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Veteran Journalist Sydney Abugri Appeals for Gov’t Support

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Renowned veteran journalist, George Sydney Abugri, has made a heartfelt appeal to government to help him publish three of his books that are near completion.

This appeal comes at a time when government is seen not to be supporting the Literary Art industry, thereby making it difficult for literary artists to survive.

“I cannot resist the temptation to make an appeal through the President of the Ghana Journalist Association (GJA) to the government, to call for support for the publications of the following manuscripts which I have completed. Sample Features For Journalism Students; Letter To Jomo (Volume Two), and Hail Mary On The Beach (a collection of poems). If poetry doesn’t interest the government, I have no doubt that the first two will be of interest to them,” Mr. Abugri said.

The ‘Letter To Jomo’ writer, made these requests at the official launch of his book, “The Newsmonger’s Apprentice,” in Accra, on Wednesday.

Support literary arts

Mr. Abugri, in his keynote address, bemoaned government’s apparent indifference towards literary arts in the country.

According to him, any reference to the industry is often based on a rather narrow concept of creativity that more often than not, leaves out writers.

“When the government announces a state-sponsored programme to develop the creative arts and lists categories of creative artists to benefit from the programme, writers are rarely ever mentioned. “As a result of the virtual exclusion of writers when it comes to government support for the creative arts industry, it has been difficult for the literary arts to flourish in Ghana,” he lamented.

The charge

Lending his unwavering support to the prolific writer, President of the Ghana Journalists Association (GJA), Dr. Roland Affail Monney, charged upcoming journalists to learn from Mr. Abugri.

“Journalism is a calling. You need to be called before you can make a mark. Sydney had been called by his maker to be a writer and he has made his mark,” he said

In an effort to nurture a generation of prolific writers and journalists whose abilities go beyond “writing from speeches,” Dr. Monney suggests that writing clubs be formed in the various communication institutions in the country.

This, he said, would help sharpen the writing prospects of students before they graduate from school.

The GJA president disclosed that an exchange programme aimed at grooming Ghanaian journalists to learn from other members of the fraternity in different parts of the world, will soon be unveiled.

The Launch

The first copy of Abugri’s new book was auctioned at GH¢2,000 and was purchased by the GJA. The second and third copies were obtained at GH¢1,000 each, while the fourth was bought at GH¢500.

‘The Newsmonger’s Apprentice’, an autobiography of the seven-time National Award winner and 1997 Journalist of the Year, takes readers through his adventures and experiences in a simple but interesting manner.

By: Grace Ablewor Sogbey/ ksogbey@gmail.com

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