New PNG MP Loujaya Toni – a life of music, politics & poetry….

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24th July, 2012

Story by Keith Jackson

LOUJAYA TONI (46), who shocked a strong field of male contenders to become Papua New Guinea’s newest female parliamentarian, was born in the city she now represents.

Before yesterday’s win in Lae Open, Loujaya had been an aspiring politician for some years. She contested the national elections in 2007 and the Local Level Government Elections in 2008, giving her male opposition candidates a close run for their money.

While still at school in Port Moresby in 1978, she was nominated as PNG’s youngest poet by the University of Papua New Guinea. Her collection of poems, A Sense of Interest, was later published by the Education Department.

In 1985 she launched a string of solo gospel music albums under the name Loujaya Dunar and has since been recognised as a singer/songwriter. She wrote and performed the song, Keep the Fire Alive with the group Tambaran Culture as a tribute to the 9th South Pacific Games held in Port Moresby in 1991.

Loujaya is a qualified journalist and teacher and also a practicing naturopath. She is a part-time tutor at the University of Technology in Laeand has been a full-time student in the Department of Communication Development Studies, graduating in April, 2012.

This poem, with a powerful political theme, was written as an entry in this year’s Crocodile Prize.

Twenty-two women

By Loujaya Toni

Twenty two women
Sitting ducks
Shot at
By trigger happy mouths;

Nameless, faceless number
Threatening shadows
Women in waiting
Wanna-be politicians
Hopeful governors;

Unknown but significant
Twenty two women
All wanting
In on parliament;

They are daunting shadows
Reaching in
To the men’s haus
Haunting his wildest political dreams
Forcing a hand in his schemes
A very present number
At all
His deliberations
Seen and heard more
Than a mere apparition;
Twenty two women
Waiting their dues.


See also Pacific Media Watch article ‘Journalist and creative writer woman ousts minister in PNG elections.’

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