Wa Mokone author enlightened. He said if given sufficient attention, the creative writing arts can boost Botswana’s economy.
Gorri is an author of repute with two novels under his name, the first Rusting Gold was published in Berlin, Germany in 2010 and the second Banda Wa Mokone was published locally in 2014. 
He has won numerous local and international creative writing awards including the coveted Commonwealth Write Around the World Short Story Essay Award (2006). 
 As he will be travelling around the country, he will also give students motivational talks towards academic excellence themed “Living Diamonds Achievers”.  This he says will instill in students a sense of seriousness towards their academics knowing that they are the living equivalent of the nation’s most precious resource. He said he has pledged academic awards termed G.A Golivar Awards of Excellence. Any student who sits for an examination in any government school and achieves the maximum grade for all the subjects will get P10 000.00, P5000.00 and P2500.00 for BGCSE, JC and PSLE respectively. This he says will motivate students to perform as much as students in private institutions.
The official project launch is slated for October 28 in Mochudi, Sabi Sabi Gardens, whereas the prize giving ceremony date will be communicated in due course.


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