Emmanuel Tamba Wins Peter Ballah Award for Storytelling

(L-r) Emmanuel Tamba, the winner of the Peter Ballah Award for storytelling waiting to receive the book, Legend of Liberia, from the brain behind the award, Rudolf Janke.

The organizing committee of the Peter Ballah Award for Traditional Story-telling has announced Emmanuel Tamba as its 2018 winner.

Emmanuel, who won the award in 2014, beats five other contestants to win the 2018 award after the judges and the   audience unanimously voted his story, “Never Overlook Anyone,” as the best that brings to life the country’s lost tradition and its high moral values.

The Peter Ballah Award for Traditional Story-telling, which carries a cash prize of US$500, is awarded to contestants whose stories reflect Liberia’s cultural values. It is organized by the Liberian Friends for Village People Empowerment, a non-governmental organization (NGO) whose aim is to reawaken interest in Liberia’s traditional storytelling. Mr. Rudolph Janke is currently the organization’s executive director.

“I am going to use my cash prize to engage in extensive research, to collect more traditional stories to be published in the future. The story teaches the moral lesson of being kind and not selfish, which is one of the cultural values that is hugely missing in the country today,” Emmanuel said.

He said he was very pleased, but also surprised that he won. “I am shocked,” he said. “I was not expecting to win the competition, but since I have won it, I am so glad that I have won for the second time. I have been fascinated by traditional stories because they teach lots of moral lessons.”

As 1st Place winner, Emmanuel walked away with a cash prize of US$250, while 2nd Place winner, Christopher Vatike, whose story “I Will Not Speak Until I Know What Jealousy Is,” took home US$150, and Tony Kerdoe, 3rd Place, carried US$100 for his story “Do You Know Woman?”

All five participants, among them the three winners, from fourth left to Emmaunel Tamba standing at the far right.

The organization presented a certificate, the book “Legend of Liberia.” It is a collection of traditional Liberian stories. All five participants, among them the three winners, were also presented with certificates.The award is named in honor of Liberia’s cultural icon and story-teller, Peter Ballah.


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