EPISODE 7: Keeping Up With The Lost Episodes 1 

It feels like it’s been ages since I last updated this journal. Actually, it’s been quite a while. A lot has been going on for me, as usual. The push and pull; of Life, passion, vision, dreams, love, family, academics, career, spirituality etc. 

Well, here I am again, to keep up with the lost episodes, I hope I can do justice to that in this episode, besides, my fingers have been itching me; they miss pouring out these wandering thoughts of my mind. I’ll love to start from sometime around March, when I applied for a poetry competition, I’d already forgotten I applied when I received a mail that my poem was shortlisted among the top 10 poems in over 400 entries. Well, I was glad, and I was more happy when I got to know I was actually among the top 3 poets to be awarded. This took me to Abuja, my very first travel outside south-west actually, where I was awarded the 1st Runner-up for the Korean Cultural  Center Poetry Fiesta, on 21st of March, celebrating world poetry day on the same date. In March was also when I represented the National Association of Muslim Law Students(Unilag chapter) for a debate in Lead City University, my first ever debate really, it was a success for we won the debate but lost the competition (our marks got reduced after someone raised an objection that my co-debater had multicolored socks on), although we didn’t come home with the trophy; we did with victory. 

Well, that’s about March and the awards. In April, we had our first semester exams and around the beginning of the exams, I was not sure of myself and the demands of my choice of study, the demands were becoming overwhelming. But I forged ahead nevertheless. I’d had to drop a few of the things I used to engage in upon resumption this session, so I can have ample time for studying and my family. Still, it felt like I still had a lot on my plate. An instance was an advert I saw for a poetry competition, it was before the exams though, but I applied during the exam period. I couldn’t let it go, this is one of my most ignited passion after all; I applied and took my mind off it, while I continued with preparation for my next papers. After the first paper, I felt a little relaxed and certain that I could do this after all. I made sure however to go home during the breaks between one paper to the next; There were times when we even had upto 5 days break between 2 papers. I would go home, and draw inspiration from the sight of and being around my kids. My little man is now very familiar with me, never wanting to leave my side as soon as I’m home. And I ensure never to forget to take home goodies, because my handbag is his first point of exploration as soon as I drop him back on his feet. And my girl, she’s also grown into a young thoughtful girl, that she sometimes asks, “mommy when next are you going to school? Mo ma miss yin ti  e ba  ti lo – I’ll miss you after you leave.”  

Now, May came, and along with it a short break of about 10 days, which of course a lot of us expanded into 2 weeks and more. Then came resumption. I spent as much time as I could with my kids, took them home to their dad. He was so happy to have them around. They were also on holiday and theirs was also a short one. It was a nice time with the whole family together, their dad took his Leave from work also, and it was fun running to mom this moment and to dad the next moment. That was all I could ever have asked for, but I’ve come to realize that life does not really give you all you ask for, you have to make do with what you have and be content with whatever you can find however or wherever you find yourself. I then told my daughter they have to go back to their grandma soon, and I have to resume school in a few days time and dad would also resume work. And with the promise that they would come back home soon enough, for another break or holiday, she was satisfied, I’m sure by now she also knows that life can not always be fair to give you everything you want, the way you want it. 

To be continued in the next episode here… 

Thanks for reading this episode and  the journal. 

Kindly drop your thoughts in the comment box below. 

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EPISODE 9:The Interview II

Remember the interview I? Well, this episode is dedicated to another such interview, it was conducted by a group I belong to on campus known as the “Parliament  of Poets” after I received the last poetry award I did. You might want to read through it. It gives an insight into my sojourn as a poet. 

(1) Who is Mar’yam, the poet, and how has the journey being so far?

Mar’yam is a lady who finds solace in poetry, as an art and as a passion. I find solace in poetry because I believe it is the only way I can give fluidity and flexibility to the emotions that surge within me. And the journey hasn’t really been far for me because I started taking poetry serious just a bout 2 years ago and the first lengthy poem I wrote then was titled “thoughts on the white throne” and it was really so,  because I was in the rest room when the words kept coming like a revelation, and I remember repeating the words to myself then calling on one of my siblings to start putting it down before I forget. Before then, I only usually write my musings of Max 10 lines on an application known as “wattpad”. And because I believe rhymes and rhythms makes a whole part of this world, I enjoy having most of my works actually rhyme, all my early works can be seen as that.  

(2) You have been on a winning streak for sometime now, Tell us about it?

Well, I believe it’s been God’s grace all along, and of course tremendous effort to better my poetry skills personally by reading and appreciating other people’s works and also commitment to always pass a message across to the world through poetry. So far, so good, I’ve participated in four poetry competitions and of the four, 3 were organized at grassroots level and one, national/International; I had the 1st position in the very first one by “Angearl initiatives last August, thereafter was the arms of clemency’s own where I also came 1st, then came the M.A.D initiative where I was among the top 3, then the most recent which is also the fourth one is that of the Korean Cultural Center Nigeria, where I came up as the 1st runner up – second position – in the adult category with over 400 entries.

(3)What makes the poems that have won Poetry Prizes unique and how do you think they stand out?

Well, I’m also still trying to find out that one or two things that makes them unique, but I’m sure of one thing, I ensure I write in simple language, clear enough diction, apply adequate literary devices in my poems, observe other spices that give a poem it’s uniqueness when dished on a piece of paper, and God’s grace does the rest. Also, I believe it’s obvious to whoever reads my poems that I write them with passion, I don’t force the feelings or the words down, I write them when they flow, that’s why I sometimes spend days, weeks or even months on some of my poems before completion.  

4) You are also a staunch member of the Parliament of Poets, how has the PoP being and what is she to you? 

Well, the Parliament of poets has been a kind of bedrock for people like me, a place where I can feel comfortable in my own skin, where I can bring home my emotions by expressing them unhindered. PoP has been like a mother, in whose arms we have been carried to attain feats with poetry, it has created an avenue for people like me to be part of a great family that pushes one to achieve greatness with poetry. Now, being a member of this great movement has been a privilege to me, and I’m glad to be part of the founding members. It is however a very dear movement to me, one which I’m sure is designed for greater feats within and beyond its Alma Mata. 

5)What can you say about the most recent poetry prize you won? What defines the prize?

The most recent poetry prize I won is the 1st runner up i.e second position in the Korean cultural center Nigeria Poetry competition, the competition was organized by the KCCN in collaboration with Arojah concepts in Abuja, and the winners were announced and given awards at an event commemorating the “world poetry day”  on 21st of March 2017. The event was really eye-opening to me and indeed very exposing, as I had the opportunity of meeting with some dignitaries, young poets, performers and of course it was my first visit to Abuja. The 1st prize winner in the adult category is to be given a cash prize of one hundred thousand naira, the second; seventy thousand naira and the third; fifty thousand naira. Although I do tell people, it’s not just about the money, the most important thing is that achieved feat, winning or topping the list because your message was heard or read. Funny thing is I had even forgotten I entered into the competition, until I received a mail a week to the event, informing me that I was shortlisted among the top ten in an entry of four hundred and seventy two participants from Nigeria, Ghana, Thailand and one or 2 other countries. I was happy then, but I still wasn’t sure of my exact position, so I was anxious, hopeful and prayerful until I got to know I was among the top three, that enabled me go to Abuja for the event. 

(6) What are your plans for/about Poetry and what do you think poetry is capable of giving the world

My plans for/about poetry include writing more poems, participating in more poetry competitions, letting people know that poetry is serious business and publishing my first collection of poems before the year runs out (God’s willing). 

I believe poetry is capable of shaping the world positively through the poets’ words, like when a poet uses his words to preach cleanliness, propagate peace, promote unity, ensure equality an so on and on, all these for instance we’ve done and will still do in the Parliament of poets where we’re known as “Acknowledged Legislators For the World”. 

I have a message and I shall spread it through my pen. 

Your words to other young poets? 

Let your passion be driven by a desire to always pass a beneficial message across to the world with your pen. Write more, Read more, Muse more and of course Dare more. And, never enter into competitions for the sake of the money or prizes, else it would stain your passion and turn it into an unholy mission. 

EPISODE 8: Keeping Up With The Lost Episodes 2

So, we resumed school for a new semester (May still), I had a huge project right in front of me, a charity outreach of the children foundation I run, where we planned to celebrate children’s day with the needy kids by donating uniforms, schools socks, sandals, underpants and vests, in an event themed “Dress-A-Child”. I couldn’t resume classes immediately because of the running around; for the preparation of the event. Then results came trickling in and I couldn’t be less grateful; although, I knew I could do better, but thank God there was none less than average. The result for the poetry competition was also released and I didn’t make the long or shortlist, I then told a poet friend of mine, who also didn’t make it that “guess it’s the time for those who did, afterall, we both made it to the KCCNP and life is sometimes about give and take.” The charity event was later  held on the 31st of the month (May) and it was a huge success too. Again, I couldn’t be less grateful to God Almighty, because it initially appeared like just a dream; trying to dress over 200 pupils of a public primary school. But it was achieved, and 50 pupils got new uniforms, 50 pairs of sandals were distributed and socks, underpants and vests, and other school items were distributed indiscriminately among over 200 of the kids. 

May also marked the beginning of the Muslims’ holy month of Ramadan, a month we anticipate so much that we pray fervently to witness it, so we can earn lots of benefits from it. We’re therefore presently in the month and it’s been showers of blessing by the Almighty, as long as one keeps up the good works and acts of worship are done appropriately. 

June is here now, and with it comes new opportunities, renewal of dreams, rekindling of visions, pursuance of passions, realignment of priorities; Faith, Family, Academics, Dream, Career,  Passion and whatever comes and is admittable. Just recently, someone asked me how my husband feels about me taking up new roles. I said “My husband knows the kind of lady he’s married to, and rather than complain about my activities he accepts wholly that this is a woman who can go from being a wife at one point, to being a mother at a point, to being a journalist the next moment, to being an entrepreneur this moment, then a charity worker at that moment, and to being a student at another point to being whatever she wants to be at any point…” I remember him teasing me that “…you want to do everything, every single thing…” and I’ll tell him to just keep praying for me and supporting me, with that and God’s guidance, there’s no limit to where or what I can do. 

I’ll keep you posted on the events in June by God’s will… But believe me, my timeline is filled up already. My newest quote “I’m set upon a path… So help me God.”

Thanks for reading! 

Remember to drop your thoughts in the comment box below. 

Did you miss the last episode? Kindly Click here to read it.