The Thing About Growing Up

Or what happens when you get a little bit mindful about your choices

I know you don’t read a lot of my stuff and…
I read your stuff- she cut in.
Pause.
Huh. Really?
Yeah.
So…you read about
the time when I got my heart broken and I cried for a day?, I said, half hoping she’d say no.
Yes, my Mum replied, I read that.

So, I had a Whatsapp Call with a special someone today. We’re a typical Cameroonian family: we talk about plans for the future without trying to express our personal, usually differing, ideals; we spend christmas together — the first few days blissful, except for when the undying skeletons creep; we love each other but, when anyone says “I love you”, there is this, slight, very, uncomfortable, pause. *clears throat*

Ergo, the idea of a conversation in which we’d talk about my career, plans for the future, my dissatisfaction with my role as the first child, my opinion about her career, my relationships, and my take on responsibility, goes further to cement a singular thought I’ve been having:

I may actually be growing up. Dammit.

You see, this year: I had the best birthday gift, I gained more gratitude for the people in my life, I loved, I destroyed ( single handedly, and I am not being self-deprecating here) one of the strongest bonds I had ever forged with a friend- a brother. I’m still reeling from that loss. I’ll be okay. Thanks for asking.

I’m still incredibly amazed by how much I have been able to handle these situations.

Disclaimer: I had help from colleagues, friends and family. I just like to think that I am a hero. Meh.

Anyway, my mother and I talked. Remember the part where I said we were a typical Cameroonian family? Well, I lied. What can I say? I love me some drama. *wink*

We’re atypical. My siblings definitely have their own narrative about this, but, from my vantage point, having parents who actually make an argument for their decisions in your life, isn’t exactly “ Cameroonian”.

Normally, if you’re smart, you become a medical doctor. No questions asked. If you don’t make it through entrance exam- you do biochemistry, ace it, get a scholarship and leave the country. And oh, if you’re the first child, don’t forget to reel in your siblings when you get “established”. Whatever established means.

I have a tendency to replay important conversations in my head- text messages, meaningful encounters- like that time in the restaurant. I seem almost out of my body listening to myself — fragmenting my thought process. Of course, in time, these recollections become flawed. I try as much possible to milk them before I can’t trust the details.

If the one with Mum today is fresh, then I can rely on my conclusions:

1. You’re never too old to be a kid

I have come to terms with the fact that my mother will always worry. Same for my father. It was a pain the size of a hard drive at some point in my life( read: until very recently). Now, it feels more like a piece of fish in my spacious teeth- it’s annoying, but I can take it out when I want to. Plus, it feels sort of nice, you know. *smiles*

I feel really old at 27. Well… sometimes. But, the people I hangout with make me feel like a kid. All the time. I love the balance. It keeps me in check. And I know I can always count on my mother — she’ll worry, complain, try to make me get a ‘safe’ career path — because that is her job.

2. Sometimes, you need to stop being a kid

I’m currently working with a team that suits and stretches my skills. I don’t get time to “relax”. The work is challenging. For a lazy, stubborn writer like me, I looove ditching projects half-way. Once I don’t like an idea- meh. Dead.

With work ( and with life), I can’t do that. The team counts on me. The mission must be completed! (Did someone say Metal Slug?) I cannot run to my mother and say: sorry. I know my parents will always (want to) be there for me. And I get it- I won the parent lottery. I am certain that when I my own child, it will be the exact same feeling. However, in gratitude for what they’ve done for me , I need to get my life together. For them. For me.

3. “Sometimes, you need to leave your family, so that you can be stable enough to help your family” — hK:

A friend said that to me months ago. I was worried about how best to get to my siblings on ze search of a career. Isn’t it ironic how good I am at proffering advice I have a hard time heeding?

Today, I told my mother about how much she had no choice when it came to worrying about me and my siblings. And how I did. I have a choice. I cannot let my first born son incontinence ( is that even a thing?) stop me from living “my life”. I have goals, dreams, and plans. Lists of books to publish. Podcast conversations to have. Scripts to finish. Ideas to test. Places to see. If I get hung up on solving family problems ( I don’t have that many, trust me. I just take them a tad too seriously), when do I get the time to make my dent? I need to chill.

Inner self: yeah dude, chill ( I just watched Bill and Ted’s Excellent Adventure” *grins* * does 3 second air guitar solo*

4. You always have a choice about how you feel

Like when I said “ I love you” at the end of the conversation. We’re not living ze dream. Our bank accounts aren’t sputtering passive income. My job isn’t “fun”. My parents are not “the world’s best parents”. Heck, I don’t even have a couch! ( I’m working on the couch part though. Thanks Q. 🙂 ).

After my recent break-up, I internalized my pain. It was a lot of pain for me. I justified it with messages, texts, contexts. I even went back to work with more vigor. Then, I had a one day crash — and a one week crash. Then I wrote this.

With my return from ze dark side, I started mindfulness: I label my thoughts — useful, useless — depending on what they are at the time.

I don’t need to “delete” the thoughts. I just need to know — is this useful? Is this useless? That’s it. It takes practice. And I am pretty bad at it ( getting there…). But I know this keeps me from replaying unnecessary conversations. I may not be the happiest person on earth, but I know I am responsible for how I feel about whatever happens to me.

I still have a lot of things to figure out. I still want to travel and write. I still want to have epic conversations (even though my LGG4 gave up on me and I lost months of conversations and pictures that I will never recover * takes deep breath to calm himself down*). I have a lot of things I need to work on. And, I have someone who will die for me if she needed to.

I know she won’t read this ( she actually hardly reads my work. I mean…come on…why are you reading this self-deprecating renegade ramble?), just know that I love you Mum.

And I love you too for reading this far. Thank you.

This is not to all the Mums. This is not to all the friends who make our lives worth it. This is not to hard workers and sweet colleagues. This is not to adorable siblings and best friends.

This is to you who finds a reason to be grateful and to keep being better at growing up.


Tchassa Kamga lives in Buea, Cameroon. This part of the country just got its internet reinstated! Previously, he’s had to travel a long distance to post. However, this was written in his pyjamas. At home. Under myopic influence.

He’s learning the intricacies of curating events and documenting them at the fine dining restaurant and cultural hub- IYA Buea. He has three episodes on his podcast . He also takes blatant pictures on Instagram.

He co-writes with C. Befoune ( he has a not-so secret crush on her) on this publication — Self-ish . Their goal is to share the lessons they’ve learnt from multiple sources in the domains of Self-improvement, Content Creation and Human Relationships.

Easily get him on Twitter.

 

What Happens When ‘They’ Have Faith in You


Click to Check out my Station on Anchor!!

After spending over three months without access to the internet, I can comfortably tell you that my life went on normally — sort of. I found out — among other things — the following:

1. My fear of failure easily leads me through a cycle : despair, then mild depression, then the search for the easiest exit.

In secondary school ( and even during my undergraduate years), I could do “mini-quits” — where I’d disappear from school from a couple of weeks, totally immerse myself in whatever new interest I’d had, then return for exams or catch-up with notes from my classmates.

Eh, good times.

Because I was smart enough to pass tests and major exams, no one noticed the momentary world I’d need to swathe myself through my moments of resistance.

This had always worked for me. Then I became productively accountable to another human — I got a job. What I found out with an employer ( who actually cares about you) is that you can’t climb into a self pity and stay home without showing up for work. You can’t carry a sad mane around the office and expect smiles and pats on the back. You can’t deliver sub-par work and expect cakes. Accountability demands and upgrade in dealing with self-inflicted despair. Which leads me to…

2. When you have people who expect much from you, you tend to do much.

“No expectations, no disappointment”– the popular maxim goes( I hope it’s not as popular as my brain thinks it is). This holds true for expectations in others — if you don’t expect much from anyone, you hardly get disappointed with anything that happens. You know, because you didn’t exactly root for or against his/her ability to achieve anything. This, my friend, is safe.

Too safe.

My boss expects a tonne from me. So do the members of my new family aka colleagues. I was navel gazing and licking my broken heart ( yep, doing it for the nth time), forgetting to see how much they’d invested in me. I almost irreversibly let them down.

The fact that you’re reading this means I didn’t. And that I have learnt more important things about love, life, work, family and friendships. Things like…

Real friends get worried when you quit too easily. They’re not afraid to tell you in your face.

Real friends don’t sugarcoat your laziness. They don’t make it a mean joke either.

Real mentors don’t babysit you. They show you the way. You have to walk it.

Weak ties are powerful. They could pay for your airplane ticket. But you’ll never know if you stay depressed in your room.

Business plans are important. Learn how to write one. It could save your life. Or fund it.

Same for life plans. “If you don’t know where goal post is, where do you shoot?” ( Somebody said that. I don’t remember who. 🙂 )

Resistance is real. Acknowledge it. Respect it. But do what you must.

You are responsible for how you handle your emotions. 

I now practice mindful meditation- I label my thoughts: “useless”, “useful”. I’ve stopped draining with replays of “useless” conversations in my mind.

If you think you don’t have friends, maybe you’re right. But maybe you aren’t a friend either.

 We all have 24 hours. You get to pick your family, gain weak ties and garner identity capital. It’s important to learn how to let go, how to be honest with ourselves.

Guilty as charged. 80% of previous paragraph comes from Dr. Meg Jay.

I have always rushed over my issues by writing every itty bitty tiny things that happens to me. Now I know better: everything takes time. Heartbreaks. Disappointment. Loss. 

Because we see our neighbours smiles and carry on doesn’t mean all is well. 

It’s better to stay on the road to recovery than to rush (with the mind) to the end. The whiplash may be lethal.

And love yourself. You’re worthy.


Tchassa Kamga lives in Buea, Cameroon. This part of the country just got its internet reinstated! Previously, he’s had to travel a long distance to post. However, this was written in his pyjamas. At home. Under myopic influence.

He’s learning the intricacies of curating events and documenting them at the fine dining restaurant and cultural hub- IYA Buea. He has three episodes on his podcast . He also takes blatant pictures on Instagram.

He co-writes with C. Befoune on this publication — Self-ish . Their goal is to share the lessons they’ve learnt from multiple sources in the domains of Self-improvement, Content Creation and Human Relationships.

Easily get him on Twitter.

The Day I didn’t Want to Talk To Anyone

The Bimbia Slave Site Captured with my LG G4

I’m scared of the direction my life has been headed in the past couple of months. I dropped out from my graduate programme. I took my first real job working with a small (but impressive) team where we’re singlehandedly sculpting the cultural landscape of the country — the potential is huge.

My poetry collection sits in this same computer unpublished. I haven’t posted anything on the internet in weeks.

Oh, and I got dumped. I could tell you about how painful it was. Or what I wish I hadn’t said or done. Or the lessons I learned or how much I would miss her. Truth is, up until recently, I thought I had ‘survived’ this. I hadn’t. I may not. In fact, given my propensity towards extreme emotional engagement without building the initial required foundation upon which most long term relationships are built, I woke up a few mornings later and sobbed.

I cry when I watch emotive movies or read texts with similar properties. I cried when I received a surprise birthday cake for the first time with my name on it.

I still consider myself cold and unemotional. I’ve trained myself to not express surprise, fear or elation unexpectedly. Dealing with subtle forms of rejection in secondary school and during my first years in the Uni gave me that skill.

That morning, I sat up and prepared to head to work, I don’t remember the exact sequence of events that led to my sobs, but I felt a deep sense of loss, like my reason for existing had been stolen. I could not find words to describe what my mind didn’t comprehend. As I struggled to make sense of it, I muttered to myself in hope that words would soothe the excruciating feeling that boiled in my abdomen. It made no sense. Yet, the tears flowed. They were hot. Enough to make me stop. Enough to let off a little of the pressure from within. I’d never cried over a breakup before.

Great. One more item off my bucket list.

I washed my face and wore the adequate thespian features. Then I left home.

Because that wasn’t the day I couldn’t talk to anyone.


Last month, someone on twitter interviewed me for her dissertation. She said she’d come across my writing on the web and her work focused on black writers living on the continent. Another amazing writer said I was quite a talent. I felt important. This is not to say that I have a bad case of low self-esteem.

Because I do have a mild case of it.

I don’t think I am particularly handsome. It is for this reason that I feel very nervous in front of anyone’s camera.

I don’t think I am a good writer. I sometimes fear that I may die and never accomplish my dreams. Of course, you will tell me it is probably a legitimate fear that everyone has. Honey, I get you, but I am not everyone.

I am me. I’m scared.

I feel like a fraud. I try hard to hide it behind jokes, and smart talk ( boy, do I steal from books). Which is why it takes me a long time to trust anyone to open up and really get them to enter my world.

(Fun fact, you ( yes you reading this) probably know more about me from reading me on the internet that most people in my immediate surroundings. That’s how much of me I am able to hide from everyone around me)

On the other side of this deep fear of disappointing my inner self, I also have a sense of things I can do that no one else could. I play with words in ways that never seizes to amaze people around me. I speak two languages and I ( sort of sing). I am also sort of funny — when I’m not depressed.

As you can see.

I am very much in touch with the things I don’t like: I find it hard to do work that is algorithmic. I thrive with creative tasks. However, I have recently observed that even heuristic tasks if given constraints, offset my juices and literally- believe me when I tell you- render me totally incapable of making coherent sentences.

Yesterday, during a workshop, I had to create a story from a theme I absolutely hated. I think my brain died for the next half of the session. My ideas mortified instantaneously.

But, it wasn’t because I was scared of dying alone, unfulfilled and without dreams that I decided not to talk to anyone. I was because I had had enough and I was exhausted. For the first time in months, I’d reached the trough of my mild depression and I decided I didn’t want to do anything. Except this.


When I woke up that morning, everything was the same; the car horns through my window, the sun’s sly smile pouring through. My eyelids were heavy, but my stomach too.

“I could read a few pages before I go up there”, I thought to myself as I grabbed the Samsung tablet on the table.

A journey to the loo wiped the thoughts of another dive at the warm covers. It was my special moment with myself. While I did my business, I flipped to my ebook app, ‘Born Standing Up’ was open.

As much as I’d never paid attention to Steve Martin’s work as an entertainer, I noticed that his writing gave me insights into his life that would never leave me. I quietly continued my not so challenging multitasking ordeal.

8.15am

I knew because my phone alarm started ringing as soon as I got into the room. Steve was saying something about Nina Lawrence and her change of name. But I knew I couldn’t afford another sluggish read.

8.30am.

Fifteen minutes couldn’t have gone this fast. I knew something wasn’t right that morning the moment I started freezing during my workout. I wasn’t unlike the rushing antelopes away from forest fire deep in the country. Or the birds leaving the island before the volcano.

Even when I took the cab, my head moved with difficulty. My smile felt plastic. I could hear my voice. Even I didn’t believe my destination when I told the driver.

In a sudden rush, I wrote an email to my best friend in over 11 years. The network was shitty but I was grateful for Gmail’s HTML version . I told her what I was going to do. I know what I wrote in the email, but I couldn’t believe I was going to do it. When my phone rang and I saw my superior calling, I silenced the device and turned the screen face down.

I wasn’t in control anymore. That was when he told me what we were going to do that afternoon.
End of part one.


Tchassa Kamga lives in Buea, Cameroon. This part of the country hasn’t had internet in over two months. So, he’s had to travel a long distance to post this. He’s learning the intricacies of curating events and documenting them at the fine dining restaurant and cultural hub- IYA Buea. He has three episodes on his podcast . He also takes blatant pictures on Instagram.

He co-writes with C. Befoune on this publication — Self-ish . Their goal is to share the lessons they’ve learnt from multiple sources in the domains of Self-improvement, Content Creation and Human Relationships.

You can easily get him on Twitter.

#IYAGriotNights: Episode Two #Poetry #Events #Buea #Cameroon

https://soundcloud.com/tchassakamga/is-spoken-word-for-you

“Poetry is for the bourgeoisie”; “Poetry is for the literary elite”; “Poetry is like wine, you need to be either a lover of the craft or an expert to enjoy it”.

That must have been what was going through the minds in the audience of the very first #IYAGriotNight. On that 12th of December, 2016, the few curious individuals who settled at the lounge didn’t know what to expect. A majority had never seen a live Spoken Word Poetry event before. Many were students of the University and as well as Silicon Mountain enthusiasts. For others, this was an initial visit to the erstwhile Alliance Franco Camerounaise. In its stead, “IYA: Food and Culture”.

“IYA” means “mother” in many Bantu languages.

“[IYA] is a canvas upon which the community is called to create. What you see now was once a dream in our minds. It represents the love our mothers, our IYAs had for us. In Africa, we don’t have a culture of mothers saying “I love you”. They show this love through meals; through the incredibly rich recipes handed from one generation to the next. That is what the “Food” part of IYA represents. But what many haven’t seen yet, which our communal ethos is built on, is the “Culture”. We have a huge repertoire of collective Arts that the world is dying to discover. The IYA Griot Nights is one more step in this direction.”

The IYA Griot Nights is a monthly event whose sole purpose is to remind us where we’re from. A griot is a professional oral historian. Our grandmothers were griots- they told stories of war, of love, of the stubborn child or the greedy king. Stories of “sense pass king”.

Leslie Meya “Kibelle”

Poetry is just one form of oral expression. It is one of the most beautiful tools of storytelling. Spoken Word Poetry needs the artist to perform his/her poem. This makes it not only entertaining but especially important in conveying emotions to the viewers.

The Cameroonian spoken word scene has birthed global sensation like Stone Karim Mohamad. In Yaoundé, the Goethe Institute has hosted events and competitions that has seen world class performances. However, the impact of the Spoken Word Movement hasn’t reached this part of the country yet. But this is changing.

World class Spoken Word Performers include: Erykah Badu, Grand Corps Malade, Soul Williams and Souleyman Diamanka

During this first event, the audience was so inspired that a few had their own pieces read on the spot. Simo Jandie gave us a witty and humorous reading of his piece from his Facebook post titled: “My Power Bank”.

That evening, the photographer and media personality- Tito Valery, who happens to be a Spoken Word artist, shared a lot with the audience. He said when he heard about the event, he swore he would travel from Yaoundé to attend it. And he did.

Tito Valery

Nine performers took to the stage: Monique Kwachou, Njoka Mavin, Leslie Meya, Malcolm Koh, Orlyne Passy Nopoudem (duet with me), Nzonda Kenneth and Erwin Ayota. Halfway during the performance, members of the audience opted, on the spot, to perform pieces of their own.

Nzondah Kenneth
Njoka Mavin
Koh Malcolm

It was an emotionally laden event that ended with the audience looking forward to the next #IYAGriotNight.

Poets prepare your quills, viewers prepare your minds. A date has been set, the venue is maintained and the menu rich with emotions galore!

Pin your calendars! Saturday, 28th of February, 2016, we welcome you once more to the gust of Zeitgeist that IYA is blowing on the cultural scene of the nation. This time around, two critical conditions.

1. Poets: No papers on stage. http://bit.ly/02griotpoets

2. Audience: No ticket= no entry. http://bit.ly/02GriotAudience

The IYA Griot Night will always be free. You just need to grab a ticket from Eventbrite. This ticket grants you a seat and a drink.

New rule: poets send video versions of your performance by Tuesday, the 17th of January.

There are no themes, all we need is: you, your story and your emotions. Follow this link for to fill the submission form.

There would be a Spoken Word Poetry Know/Share session at IYA to teach the intricacies of Spoken Word performance. These would be 2–3 hour sessions facilitated by the Spoken Word Curator during which skills and techniques for better Spoken Word Performances would be exhibited real time.

In order to be part of the audience, follow this link to secure your seat: http://bit.ly/02GriotAudience

Come and watch history being made, again.

L-R: Tchassa Kamga and Orlyne Passy Nopoudem

Organiser of IYA Griot Nights: IYA BUEA
Facebook iyabuea Twitter@iya_buea
Nestled afoot Mount Cameroon in a colonial build that once house the French consulate, IYA is home to a world-class restaurant, cocktail lounge, literary café and creative spaces.
IYA, a one of a kind gastronomic experience, pays homage to Cameroon’s rich and diverse culinary and cultural heritage, balancing traditional elements and modernity in a multipurpose space. Check our website — 
www.iyabuea.com — for more information and do not hesitate to get in touch with us. It’s always a pleasure.

My first ever #spoken word trial is on SoundCloud!

 

1-zi9bczftg5cojqxhgstq6qWhen I read this text in March, I felt like I had to give it life. Even if I didn’t have the technical skills required, I couldn’t help it.
And even when I did, I let it sit in my computer for all this while, gathering digital dust. I feel the time has come for me to let the world know what I can do and to judge me for it.

This is just the beginning. I would love to get your feedback and suggestions.

It is in French. But do not worry, I have another one prepared in English- a text another wonderful Ghanaian blogger wrote.

They are the words of a mother, saying goodbye to her child. Probably because she ( the mother) will be taken away because of the war.

According to the author of this text, it is the image you see that prompted her to write that piece. That she felt connected to the baby.

Credits:
Text: Anne Marie Befoune ( www.twitter.com/befoune) Tu Ne Te Souviendra pas…click to read.
Background Audio: Phenakist – Wasting-my-young-years_instrumental

If You’re Broke, It’s Your Fault (and other thoughts for young Cameroonians)

I’m one of you. I see it every day. I hear various forms of it. But it’s the same thing: excuses. Why you don’t have a job, why you don’t have money, how school is taking all your time, or how you want to have better grades.

I get it: we all have different scales of preference. We were born to different families, at different times, brought up differently etc. Your values, dreams and goals are shaped not solely by the environment in which you grew up, but by your DNA as well. Literally: you could have some of your parents’ predilections and this could affect your life in tremendous ways.

Nature vs Nurture.

What I have a problem with is when some of these declarations stop being what they are: EXCUSES and become a crippling way to accept the status quo of whatever situation you are in: REASONS.

I have complained. How if I had had the courage earlier to tell my parents I didn’t want to study Biochemistry I would have begun a career I love faster. Or how If only I can make time to write every day since I figured out I loved writing, I should have had books by now. Or how the reason why I am single is because I am tired of the emotional involvement that comes with being in a committed relationship.

Some of these are good reasons. Being self-aware of my own limitations has brought me closer to positioning myself to succeed instead of fighting battles I would eventually lose. Maybe I am just not persistent enough to address my weaknesses. But I’d prefer to stop having excuses to hinder my financial, professional, emotional and spiritual success that to transform those excuses into reasons.

Think about it. You’re in the University. Your parents paid your rents. You get an allowance (it doesn’t matter how small it is). You are young.

Now, if you are even able to GET INTO the university, in my not so humble opinion, you’re smart! You’ve got something. You can do something! Anything! That alone for me, is enough to tell you to shut the hell up when you want to start giving an excuse as to why you can’t make money or why you don’t have enough time , or even in the future — why you don’t have a job.

I spent 7 years in the University to get a first degree after switching degree programmes twice. So, I know a thing or two about failure, disappointment, self-doubt, and laziness. So, trust me when I tell you this:

If you’re a student in the University in Cameroon, and you’re broke (meaning you don’t have money to do whatever you want that is reasonably important for your well-being (I don’t mean buy a bloody car), then it’s your fault.

You caused this. You want this. Own it.

Why? Because the internet.

You have a physical location to stay. Maybe you’ll tell me you live in an uncomfortable environment. Or that the cousin with whom you live is a weirdo. Or that you live far from school. Bullshit. You have a place to sleep. In a University town. That’s like winning the urban lottery.

You have food to eat. If you’re reading this, you have internet. If you can PAY for internet, I don’t think you would sacrifice feeding to get online. Although that would not surprise me #lookenoughandyouwillalwaysfindanexcuse

Click Here To Cast Your Vote and Get a Ticket

The internet provides every single person with a platform that has no geographical boundaries. You can tell your story in whatever format you want-text, audio or video. You can share on all social media platforms (which are essentially free). You can even make a living by complaining about companies online to the point where they call you to fix your problem, and get you to attend an invite only event. If you’re as astute as Churchill Mambe, you don’t even need a degree to create one of Africa’s most talked about platforms- Njorku.

The idea that not everyone can write is plain stupid. I’ve always been vitriolic about this issue and I don’t think I’ll be changing my stance anytime soon. Everyone (unless you didn’t go to school, which is a valid reason) can write. What most people mean when they say this is that NOT EVERYONE CAN BE A GREAT WRITER, or write a moving piece, or something of the sort. And I don’t still quite agree.

Everyone has a unique set of experiences, perspectives and DNA. That’s the beauty of humanity- the diversity. Unfortunately, a lot of it plays against us. But it doesn’t have to. I enjoy having conversations with people with strong opinions- especially when these people have strong arguments to back them up.

I don’t mind being wrong- you just have to be able to prove it.

If you chose to tell your story through writing, you could win. If you chose to start a podcast (like my incomplete experiment here…) you could win, if you chose to make videos even in Cameroon, you could win.

The reason why we’re young, broke and pissed-off university students ( and graduates) is simple: we don’t want to work hard. And we are not patient. We don’t heed to advice. We don’t seek mentors.

There is no overnight success. There is no one hit wonder. Even Justin Bieber’s Mum had to upload videos of him before Usher noticed. It takes time. Lots of it. And as young people, that’s really all we have. Time to learn. To make mistakes. To absorb knowledge from books, mentors, experiences. Time to plan for the long term while keeping the short term in check.

I believe that the next 5 years are going to be critical for the economy of this nation. I also believe that those who shed their excuses, find reasons, work on their strengths, are patient, work hard and aren’t afraid to be themselves will be the ones to win.

To win, we need to play the long game.

Stop watching football matches all day long. Stop watching the Kardashians. Heck, I don’t have a TV. Then again, that’s me. I know what I want. If you’re okay with all that, and you’re not complaining, that’s awesome! You do you boo boo.

I invest my time in activities that would benefit me the long term. Take the Hadron Networking Event for example.

Visit Site

Speaking with the CEO yesterday, he raised the same issue I have been thinking about:

Why do technology startups remain startups and not become actual companies? 

That’s the bubble around the Cameroonian technology ecosystem. There are too many startups. Too many ideas leave from 0 to 1 (not the Peter Thiel type) and stay there. What’s the problem? How can this change?

Surely, we’ve not had the funds required to scale. Between the environment that is not yet ready or the lack of Angel Investors who believe in the dream, I don’t know which is worse.

The team at Hadron believes every company is a technology company. That the way things are done need to change if we want to move the needle further.

Personally, I believe every company is first a MEDIA company. But that is another story.

There is talent in this country. Lots of it. You may say that not everyone has access to the internet. But I leave you with only one question:

You, with access to the internet, with access to learning material, platforms to work from home, a window to tell your story to the whole world, to build a following and sell products , to run a blog/vlog and make money from it…what have you done with your internet access?

“Finish each day and be done with it. You have done what you could. Some blunders and absurdities no doubt crept in; forget them as soon as you can. Tomorrow is a new day. You shall begin it serenely and with too high a spirit to be encumbered with your old nonsense.”
Ralph Waldo Emerson

Call To Action

Get your ticket to the Hadron Networking Event on the 15th December here. Visit the website to read more. I believe in them.

Website- Hadron SA
Facebook- Like The Page
Twitter- Hadron LLC
Event Page- Facebook Event
Tickets- See you there


Hi, I’m Tchassa Kamga. I’m passionate about writing, technology, social media, entrepreneurship and self-improvement. I offer social media, copywriting and copyediting services. You can reach me via Twitter and/or Facebook. On Instagram, I let my imagination travel on the pictures I take. And on Snapchat, I pretend to be famous.

If you read this, my erstwhile love…

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I found joy in the silence of your kiss-the one you took away.
I found peace in your touch-the one I won’t miss.

I searched my memory for the agony of my loss-your loss.
When our song came on SoundCloud, it spoke fondly to the rivers of my eyes.
I talk to myself now. Just like I used to before you came.
The song is no longer sad, I must admit. You were a fond color.

A hue of sorts.
A friend…of sorts.
My friend.

Were you?
Were you mine?
Were you my friend?

I no longer call. But you stopped first-my loss.
I know I wasn’t wrong this time, you were- our loss?

There is desire in the sheets we shared.
No. Not for you.

A longing…of sorts.
Sometimes I squeeze.
Sometimes I wash.

Last night, I made love to myself: A cup of milk, a movie, a laugh alone.
It featured our favorite actor- I won’t hate him.
I tried. But I like him more than I loved you.

Did you?
Did you love?
Did you love me?

I look forward to never seeing you again.
I might smile when I do. Do not be alarmed, it’s my evil plan.

I would hatch a scheme to watch you crawl.
Seize your light and make you fall.

I do not hate you.
Hate is soft.
Hate is weak.
Hate is handicap.

You disgust me.

I will not forget you.
Or your bedroom hymns.

I will not forget the promises I made the day we met.
Nor the rage you left when you sent that text.
I will not forget you, my erstwhile soul mate.
And you should not forget that I loved you.
That I knew your soul and your desires.
The goals you craved and the prize you deserved.

I will not forget the reasons why you smiled.
Or how you blinked when embarrassed behind those balls of wonder I loved to kiss.
Yes, those…I will miss.
Yes, you’re right. I won’t miss.

If you read this, my erstwhile love, I will like to thank you for bringing me closer to myself.
For teaching me what I cannot stand and the desires I cannot condone.

I must thank you for letting me try to be human.
It’s a hard job. One I love taking weekends off for.
Remember: I meant every kiss.
And on this letter, I mean every hiss.

For your own good, let’s never meet again.
You might not recognize the monster you trained.

Blood and Bruises

He ground to a halt.

‘What did you say?’

He’d heard what I said. Even as he turned to look at me in the eyes, I saw his chest rise differently. He said it again. Closing the steps between us. By the time he said ‘say’, I knew about the cabbages he’d eaten for breakfast.

He said you were the youngest in class. And because of that, your opinion didn’t matter. ‘

There was no use mincing the truth. I knew my brother too well. He may have been younger, but I’d fallen victim to his particularly athletic gift one time too many.
And I know better than to coat the chip on his shoulder.
He closed his eyes and took a deep breath. He was hot. We all were. The classic leitmotif before Yaoundé’s mocking rains.

What did you tell him? ‘
‘What?’
‘You heard me, big brother. What did you tell him? ‘

He wasn’t looking at my face the first time he asked. But he did again, leaning on the balcony, his back to the city. He was calm. Too calm. I had a feeling he was enjoying this interrogation. He knew I couldn’t escape. His smirk betrayed him.
Then again, knowing who he was, he must have realized there was more to my account. That I wanted to share something he’d enjoy. He was right.

‘How do you think I bruised my knuckles? ‘

His grin, priceless.

—————–
Did you like? Then you might want to head to my Instagram. I take pictures using the LG G4 I got from my buddy Daniel’s startup. Not only does he give amazing advice when it comes to mobile devices, but he’s the most honest technician I know. Disclaimer: I run his Facebook Page.

So…where was I…

Yes! I take pictures and I write very short stories based on them. I intend to make a picture story book out of them or maybe develop some of the stories into a collection. What do you think?

Send me Tweet, picture or a snap!

 

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Daniel- the smartphone genius at work.

One is Greater Than Zero

I can’t stop thinking about the implication of this statement and how much it is shaping my thought process

When I started posting online, I’d  panic as soon as I don’t get many comments or likes or shares. It still happens to me sometimes.

When my tweet gets ignored, it feels like a rejection letter from my dream publishing house.

Now, it no longer feels that way. Well… not as much.

I have understood that “one is greater than zero”.

In the video below Gary Vee  explains why he takes all kinds of interviews. Even the ones that seem to be a waste of time ( and money). He explains how important it is to always say yes to the small opportunities to make an impact.

That’s who he is.  I can’t hustle like he does. If you can do that, kudos to you!

But what I can do ( and what I do now) is realize that even if I get only one like, one share, one Retweet, one reply…that it matters.

That if one person thinks that what I wrote/said/shared was worthy of his or her time, then I have won. Then my plan succeeded.

That is why I reply to every comment, every DM, every email and every message.

Of course,I am human and I may have all this gung ho now but eventually miss my mark. But that won’t stop me from trying.

Everyone matters.  It’s similar to the popular spiel in the entrepreneurship world about shares in a company before it is formed:

1% of something is better than 100% of nothing.

One is greater than zero.

That’s how I intend to build my community. I can’t wait to be “internet famous” whatever that means to start caring about the people who care about me.

That’s why I’m back here. And why I am focusing on creating maximum value for people like you. ( Did I tell you I was working on a book?) That is why one of our key strategies when we started our Medium publication was to NOT invite our friends to LIKE the page.

You can check it out. We have less than 200 likes on the Facebook page. But our following keeps growing.

I believe that such organic growth is preferable to “forced growth”. Getting people to like a page just because.  That’s not the way I want to be remembered.

I may be desperate for your love *wink* but I want you to love me because you love me. Not because I asked you to.

One is greater than zero. One view. One tweet. One share.

That’s all I need to keep me going.

What do you need? What keeps you going? Please, let me know in the comments section.

And don’t forget to add me on Snapchat!

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