Meet the Writer of Writers Exhibition PNG46

an interview with Joyce Apelis Nindivi :

AUTOBIOGRAPHY | Soaring Eagle by Joyce Apelis Nindivi , 2020 | EAST NEW BRITAIN, EAST SEPIK

With the theme 'Experience of Independence', Writers Exhibiton PNG46 by Hibiscus Three saw Papua New Guinea's 45th Independence Day celebrated online, hosted by the independent publisher's website.

Heeding Ignatius Kilage's clarion within the foreword of 'My Mother Calls Me Yaltep', Hibiscus Three invited Papua New Guinean writers from in-country and abroad, to submit original writing so that their words could be read, considered and appreciated by other Papua New Guineans.

To do so on 16 September, Papua New Guinea's Independence Day, seemed only fitting.

The work of ten (10) writers were featured in the two-day online exhibition, where visitors to the website had an opportunity to reflect on the early contributors to literature of Papua New Guinea; many of whom have an impact on today's generation of emerging and established writers and their showcased writing.

For the third interview of our 'Meet the Writer of Writers Exhibition PNG46' series, we spoke to Joyce Apelis Nindivi:

Hibiscus Three: Can you remember the moment you knew that you would pursue and share your creative writing with others?

Joyce Apelis Nindivi: The moment I began realizing I had talent in creative writing was through a poetry and creative writing competition back in my high school days in Malabunga High School in ENBP in the 1980s. Then, I began working as a committee member with the School Magazine Committee to continue writing as an editor. Seeing my poems and short stories in the school magazine inspired me to continue with this through to National High School in Sogeri and currently I am still doing that as an Ensglish teacher. I continued to contribute the school magazines as an editor and producer or magazines to sustain my writing skills. It is becoming a hobby. In addition, other genre, I have contributed to would be writing an alphabet on the Kuanua Language of East New Britain and this was published together with other Languages in the country by Dr. Otto Nekitel our lecturer then under Languages and Phonics of PNG while I was doing my final year in Language and Literature Degree at the university of PNG in 1994. Then, in 2002, I wrote a thesis on The Education Reform: Students Performance in Language and Literature in the NGI Secondary Schools. This was followed by a dissertation on Leadership: The need for Holistic Leadership in PNG Secondary Schools.

HT: What do you write about, and what are the common reactions you’ve had from readers?

JN: Writing can be on anything that someone is going through in life so most of my creative or writing in general is based on issues one goes through; and most readers have been inspired on those, especially when they are encouragement or solutions to issues they are facing in life. Also, writing is expressing what goes on in the mind to others and sharing sensitive issues with others through the characterization roles. You do not have to use real names but tell the story as an anonymous writer and still maintaining the main messages of educating, persuading or inspiring your target audience or readers. Creating fictional characters, setting and maintaining the main message is effective. Even if it’s a sensitive issue but working through contemporary fiction, satire, parody or fantasy, people will still get the messages or inspirations. For example, even a short inspiration or encouragement on Facebook would encouraged those readers or people who follow my page on email, Facebook or Whats App. They would inbox and acknowledge me for that or they would just write on my wall and express their gratitude for those. From those gratitude, I know they are being inspired so I must continue to write and share with all.

HT: What piece of writing of yours are you most proud of, and can you briefly outline its message and its significance to you?

JA: With my profession as a teacher, reading and writing are becoming a lifestyle so I have to read a wide variety of genre to keep myself equipped to writing and enhancing my knowledge to educate and inspire my students in writing and reading as well; and those around me in my community. Below are some the main books I consistently read or use as inspirations to keep reading and building my creativity in writing:rtunity to keep going and reaching your goals as per the title “Soaring Eagle”. That is why in my autobiography the examples or challenges I went through in getting my Post Graduate and Master’s Degrees were outlined in detailed to encourage readers and especially women or young girls to keep striving for their goals in life. And, these were the same in the school magazines; thesis and dissertation that I wrote. They outlined issues and solutions on how to overcome trials or how to achieve goals in leadership, schools, or life holistically.

HT: If you had to sustain your creativity with only 3 books for the rest of your life, what would these books be?

JN: With my profession as a teacher, reading and writing are becoming a lifestyle so I have to read a wide variety of genre to keep myself equipped to writing and enhancing my knowledge to educate and inspire my students in writing and reading as well; and those around me in my community. Below are some the main books I consistently read or use as inspirations to keep reading and building my creativity in writing:

  • The Bible which I read almost every day and night;

  • The Kenneth Copeland Monthly Magazines, that I read every day and on monthly basis

  • Think Big and Gifted Hands by Ben Carson

  • My Childhood and To Serve with Love by Paulias Matane and;

  • Sana: The Autobiography of Sir Michael Somare


HT: What is the one thing you can’t do without when going to write?

JN: Having a “Things to do List “or goal setting is one thing I have to have to remind me of tasks in my job, community or family. So when I write I must be reminded that I have to juggle between work, family, community and my writing. It directs me to not having issues of time management or meeting deadlines and work toward a balance in life.

HT: Encouraging a thriving literary culture of writers and readers in Papua New Guinea – what does this look like to you?

JN: Papua New Guineans are excellent story tellers, it is part of our culture and lifestyle. We do those creativities through traditional songs, dances, tattoos, designs, painting and etc. The only thing is the inspiration to write that is not part of our culture. So, now with more and more Papua New Guineans educated or becoming literate, everyone should write and keep records of the rich cultural stories/creativities or literature that we have in our diverse clans or tribes. Then, we can extend to creative writing and other genre for all to read and enjoy now and in the future. A few of our forefathers like: Sir Michael Somare, Sir Paulias Matane and Sir Ignatius Kilage did that to start us off. Great legacies in writing and anyone can tap into to place e Papua New Guinea’s map in the globe through literature.

So, thank you to Hibiscus Three for inspiring some of us now into writing more through the publications of our contributions. It is the publication of one’s work that makes them and all to keep writing. I am fortunate to be one of those already. To others out there, get the biros and papers out and start writing. Start small and then you will be amazed that you will find yourself writing and writing more and more. The sky is the limit so see you all in the next Hibiscus Three edition.

HT: What is the one thing you haven’t written yet that you’d like to eventually get to, and what inspires you to keep this as a goal?

JN: I have written incomplete books or novels, so I look forward to a partnership with Hibiscus Three, I am now ready to complete them. My contribution to Hibiscus Three is my inspiration to complete those and continue with the art of writing now and into the future. These are:

· Wounded but not Down

· Faith Overcomes Challenges

· Poetry Speaks: Contemporary PNG

HT: Where can readers find your writing?

JN: Below are guides to where readers can find my contributions so far:

  • For now, with my Autobiography: Soaring Eagle on Hibiscus Three Blog.

  • For the school magazines: They will be in Malabunga Secondary school, Kilakila Secondary School, and Port Moresby International School libraries.

  • For Copies of my Thesis: It will be in the Journal & Periodical Section: Title: Education Reform- Grade 11 and 12 Language and Literature Performance in Secondary Schools in the NGI

  • For the Kuanua Alphabet: It would in the Journal & Periodical Section of the Library: PNG Vernacular: Alphabets of Languages in PNG by Dr. Otto Nekitel.


Thank you Joyce for the insight to your writing life, and encouragement to do as the waymakers did ,and write our own stories! Let Hibiscus Three know if you come across any of Joyce's writng in school magazines at the PNG schools mentioned above. Take a picture and tag us (@hibiscus.three) on Instagram.

Stay connected with the Hibiscus Blog in the coming days to meet more of the featured writers of our recent online event, Writers Exhibition PNG46.

(image below: e-banner of the recently held Hibiscus Three initiative)

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