Ogunleke Emmanuel: From feet to feat [Nigerian Voices]

by Ogunleke Adekunle Emmanuel

Although this story’s resolution or black out might have to be written later, I am optimistic of its ending. It is going to have a proverbial taste of bitter leaf after its staleness. I am writing this when I would not say I am successful and you might not think so either. When I gained admission to study English and international relations in 2013, I was filled with the influx of happiness and sadness. Both emotions leering at each other. I had wanted to study law from primary school. The reason for this passion, I don’t know. Due to incessant strike, my school resumed 2014.

Then, little by little, I started to cope with the reality of not studying law. One afternoon, I stumbled on a poster, echoing a call for entry for a writing contest. I searched within for that writing spirit in me, there was no spark of light not to talk of a fire. It has always rang in my head that writers are born and not made. I always like to try.

This article too is a trial. You might not take this as being inspiring but to me, I am inspired by it. So I wrote my poem. I submitted it. I attended the event for the awarding of prize but was not part of the winners. Then I looked at the emptiness in me and saw that it’s what I need to write and not the fullness. I realized that success is not hereditary or by birth. I looked at the prize winners, they shared their experiences, I was inspired. They even had tough times that I have.

I continued with my poetry. The second contest I opted for, I hit jackpot but it was a call for participants for a writing workshop in Port Harcourt. And I reside in Osun state. Due to financial and accommodation considerations, I could not attend the workshop. It dangles in my mind for close to a month. I stopped writing and hated myself. Later, writing found me again.

When I met people of like minds, I was opportuned to read works of my senior colleagues in school and I was amazed. So the fire was set again. I got a diary to pen my poems, got poetry collections to read. Read and read about poetry. Most writers will tell me poetry is not lucrative but what of the jocundity I find myself in after bleeding my pen? The vacant mood I find myself after impregnating my books.

I always believe I was sent to deliver the lines to the world because poetry is the food of the soul. I feel I am chosen. I continued and continued until in November 2015 I was a runner up in a poetry prize in honor of prof. Gbemisola Adeoti in Ife, Nigeria. The same feat repeated itself in the middle of this year when I was a runner up in the short story category of the Isiaka Aliagan literary prize. I felt inspired. Most of this times, I would type the contest entries with my phone, the same way I am doing now. I would not wait for a laptop.

I typed and typed until my fingers wail of agony from the button of my then Symbian phone. I started a blog after a friend of mine read one of my poems and said, I like this poem, you mean you wrote this? I can hear my voice. Guy! You have to expose your writings to the world. Then I felt the need to start www.penpays.wordpress.com.  In over two weeks now, it has gotten about 130 followers. I still believe a better sun will rise tomorrow, and I am also not sleeping while the sun is setting. I have this youthful age of my life to rise, that means I should not sleep.

Ogunleke Adekunle Emmanuel also goes by the pseudonym Akinkunmi Adewumi. He is a writer and a poet. He was a runner up of Prof. Gbemisola Adeoti’s poetry prize, Dr. Isiaka Aliagan literary prize. He runs and publishes his works in www.penpays.wordpress.com. He believes words can change the world the same words were used to create the world…

This entry was submitted as part of the Nigerian Voices competition organized by YNaija.com.

We publish, un-edited, Nigerians telling the stories of their everyday lives. Read all the narratives daily on the Nigerian Voices vertical. You can also contribute your own story titled ‘Nigerian Voices’ to [email protected].


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