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Broken

Old respite, I bid thee farewell.
I’m gone. To a place I do not know well.

I broke my branch before I flew.
I’m not going back to the place we knew.

My old friend, I bid thee farewell.
Do not think my actions aren’t swell.

Caution :you may not recognize me.
I’m broken. In pain. And I bleed.

A pain I’ll need.

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Let it be that I told you my truth.

My liquids and gifts have no meaning for you. You barely touched them today.
I did everything. Tried all tactics. Even used ruse to make you stay.
You smiled at me, but pushed me away.
You held my hand, yet looked away.

Double signals? Doubt? Uncertainty?
Remorse? Regret? Fear?

My smug remarks make you chuckle in that cute way that exposes your neck.
Yet, I know that as much as you enjoy the chat, you want to leave. Your hands beg.
You didn’t stay up to thirty minutes.
Subtly ran, as though I were a human sized pilus.

As I write this, I finish your leftover chocolate.
The one I got for you. A race that had me return your call late.
As I write this, I finish your red wine.
The one I got for you. I strangely feel sad for that wasted grape vine.

I have told you my truth. I have been as honest as I could be.
If my openness is not acceptable by society, let it be.
Let it be that I told my truth. Let it be that I carried my heart on my sleeve.
Let it be that way, because no one knows when I’d have to leave.

I know these are hard times. Given our history.
I know my words lack substance, given my urgency.
To your doubts, and worries. I have one question:
How long does it take for you to realize that the length of a human life is never enough to love fully?

If I can have a single minute of love- a moment of mutual respect and cordial happiness. A relationship based on more than kisses and things done in the dark. Based on friendship, respect and truth.
If I can have one shot at making you smile every day because it is what brings me the most joy.
If I can have one shot at making you see you the way I see you.
If I can look into those brown eyes and articulate the truth in my veins…

One shot.

I’d better take the shot and fail, than live never having tried.
You know that when I say: “I like you”. I really mean “I Love you”.
You also know that there are no other ways of saying it.

Give me my shot, let me show you.
Or tell me no, and let me go.
Either way, you own me.
Royally so.
(Or rather, painfully so)

She’s Beautiful…isn’t she?

She’s beautiful, isn’t she?
“Yeah,” he said, “how do you know her?”
She’s in my department. We used to have a thing once.
“Really?”
Yeah. Then I blew it.
“What happened?”
Bro, it’s complicated

The sharwarma in my bag tickled my nostrils. I pictured my relaxed mind devouring the content as soon as I’d reached home. The streets were filled with the usual Molyko night folk, almost like dark walkers who crawl to Bonga, Twist and Tastie as soon as the sun went down.

Vampires…
“What did you say?”
Nah. I was just thinking man.

I knew what was going on in his mind. Fifteen minutes ago he shook hands with Eva at Malingo junction. She was pretty. Very pretty.

Man, why are we walking so fast? Slow down
“I teh you massa…”

A bevy of University gals hurdled on our side of the pavement. A ballerina sale. Clearly affordable.

“Seriously bro, tell me about that chick”
Massa…what do you want to know…she’s pretty and very interesting.
“Yeah? How so”
Well, she’s really really funny.

He wanted more. But there was nothing more to add. Eva was pretty and funny. A deadly combination for me.

“Is that it?”
Yeah, that’s it. When was the last time you met a chick in Molyko who had both qualities in equal proportions? Gerrat massa. Plus, she has this interesting way of looking at the world.
And she actually listens.
“Dude, you’re really a poet. What does that mean “she listens”? ‘His sarcastic shrug made it the more annoying. I knew he wouldn’t get it. But I was too impressed with who Eva showed me she was not to try
She asks questions that make sense and she follows up. We went out to eat ice cream once and talked for like four hours. Bro, I really didn’t want to go home.

He was silent. Maybe I got to him.

“So, is she, like, your girlfriend?”
Psh! NO! Duuude, she has a boyfriend. And I have girlfriend.
“I see…”

We were at UB junction now. He had to take his cab and I had to continue walking home to Dirty South.

“So, what happened the last time? What do you mean by you blew it?”
That’s for another time bro. Just take this one like that.

A group of students had just finished their 5pm class. Mathematics majors. The argument on quadratics was distinct. Joseph pointed out a boring Ad on the billboard and purported that at least, papers don’t need to be refurbished like electric devices we never use. He motioned to the screen that had been installed by the VC that had never ever been repaired.

“So, what are you guys going to do?”
I don’t know bro. I really didn’t. She clearly likes me, and I …sort of clearly like her
“That’s not good bro”
Tell me about it.

I’ve lost you, and it feels right.

The blaze is gone.
Wet flames, all that is left. Mud ash.
Your touch is foreign.
I can see it in your eyes- I failed you.

We used to chat, on Facebook, for so long.
Stale talk, all that is left. Burnt stash.
Our embrace now means nothing.
You know I see it too. It’s no more “we” but “you”.

I know it’s my fault. I’ve known all along.
You tried, with all you had. Never brash.
I could do better.
They don’t speak. But they sense it too.

This is the longest bond I have forged.
Or did I? What’s left? Pictures and emotional mash.
I don’t deserve you.
They knew this day was coming. I did too.

For a long time, I have been alone.
You showed a page I’d never read.
Pores through which I’d never bled.
With you, for an eternal second, I was at home.

I know what would happen.
Its inevitability is almost hilarious.
It has happened before. I have been here before.
Only, you have too. But not with me.

Hence, we will thread new territory.
One I am all too familiar with.
We had more than our own moments of intimate revelry.
We will bleed. I know I would. I will need stiches.

I wish we could hug over a cup’a coffee and shake hands.
I wish in a few years, we would laugh over the past months.
We would think of how much we grew and how much we out grew each other.
Lies. Falsehood. Sky bound castles.

I have grown. I see this coming and I feel nothing.
No pain. I bleed, without pain. Without strain.
I knew this would happen.
The first time you smiled, I knew this would happen.

So, when I say “It’s my fault, not yours”, I am not being flattering.
It is the truth. I don’t know how to do “this”.
Actually, I do. I just don’t want to.
And the mashed stashed of thoughts I need to scream is because of this.

You are a good person. You have shown me love.
You have shown me care. You have shown me tenderness.
You showed me reason. And I thank you, for showing me one thing:
Family.

I have grown. And I know I am not cut for this.
I have accepted, finally, who I am. And who I want to be.
Who I must be. Who I need to be.
What and who I am ready to sacrifice.

Love is a choice I make every day.
Love is a concept I learn every day.
Love is a feeling you articulated.
Love, is what I saw in you.

What I saw. But, no more.
Goodbye, my pillar. My anchor.
I sail to my lake. One I know all too well.
One in which I built the island on which I thrive.

I hope you feel pain. I hope you miss me.
I want to have meant something to you.
I want to have meant something.
I want to.

I hope you hate me. I hope you forget me.
I hope you ignore my calls. I hope you don’t reply my messages.
I hope you unfriend me. I hope you block me.
I hope you blacklist me.

I won’t forget you. My mind is my curse.
The same mind that doesn’t comprehend love.
The same that would look back at this moment in the future and mock raucously.
The same that needs you to hate me now.

Slap me. Plot against me.
Tell everyone how truly heartless I am.
Tell them the truth.
They don’t deserve to know. But you deserve to tell.

I am not a good person.
I don’t deserve your forgiveness.
So, don’t forgive me.
But, by all means, don’t ever think you could have done anything differently.

Because I knew how this would end.
I knew it all along. For months I fought.
And now, I’ve lost.
And it feels right.

Goodbye, my pillar.

If I were a child… ( or An Attempt at Mother’s Day #Poem)

If I were Windows Vista, she’d be Windows 7
If I were teeth, she’d be gums.
If I were a bubble, she’d be air.
If I were a pen, she’d be ink.
If I were a phone, she’d be juice.
If I were headphones, she’d be music.
If I were a rock, she’d be gravity.
If I were Facebook, she’d be Mark.
If I were Design, she’d be font size.
If I were English, she’d be Shakespeare.
If I were salt, she’d be Iodine.
If I were a website, she’d be code.
If I were a blank page, she’d be the cursor.
If I were a child, she’d be my mother.
2014-12-25 13.36.55
But, I am a child.
And she is my mother.

Another Awkward Goodbye

The last time we met…you told me to be strong. You held me for so long, I wondered: ” Sweetheart, what’s wrong?”
The last time we met, you sat quiet for a while, didn’t say anything vile, nor kiss me like you used to-wild.
You didn’t look into my eyes.

She whispered, face blank like wild tiles.

Today, I leave you. My heart is gone. My tears beneath you. My fire is dead and my mission is complete. I got you and there is nothing to compete.

I don’t understand. Isn’t that the point of it all?
Isn’t that the value of a bond? The essence of our song? The melody of my memories?
Where is this coming from?

It’s not you, it’s me. I know. And I should have left without you ever noticing. I should have let you bleed alone in the weight of your tears and the hush of your pain.
I should have left…but for one thing….

What one thing? Have you changed your mind? Have you come to your senses? Do we break down the fences and merge our defenses? Like the partners we’ve been for these years months, like the glitter in the eye of the moon. My glitter…my moon, what is this one thing?

I need a …ride?

Cameroonian #Podcasters? #Podcasting? Anybody? Somebody?

Update from Facebook Post: This post doesn’t refute the existence of diverse, rich African podcasts. My bone of contention is with the lack of ( or maybe my poor research skills are to blame because I didn’t find) Cameroonian podcasters. It also takes into account all types of podcasts. Even the motivational podcasts my good friend Befoune talks about here. And, the focus is on audio. Not video.

This link  gave a collection of 6 hot African Podcasts we should be listening to.

It was interesting to find that (obviously) a majority were Nigerian. I clicked on “Not Your African Cliché” and was thrilled to get the four  unique , interesting Nigerian ladies.

Their discussion ranged from education to entrepreneurship and startups to designer clothes.

It felt like the kind of harmless banter you may be lucky to eavesdrop when your beautiful and full of adventure cousins are all seated in the parlor watching a boring TV show and chatting through the commercial slot.

It was nice.

The list was nice.

What wasn’t nice (for me) was the fact that I tried to Google Cameroonian podcasts to listen and I couldn’t find any.

I pray I didn’t do proper search.

But these words struck me:
“The simple reason why I believe it’s important to produce podcasts featuring African voices is because we simply can’t trust non-Africans to accurately represent our interests on the world stage, or expect them to adequately articulate our values and convictions. “Andile Masuku, Host of African Tech Round-up.

I don’t think there are adequate Cameroonian voices on the internet that wrestle to help our narrative evade “the danger of a single story”

And I hope I am wrong.

I know two people who put out audio content- Baba Aboki and William Takor. But I don;t think they do it on a consistent basis. And given the nature of their lives and work, I totally understand.
But, I don’t forgive them. Because their opinions and voices could change a lot of minds about a lot of things.

Guys,do more.

I also listened to Femmes Lumiere by the industrious Andrea Bomo. But it is more of a radio programme uploaded to the internet than a podcast.

Like bloggers and journalists seem not to identify their key differences, I think there is a disconnect between what a podcast is, and what it really is.

And what it isn’t, is a radio show.

Podcasts are intimate, raw and rich. They allow a versatility that cannot be achieved with radio and the almighty RSS allows listeners to retrieve new episodes whenever they want as well as listen whenever ( and wherever) they want…

For a long time, radio has existed.

Many of us (especially our parents) fervently listen to Laucheon date and Cameroon Calling.

Traditional media isn’t dead. It may never die. But New Media allows a reach, audience and so much more.

If you have come across any Cameroonian podcasts, please leave the links in the comments.
Do you have a different view on podcasts?

Would you like to produce podcasts?

Hey, join me on Snapchat!

If you are on Snapchat, don’t bother reading, just add me.

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If you are NOT on Snapchat, I totally understand…how can you not be??!

 Here is why I use Snapchat. And why you should too.

First, I’m not an expert. I could be wrong and you probably should stop reading this ( please don’t stop reading this).

But you can read about the evolution of snapchat as well as how to use it for your personal branding and marketing.
The articles are on Gary Vaynerchuk’s website.

If you know that name, you know you should head there. If you don’t…well…head there.

Second, I just started using 👻 seriously a couple of weeks ago.
So, again, I’m no expert. Don’t listen to me. Just add me on Snapchat.

Now, let me tell you why I love Snapchat.

1. It’s virgin territory with a lot of potential. I think companies, right here in Cameroon, will start using it as a marketing tool in a few months. I can comfortably predict that MTN will be the first.

2. Video messages! Are you kidding me?? If you’re a WhatsApp voice note person, imagine seeing the person! Plus you can choose to send your 10 second video either to individuals or to your story. And you can save them if they are awesome enough.

3. I use it to talk directly to my readers and followers. It’s more personal and less scripted. Plus it’s 10 seconds. Perfect for a fast pitch. Hit me up whenever you are online. I would love to show you ( and see your ) goofy awesomeness.

4. If I’m wrong, at least I tried.
5. If I’m right…

Do you have any difficulties using Snapchat, I strongly suggest you visit Gary Vee’s website and do a search there.  He has totally covered the topic and a lot more. Especially on his #ASKGaryVee Show on Youtube.

A list of suggested people to follow on Snapchat:

  1. Gary Vaynerchuk ( The Legend of the Hustle)
  2. DJ Khaled ( You’ve never seen a DJ like this guy. He is KEY).
  3. Anyi Tabe ( My classmate. Her Snaps are hilarious.)
  4. Kevin Hart ( No comment)
  5. Casey Neistat ( AMAZING filmmaker)
  6. Me. (duh)

But if you still want to ask me anything, just leave your question in the comments.

Or, better, ask me in a Snap.

*wink*

 

P.S: How was your day?

Le JobTalk : Solving Cameroon’s Employment Gap

There’s a job event taking place in Douala in four days. It’s open to all. You just need to download your free ticket.

It is organized by the human resource startup- Agence ARCH led by Marco Mbilla. The first edition proved to be timely.

I will not attend. Not because I don’t think it is relevant( why would I be writing about it if it wasn’t??) But, because I will not be able to get to Douala by the 30th of April.

Le Job Talk  aims at engaging job seekers and employers in conversations that could lead to mutual gain.

Job-Talk-2-1

Human Resource Management staff, degree holders, job seekers and other consultants around the questions: how to get a job, what job givers seek and how to position yourself in the job market.

Just like I  don’t think  everyone seeks to get a job,  I don’t think everyone should be an entrepreneur or build a business.  Here’s a Quora thread on “Why doesn’t everyone become an Entrepreneur?”.

A leader is only one because there are followers. Take away the followers and she’s nothing. Nada. Niet. We need people to build businesses. And we need people to work in those businesses.

The first time I met Marco ( together we some other dudes and a dudette) we were trying to organize an award ceremony (whatever happened  to that bro?).

The second time, it was at ACTIVspaces in Douala. Where we met again for the 3rd time during  the first edition of Elodie’s #CamerSMMeetup ( Oh, there’s another on the 14th of May, get your free tickets!)

If you’re in the city on the 30th, don’t miss it. Thank me later.  And oh, don’t forget to be careful with the taxi cab drivers.

 

P.S: While writing this brief update, I wanted to make the case for Unemployment in Cameroon. I needed numbers. Turns out, the first Google hit is the very non-Cameroonian site. Then,  I read this on it: 

“Unemployment Rate in Cameroon is reported by the Institut National de la Statistique du Cameroun”- http://www.tradingeconomics.com

Obviously, you know what I did.  Here’s the site. I did a search and the only result was this.  Guess what? The research dates as far back as 2010. I didn’t even bother to download the pdf document (which is in FRENCH ONLY!!). Please, if you do, let me know what it says.

I can read french. I just don’t find it fun to read data that doesn’t matter.

I hope it is my ignorance of data that begs this question: is there any Cameroonian institution that does reasearch on this very important data? Or should I wait for Davos to get info on my country? Please, someone put some data in the comments. 

I hope I am wrong. I want to be wrong. I want to believe that I am just too lazy and ignorant that I don’t know where to find data on my country anywhere on the internet.  That would be way better than the feeling in my stomach right.

P.P.S: I don’t event want to get started on the design of the website. Ugh.

Thank you for reading oh! Are you on Snapchat? Add me! —–>@tchassakamga
*Ellie Goulding Voice* I need your love….please like and share. And if this is the first time you’re reading this or visiting my blog, start here.
I love you too.*wink*

Don’t wait till death, my friend.

Then I chewed on the battery. The liquid spewed easily. A sting. Liquid metal. A cold drenched feeling took over me as I pictured my entrails wailing in chemical unrest. My mother came in, saw my dirty hands and the broken remote…then she…

No. That’s not the story I want to tell you today. Let’s talk a bit about death. Given the abrupt circumstances with which she visits, I will be ..well… brief.

This is not the first time I am talking about death. And it might not be the last. Please eh, forgive my momentary morbid mental inflections.

Prince died. I didn’t enjoy his music. Many, many humans did.

Music lost Papa Wemba as well. Right on stage! I didn’t enjoy his music either. It is said he was an African icon.  I believe those two wonderful artists would be truly missed by those who knew, cared and loved them.

May their souls, and countless others who die each day, some as you read this, rest in peace.

Now, I have issues with these deaths- the media coverage AND the outlandish expression of sorrow/affection/ quasi-affectation that now seems to be omnipresent thanks to social media and the digital age.

Here’s my problem: forget the stars. Forget the icons. Forget the national heroes. Take “Joshua”. He’s your friend. You grew up together and went to school together. You dodged classes together. You were there when his heart first got broken and he was there the time you got drunk and made a fool out of yourself.

Fast forward 10 years. You’re both working. Joshua runs a fledgling startup. You have a very demanding job. You both have kids. You don’t see each other as often. Sometimes, you pick your phone and you just want to chat with your buddy.

Then you think to yourself: “Why should  I be the one to call? It’s not like I am the only one who should miss him!”

So, you never call. Joshua has the same mental soliloquy.

Then, one day, Joshua’s wife calls you. Joshua is no longer of this realm.

Your eyes well up with tears. You wish you’d called him. That you’d given him some money to bootstrap the company. That you’d offered him that old car you weren’t using so often.

You wish you were back in high school with Joshua.

Now, we both know where I am heading to with this.

Prince, the world will miss you. Same for you Daddy Wemba. But before you splurge my timeline with how much you will miss those who are gone ( I wonder why no one wrote about them this much when they were alive), take up your phone and call a “Joshua”.

Mom, Dad, sibling, friend, spouse, colleague, buddy.

Send him/her a tweet. Give ‘em a Skpe call. Send a snap.

Don’t wait till death, my friend.


P.S: I should take my own advice. I think this is the earnest reason why I write. I have so much to improve that the only way I can remind myself to do it, is to write about it. You may have noticed the “entrepreneurship” tinge here and there. I am working on a venture which requires a lot of guts and a lot of patience. The past months have NOT been peachy. But writing about these things gets a lot in perspective for me. It’s a sort of therapy because I still believe I need professional help. So far, I haven’t gone down the streets naked. So, we’re good.

Thanks for being here…Joshua. 🙂