Everyday People PNG : Belden Norman Namah

I was about 6-years-old and there was a big celebration at Bewani station in Vanimo.

I was a small boy and still can recall people dancing and singing cultural songs.

Everyone was so happy about this very important event.

As I grew up, I realized that the event the people are celebrating was on September 16, 1975.

Many people congregated at Bewani station and one of my uncles carried me on his shoulder, to get a glimpse of what was happening.

I can hear the people singing a famous song sung by the Sepiks as “Michael Somare tok na Independence kam lo PNG.”

And that’s how I got to know the name Michael Thomas Somare.

As I grew up, the name become synonymous and the household name for the whole of Sepik and whole of Papua New Guinea.

Sir Michael is the household name for Papua New Guinea and the face for Papua New Guinea.

Every time when he travels out of the country and represents PNG in other parts of the world, Sir Michael Somare, just his face alone, represents Papua New Guinea.

Opposition leader Belden Namah recalls his childhood days during independence with Grand Chief Sir Michael Somare

Freddy Mou