These cultural advocates have shown the world and their home country that culture is indeed the natty part of what makes Papua New Guinea great.
In representing the cultural community, inspiring artists of their own genre spoke briefly of their cultural journey and their deep appreciation for their art form and the recognition it is being accorded.
Musician, producer and songwriter, AK47 formally known as Allen Kedea, spoke at the launch of the National Cultural Policy on Friday, 10th June.
“For us musicians and artists in this nation, this evening is a momentous occasion for the official launch of PNG’s first National Cultural Policy 2022-2032. I would like to say thank you for including us and consulting us as part of the dialogue to put this policy together. I would like to acknowledge and give thanks to our Lord Jesus Christ for giving us this land with which we, the Motu Koitabuans as traditional landowners, are custodians of,” said Kedea.
Mr Kedea elaborated that music has been an integral part of PNG in singing, dancing, celebrating marriage, mourning and even gardening. He said singing and dancing is in our blood, our system and a deep part of our culture.
He said, “But up to this point, music industry at large has not had a home in this country. After independence we had the explosion of traditional/contemporary PNG music with recording studios broadcasting our music at large across the pacific and around the world.”
Many artists found homes temporarily within big studios but some kept independent. However, after the explosion of the internet in 2000, the advent of Mp3’s, Bluetooth and flash drives crippled the music industry not only in PNG but around the world bringing about things like music piracy, illegal sales of local music and therefore cutting the little income that artists could earn.
He said that as the big studios closed down, artists were left to fend for themselves, and for the last 30 years it has been quite a struggle.
“What we needed was a home, what we need is a home. A home where all musicians across the country can come together. Wanpla hausman, ruma tamona, and tonight I am very thankful that this Ministry of Tourism, Arts and Culture, Tourism Promotion Authority and the National Cultural Commission along with NEC has set about the blueprint to architect and build our new home. Music in PNG now has a place we can call home under the National Cultural Commission. We are looking forward to working with NCC and the government to help promote and protect our culture in PNG and across the world,” said Mr Kedea.