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HOHE literary awards come, above all, to pay tribute for the camps of literary works. This piece will try to liberate the literary works out of the prejudiced.In the following lines of arguments we will dwell on another scheme of making sacred ‘creative authors’, just out of the relatively profane status.
If a passersby is asked about why he doesn’t read creative writing, no matter what his literacy and sophistication level, he would say ‘no!all hours I have I effectively utilize it to read published outputs , perhaps in my profession’. Moreoften than not, it is not uncommon to see society to assume the norms of reading fiction, non-fiction and poetry are a futile leisure time exercise. This piece, precisely, reacts to consider fiction, non-fiction and poetry are not pointless exercise of hobby. Rather it calls for reconsidering to value far more than a mereaesthetical assumption.
Arguably enough, the problem arises when some body simplifies the community of authors. That is there is misguided assumption as authors of creative writing drawn from artists of full-time engagement. The verdict on such assumption nullifies as there are authors drawn from ‘Medical Doctors’, ‘Psychologists’, ‘Sociologists’, and ‘Philosophers’. In this endeavor, one can nullify the medieval assumption reverberated in liberal Economic philosopher-Adam Smith’s the Wealth of Nations, where he portrayed the labour of artists and creative authors as a mere unproductive occupations.
Can anyone guess as Philosophers deliberately writes fiction to convey their perspectives and outlook for the society. Once, the French existential philosophers Jean Paul Satre boldly did it. He did it in his fiction dubbed as ‘Genet’. Whereas, he challenged the task of a philosophers can be undone without the usual essay writing. Perhaps, he challenged by reconsidering ‘creative writing’ on top of the customary ‘essay writing’. He diligently argued that, especially in his work dubbed as ‘Question de Methode’, as professional philosophers ought to make their methods of liberal, they also employ novels to advance in knowledge. More often than not, it is not coincidence that made Dr. Dagnachew Worku (a professor of philosophy) made a sense of poetry in the public sphere, for understanding a good ‘Ethiopian Philosophy’. The point is literary works serves far beyond fulfillment of leisure.
Once Francis Nyamnjoh (a professor at Cape town University) challenged the mainline sociologists to reconsider in employing fiction, also as a proto-typical methodology other than the rest of methods of data collection, in his article ‘Fiction & Reality in Mobility of Africa’ appeared on Citizenship Studies, vol 17 published in 2013. Perhaps, Nymanjoh was a practicing novelist where he authored ‘Intimate Strangers’ in 2010. Moreover he explained that in the novel based on an ethnographic study of mobility and relationships among Africans in Botswana, he made a case for connecting the insiders and outsiders. He argued not be short sighted to be restricted in identifying essences, birthmarks or permanence, but as ‘frontier realities’ in terms of accommodating, convivial, composite and cosmopolitan tendencies in most African social formations which can be neither identified nor explained through the mainstreamed methodologies. That is why he objected the sufficiency of those predominant methodology; Such as ‘participant observation’, ‘observation’ and ‘interviewing key informants’. Exceptionally he challenged the common wisdom in unearthing a different methodology by way of also considering ‘fiction’.
Coming back to home experiences, among others, we found Mehret Debebe (M.D) authored Amharic novels ‘yetekolefebet Kulfoch’ (to mean ‘the locked keys’) and ‘lela Sew’ (to mean ‘another personality’). Whereas, Mehret didn’t hide the fact that his fiction was highly triggered by his psychiatric experience. It is better to give the benefit of hindsight since we had, as such, so many illustration for the fact that profession caters creative writing. Indeed, one can’t anymore forward such unfounded justification for not to be active member of creative writing.
We contend that literary products (to mean ‘fiction’, ‘non –fiction’ and ‘poetry’)worth than a mere satisfying for literary thirst. We can chant ‘free literature from the straight jacket of leisure and hobby’. In line with this, that is how HOHE awards understood the significance of literature. Good week!
This article is contributed by HOHE Award. HOHE Award is organized by Northeast Events to promote a culture of creative writing and reading in Ethiopia. Besides the main annual literary award, there are different events and trainings that run throughout the year with the main aim of promoting creative writing and reading among the general population and children in particular.
By Eyob Asfaw