Hiphop star Jay Polly has announced his support for Andika Rwanda, a national competition for writing stories and poems for children. The competition, which launched last month, is a joint initiative of the Rwanda Education Board, the USAID-funded Literacy, Language, and Learning (L3) Initiative, implemented by the Education Development Center, and Drakkar Ltd. The announcement was made at Lycee de Kigali on Friday during Jay Polly's surprise appearance at the secondary school's morning assembly.
The visit was to urge students and youth in general to adopt the culture of writing and to submit a story or poem to the competition. "I'm a writer," Jay Polly said. "I write because I want to change people's lives through the messages in my songs. You have to write to express yourself, you have to let people know what you think."
Primary and secondary students—at both public and private schools—as well as adults are eligible to participate. The winners receive tablets, books, and a trip to Kigali for a writers symposium and awards ceremony, as well as professional publication of their stories and poems. The published volumes of winning stories and poems will then be distributed to primary schools across the country, providing children access to interesting, locally-authored stories and poems.
"Anyone can be a writer," said Jay Polly. "Why not enter the competition?"
Primary and secondary students can learn more from their teachers, and adults can visit their sector offices for more information. Any interested participants can also visit www.reb.rw. The deadline for submissions is Friday, May 9th.