Chronicles Of A Pen Journey by Chukwuemeka Mbam.


Just as Shakespeare wrote, “to be or not to be that is the question”, it is what we’ve chosen to become that defines us from what we are not.

A fair repose, a tranquil imposed.

It is a fact that our objections do place a chain on our feet and cause us to stumble. Day after day we recoil into our souls, as gloomy as we perceive the weather or blossom like pollinated flowers as bright and wide as we perceive the weather.

It was just about October in the conflicting year 2020, just on the third day. I had a brief conversation with the convener of the Cmonionline weekly contest. It was a hearty discussion punctuated with understandable discussion and occasionally paused for civilized but merry laughter.

The man on the other end of the phone struck me as unique – spectacular if you chose to say. He spoke with great knowledge, his manner of speech gave him away as enlightened, optimistic, philanthropic and naturally tough (the finesse of an Igbo business tycoon)

We spoke at length about an initial matter and then he swung his lamp upon the essay competition.

I am not a sucker for most online competitions and I sometimes feel most online contests are mere tools for popularity and grandiose by ambitious conveners, but the manner with which he spoke made me feel convinced that he wasn’t just any convener.

Sifting through his words later that night, I perceived a man that was passionate about raising the next generation of the finest African wordsmiths

He was ready to beget anything, ready to work without earning anything, ready to give without asking anything in return and ready to help without being heard – a trait rare amongst regular Africans.

On the 9th of October, drunk in high hopes and a sprinkle of scepticism, I submitted my very first essay to the mail of the admin of the platform. Two days later, my essay was published on the social media handle and the judges gave my work a good review, though I didn’t win.

I plunged in on week seven like a kingfisher would upon a fish.

My fingers punched keys angrily and my mind sped in and out of quarters, trying to meet the deadline by all means.

Well, perseverance won and I was crowned champion of the week, a fair result with great reviews from the judges about my piece and others. I was elated.

Though I don’t submit my essay consistently as the weeks roll by, I have been able to steadily register my presence whenever I created time to be a part of the honour.

Truth be told, the platform the Cmonionline contest has created is a legacy that must be upheld. Great succour to budding writers, consenting to provide nutritious ink to the famished pens of writers that have come across the platform.

When I sit in front of my PC, straight-faced and optimistic, running my fingers like marching soldiers on my keyboard, trying to conjure into words my feelings, hurt, joy or opinion (depending on what the occasion demanded) into the acceptable form, I silently give thanks to God for a platform of this kind.

Before I write on any topic, I take out time to reminisce over them. I let the questions come to my head.

Do I feel a personal connection with this topic?

Do I think I have a story that befits this topic?

How does this topic affect me as a person?

Which side am I on?

Questions like this immerse me into the rivers of researchers, clearing my doubts, learning and relearning.

Fanning my hunger…

For knowledge and truth.

Parching my thirsty throat…

To be satisfied with the waters of premium and enlightening content.

Then, when it did write, I read my essay to myself. I don’t know why.

I have a feeling that I wish to reaffirm to myself if I truly believe and accept what I had penned down. If my writing would speak up like me on a sunny day, or seal the truths, just like me still, on a rainy day.

I write and I win.

I write and I still win.

No, I never lose.

Just as my grandmother made me know when she held up my hands to her face and traced the lines on my palms.

“Heaven has made you big Nnam, you are never to fail because you don’t know what failure is like.”

I take in with gratitude the resolve of the judges and celebrate in my little way the winners of each week. I teach people how to pen their thoughts too and I am glad to see young persons falling in love again with this legendary art – the stuff that created nations and dissolved chains.

Cmonionline has been a most consistent platform. Growing from rewarding one winner weekly to generating a space for one more weekly winner with the same award.

As a participant in the contest, it would be ungrateful of me to keep myself away from writing unless I wish to earn.

Every ink upon paper leaves a legacy

Every scribble tells a story.

Of the blissful and of the distasteful sides of life.

Just as we write to win the contest, we should also write to win posterity to our side. Tell our own story, birth books and leave a mark. Every writer on this platform should strive to write more aside from the contest and read much more to attain versatility.

The blog should make provision for a comment box at the end of each published essay so that readers can bear their minds after every read.

I equally beckon all participants to endeavour reading through the essays of another, that you might add more ink to your pen and understand more about your view but from a variant perspective.

This contest can touch more lives if we decide to as well form a community on Facebook, where writers globally can join to share their legacies, their stories and learn more of the art from others.

A community where any writer can gain more confidence in his gift and sharpen it into a skill, to tell the future generation, the wonders of this generation.

A community where we can decode the mysteries of the earth and encode them again into elegant write.

A community that will hold all the past and present participants of the cmonionline contest and give them a hub to unload their minds without restrain.

This way the light of the Cmonionline contest will not be put under a table but be open for the world to see and cherish.

To put the ship to sea while we sail upon the oceans of this undying but legendary art.

Mbam Chukwuemeka can be reached through

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