Disobedience and Rebellion 101.

HimMafor, I really admire your resilience.
Me: (confused) What resilience?
HimYou’re able to withstand pressure from your parents and make them support your dreams and that’s huge…

Me: (very goofy smile)

That was my friend, Brian.

First of all, I really wish his version was true. I also wish he knew the full story.
I didn’t “withstand” pressure from my parents.

I disobeyed and rebelled.

And even if it got me where I wanted, it doesn’t change what it was; disobedience and rebellion.

Before high school, my parents said I would register in Lower Sixth Science and I said yes. I traveled to Bamenda and of course, I did register… in Lower Sixth Arts.

When my dad found out as he was about to pay my fees a few weeks later, he called me. I said “I changed my mind. Live with it.”

Okay, I didn’t exactly say “Live with it”, but it was something along those lines.

In the university, we agreed again that I would study Law. I was admitted as a Law student in the University of Buea. By mid first semester, I applied for transfer to study Journalism. When I went back home during the Christmas break, I told them I was no longer a law student, sorry.

I have a long track record of rebelling and there are a lot of other examples I’d rather not say. But the point is, I just rebelled and disobeyed. And I believe it was wrong. No matter that it was for my future.

Let me say this. My parents are proud of me and they’ve told me so. They’re proud that I’m a bright student, I have a bachelor’s degree and I’m studying for future degrees.

In short, they’re proud of the person I am growing into.

But I know that I broke their trust and it might be hard to get it back.

Now, they still think of me as the rebellious child who will go ahead and do her thing without their counsel. And instead, now is the time I need their counsel most. I need them to say a few words that can guide me in some decisions I’m making. But when I ask for these words, my father says things like “Why am I talking when you’ll still end up doing what you want?” He says this laughing and wants me to know he’s joking, but I hear undertones of disappointment and resignation.

I still wish I had sat down with them and talked, explaining why I wanted to do what I wanted.
Even if they hadn’t understood and had adamantly stuck on their point, at least we’d have spoken. They’d have known that I wasn’t in agreement with their plans and they might have reconsidered.

Let me stop the time travelling already.

I have learnt that when dealing with parental pressure, disobedience and rebellion are not the key. I don’t have the key yet either.

I’m just trying to make our relationship better. Even if I cringe when I think of calling my dad because I know what he’ll say, I’ll call anyway. And I’ll listen. Especially when they tell me their opinions about how I should live my life. And if I don’t agree, I’ll try to explain assertively. I’ll try to help them understand my choices instead of being passive and compliant and then getting bitter about it later.

That’s all I can do. Try.

And hope they meet me halfway.


Start Producing!

Or What to remember when all you want to do is pull up the covers in the morning.

I was on a bus with a friend a few weeks ago, and we were sharing our plans, career wise, short and long term. 

When I had talked and talked and spelled out my long list, he looked at me and said, “Mafor, I hear too many ‘I want tos’ and these are things you can and should already be doing…

I went ahead and gave my litany of excuses; I don’t have time, I don’t have a computer, I need to read more, I’m not confident yet, I need a better phone, I need money 😕… and all the while he just kept shaking his head. But I thought I did get his point. 

The title of this post came last week in a similar conversation with another friend (I know, I have awesome friends!😎), in which of course, I was giving my litany again. And in response, he pointed out how much I already had, talent inclusive and told me to start producing results with those.

So, I’ve started. By writing this post, by setting deadlines for projects I have been procrastinating on for months, by making myself accountable to people who can scold me (lovingly) when I don’t meet these deadlines.

Of course, I still need all the things I’ve listed, but as they come, they’ll serve to make output better and increase efficacy. But for now, I’ve started.

That’s all it takes. Start.
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3 Lessons to learn from Entrepreneurs

First off, I am not an entrepreneur. I don’t know if I can be one. I have these really great ideas sometimes, but I also have a problem with execution so I feed them to my many entrepreneur friends.

I have realised that with them, there’s a trend. I see a pattern in the way they think, make decisions and act, and I have come to learn a lot from what I like to call their “entrepreneurial culture”.

So, here are three interesting things I have learnt from entrepreneurial culture and friends.

#1: Don’t say “Impossible”

Don’t even think it. Seriously, these guys only see possibility. WHETHER a problem can be solved is not a question for them, because it always can. In fact, when something comes up, the real question is HOW it can be solved.

This is a very interesting approach to life and work, this possiblity thinking. No, I’m not about to get into all that hype about The Laws of Thought and Attraction.

This doesn’t mean that stuff won’t be hard. In fact, for emphasis, sometimes things WILL be really HARD. But what if we didn’t label as ‘impossible’ everything that was difficult for us in our lives and work?

If you can think it, you can do it!

Just thinking that something is possible already increases your chances at succeeding at it!

#2: Relationships, Relationships!

It’s all about relationships for them. An entrepreneur walks into a room of people and instead seeing human beings, they see potential clients, customers, partners, investors, volunteers, spouses 😏 etc. It’s as though these labels are tatooed on foreheads. They are always meeting new people, networking, creating and sustaining relationships.

This is as important for everyone. People add value to us. We’re either teaching them or learning from them and either way, value added! Plus, there’ll be somebody who knows somebody who knows somebody who can help you with that job, opportunity, partner or client you’re looking for.

Twitter thinks so too.

This is not about strengthening ties with your family and friends. By all means do. But when you go somewhere and meet people, create relationships! Forget about being introverted or shy.

TIP: Just count to five, walk up to someone, introduce yourself and ask about them too. How hard can it be?

#3: “Like entrepreneur, like business”

This one is about behaviour, character, habits. 

If an entrepreneur is always late for everything, it spills over into their team and eventually the business. They’ll hardly meet deadlines, always deliver late to clients, hardly achieve their goals on time. Worst case scenario, the business will be behind on debts and close down.

Yep, it’s that serious. And true.

The good thing is, this stuff is vice versa. Good habits, good output.

So, it’s important to introspect and deal with bad habits that could sabotage our relationships, work, and our lives in general. I won’t start naming a list of bad habits, but you know, tardiness is something a lot of us fight with. 

Just check, and deal with them appropriately. Get help from friends or even professionals if you need to. 

In essence, 3 things you should remember;

  • Possibility thinking
  • Relationships
  • Habits!


About Me

This story is about me. 

About the real me, the “now” me.

The me standing here, in this place, at this time, T.
This is not about the ‘me’ ten years ago

The child who wrote a poem titled “Joyfully” 

But couldn’t even tie her laces rightfully.

The girl who at age ten knew she must probably be over educated

Because some of her mates couldnt pronounce ‘Simile’

And they said the past tense of register was ‘registrated’.”
This story is not about me seven years ago

The ‘me’ who could spell N-O

But never pronounce it out loud

In fear of upsetting the crowd.
This is not about those times,

When the word ‘friend’ meant

‘Partner in low self esteem’ 

And I only wished it would mean

‘That smart, pretty, confident girl

Who leads the “big team”’.
No, this is not a story about the insecure teen.

Who couldn’t realise

That ‘me’ is precious, special 

And deserved to be treated as such 

By others, but first by me.
This is not about the naive ‘me’ 

Who believed that life 

Was only either black or white 

and no other way;

And that you couldn’t mix the black and white 

And make do with gray.
This is not a sad story,

Where ‘me’ is throwing a pity party.

Soliciting your nods, head shakes 

And occasional tears, 

Filling your ears with junk about my fears.
This story is about me. 

About the real me, the “now” me.

The ‘me’ standing here, in this place, at this time, T.
The ‘me’ who is content to not be her, 

Content to not have had his life, 

Her family, his past, 

The ‘me’ with smiles that finally last.

This story is about the ‘me’ 

Who has stopped looking for the easy way, 

For excuses and reasons

But who chooses every day

To own her flaws, learn her lessons.

To not apologise for her convictions.
This is about me 

Who knows the two definitions of fear: 

Forget everything and run or 

Face everything and rise

And who, of the two, chooses the latter, 

Because ‘rising’, 

It’s my only choice in the matter.

This is about ‘me’ who understands 

That it might not have been my choice to fall,

But as for whether I stand or not, I’m the one to make that call.
This is about a girl who knows what she’s fighting for,

Who knows she has to lose some battles in order to win the war. 

About a girl who’s not afraid to throw wide open the gates of her heart, because “hey, the right people have the keys to the door and the rest of you can feel at home in the yard.”
This is about the girl who will not let shards of broken heart, tamper with the lens.

Through which her world comes into focus, 

The lens that converges on the sense in all the nonsense.

The girl who aspires to be the friend Solomon was talking about.

The friend who will always be there with or without.
This story is about the ‘me’ who has grown, 

Crept, walked, run and then flown.

The ‘me’ who embraces challenges

Who’s excited about changes

The me who, even when life’s shade is mellow

Always seeks amidst the dim to find her yellow.
This is about me, 

The she with brown skin

With black eyes and thick rims

You know, short sight but big dreams

The girl who’s in love with words and keen

About sweetly blending them in sound, 

And about how the artist within is found,

The ‘me’ who knows her past, her history.

And gladly wants to share the journey’s story..
A story of phases, of metamorphosis

A story for those who have thought that for them there isn’t a before and an  after

Or that in all their bleakness, there couldn’t be any laughter.

If this is you and you live in this perpetual night

My story is for you to see

That if you can see the darkness, then there’s a flicker of light.

Faint as it may be now, it still has the potential to shine bright.

Spoken word performance of this poem is coming up soooon!

​When You Say You Love Me

Love means many different things

To people of different colour and age.

So when you say you love me

I want us to be thinking the same things

I want us to be on the same page.

To me Love is not much about roses and rings

Not about chocolate and sweet things.

It is also not about the Hawaiian sunset and beaches

Nor how far your wallet reaches.

Love is not about biology:

“Baby, my heart beats thrice for you”

Love has nothing to do with seismology:

“Darling, you rock my world, only you”.

Love is not those words about sugar in tea, bread and butter.

Honestly honey, I don’t even know how breakfast got into the matter.

Also take note of this:

Love, to me, is not in Paris

No, Love is not in Venice

Or any other exotic cities.

Love is not defined in the song

“L is for the way you look at me..

O is for the only one I see..”

‘M not saying the songwriter is wrong.

Love is not in all those late calls and “romantic” messages

All of which, by the way, are free

Love is not even in those three magic words: “I love you”

Aka 143

Love means many different things

In all the different places I have been.

So when you say you love me

This is what I’m hoping you mean;
That your love for me

Is your choice

Your choice to stay

To stay with me

With me, all the way

Even when you know I’m imperfect and flawed

And that things won’t always go as we thought

Love is your choice to stay with me all the way.

Love is your shoulder for my tears

Your cheers for my trophies.

Your gentle hands when I stumble

Your soothing voice in my awkward silences.

Love is your integrity and honesty

It is your fidelity and unfailing loyalty.

I’m not saying I wouldn’t like

Red wine and candle light

Or fun talks and strolls at night.

But more than these, I want your heart.

Every. Single. Part

So…. Turns out you can watch a spoken word perfomance of this poem, yay!!!