An contest was held at the David Kuyon Human Rights and Culture Center (DKHRCC) in Gbarnga, Bong County, to honor late traditional story teller and cultural icon, Peter Y. Ballah.
The competition was organized and held under the auspices of the DKHRCC on March 29.
The ceremony was intended to highlight the important contributions of the late Peter Ballah to traditional storytelling and the preservation of Liberian culture and values.
During the small but very important event, several Liberian storytellers were recruited from 15 of Liberia’s political sub-divisions to take part in the competition.
Speaking at the ceremony, the Director General of the Liberia Institute for Statistics and Geo-Information Service (LISGIS), Dr. T. Edward Liberty, called for the support and preservation of Liberian culture.
Director Liberty urged Liberians and cultural practitioners to work with DKHRCC in the overall enhancement of the cultural heritage of the nation.
He extended thanks and appreciation to the organizers of the Peter Ballah storytelling award initiative and said that Liberians must be forerunners of protecting the cultural heritage of the country.
For his part, the founder of the DKHRCC, Rudolf Janke, urged Liberians and their partners to continue telling traditional stories in their original forms in order to enhance and encourage tradition and creativity.
He expressed delight over the participation of the traditional storytellers in the Peter Ballah storytelling competition.
Mr. Janke also underscored the need for the participation of as many Liberians as possible in the DKHRCC’s next storytelling competition.
Making remarks, the Director of the National Museum at the Ministry of Information, Cultural Affairs and Tourism (MICAT), Albert Markeh, stressed the need for Liberians and partners to assist the Liberian Government in the development of the cultural heritage of the country.
“Since this is an event associated with culture and its practices, our support and cooperation cannot be over-emphasized,” Director Markeh said.
During the traditional storytelling competition the storytellers thrilled the audience with well known traditional stories.
Out of the traditional storytellers who narrated stories in the fiercely contested competition was dropped; while three out of 14 who remained were chosen to further narrate their stories for the audience and judges at the DKHRCC in Gbarnga City, Bong County.
At the end of the storytelling competition, Mr. Emmanuel Tamba was chosen as the winner of the competition’s US$250.00 prize for a story that contained all the elements the judges were looking for.