The Matelong Writers Prize was initiated in 2006 to recognize child writers, illustrators and various works of high quality done by the African children. The Award is the first of its kind in Africa to appreciate the role of children in the literary world including culture, development and economic development. With this background, the award puts into consideration individual and collective efforts by pupils and teachers with a view to enhance the quality of the written work.
The award consists of both the technical and the non-technical writing approaches. These writings are specially designed to develop the writing skills of the African children and to equally enable them to share their individual experiences with other children found elsewhere in the continent. Every year, the award identifies a few projects in the continent which will form part of its support program. The intermediate recognition would go to the most disadvantaged children and especially those who cannot afford to buy text books, pens or other materials that is required for their learning.
Information and techniques.
This award is designed to establish a link between an African child and the small world where he/she belongs. The effective understanding of the child world is enough to enable children to express themselves in almost every single occurrence.
A child who misses a meal for two days in Zimbabwe suffers the same trauma as a child who sleeps in the cold for two nights in Dafur. And a child who is exposed to radioactive elements in the Niger delta would suffer the same pain as a child being sacrificed for ritual purposes in Uganda.
Children’s existence form the epitome of any society and the award specifically allows the children to express themselves in an open platform where their unspoken views would be well exposed through writing.
Impact of the Matelong Writers Prize.
The Matelong Writers Prize is making a huge impact in Africa and it is equally generating a lot of interest among people who are keen to understand the role of young minds in the community. In equal terms, the award is aimed at instituting a positive change within a society where issues such as disability, poverty and ignorance still thrive.
A major collaboration between teachers and pupils provide an unmatchable stretch in child’s growth especially with acceptable norms being put before hand, notable for an African perspective. The Matelong Writers Prize aims at encouraging children to be actively involved in character building, economic development and above all- ensuring that their educational and growth needs are put into perspective.