An Open Letter To The Confused Anglophone Cameroonian Youth

 

I woke up with a heavy heart for the anglophone youth of Cameroon. I was a first-year student at the University of Buea during one of the first strikes in 2004; you bet I was confused. I’d never been one to fight, so I left town in a taxi to Douala, determined to find another alternative to my first dream of being a doctor because that was not going to work for me. On a day like today when the Cameroonian youth is celebrated, I feel the need to encourage someone whose life or future is threatened by the political gestures that continue to keep them out of school.  Here is an open letter to all those affected by the current condition in our beloved country.

Dear Young People,

Education is important and in an attempt to demonstrate peacefully, the “wiser ones” among us have decided a peaceful strike is a way forward. In this, you may find yourself with nothing to do but first; do not befriend idleness.

To the young men, I pray that you will not be misled or distracted. Drugs & crime can become enticing ways to make a living. Do not fall for the lie, instead harness the strength of your creativity. Great inventions came from men stuck in basements and college dormitories. There are still tons of books off the internet, share and read books that enhance your thought process. Remember that anything that does not align with your original purpose is a distraction. You can teach yourself a new trade or work on a skill or sport. Distractions are meant to deter you from your path. Do not allow your life to go to waste, the noble way to make a living is the one you learned when you were younger – Hard work

To the young women, you did well when you decided you wanted to be an influential and productive member in your society. You chose to take the opportunity to educate yourself which was not always available to your mother or grandmother. The strike can leave you feeling shorthanded but remember your life cannot be wasted without your consent. Continue behind the plow, let your hobbies flourish, get involved with sports too, master those innate gifts and above all continue to educate yourself outside the classroom. Do not allow the richer men to distract you with alternatives to your personal success. Make wise decisions young girl, form relationships with mentors and older women who inspire you. Continue to aspire for your version of greatness and if your first dream dies in this process, dream another dream.

Love,

Nina

 

“Youth Day in Cameroon is celebrated annually on February 11. The celebration of the holiday reflects awareness and recognition of youth significance for the country. The first celebration of Youth Day in Cameroon was held in 1962, a year after British Southern Cameroon and French Cameroon unified.”    source anyday.com

5 Practical Ways To Achieve Your Goals for 2017.

There something about a new year that gives us hope of a new beginning. It is amazing how inspiring the sidereal year has become for us. We make decisions during this time and though most do not last, some have been able to change the trajectory of their lives by sticking with the simple choice to experience change. I do not believe in the new year new me bullcrap, but, I do agree that we should all take inventory of our lives on a daily basis and make changes where necessary. What I found difficult in the past was maintaining good habits, you know, that power to do what you desire or willingness to be what who you want to be. These five traits have helped me manifest change in areas where I have sought them the most.

1.Be Strategic

Proverbs 24: 6  MSG
… Strategic planning is key to warfare; to win, you need a lot of good counsel.”

Building a strategy is key; it the equivalent to creating a road map. It involves brainstorming on an action plan in a  personal, clear and realistic manner. It is easy to get lost in the big picture, being strategic focuses on the pieces that bring the picture together. Like when I set out to cut my student loans in half in 2016, my strategy was to first create a budget,  then tally what I owed against what I brought in, take inventory of my expenses and make cuts on non-pressing issues. Once I realized that was not enough to meet my monthly pay-off-student-debt-in-two-years target, I had to increase income by working twice as hard than was necessary to meet my plan. I am still doing this today but 12 months in, it is working! I think it worked because the action plan was clear, precise and I made strides to get to where I wanted to be. This changed my goal from a wish to a manifestation in my life.

2. Be Intentional

Before creating an action plan towards any goal, determine what the reward will be. If this reward is pleasing to you, then hold it up in your mind as the end point you want to attain. This will keep you wanting and likely make it easier for you to achieve your goal. After you’ve created your action plan, the next step is to start carrying out the very specific steps you’ve brainstormed on especially when you do not feel like it. Practice makes perfect. Prior to 2016, I participated in group mission trips but never planned and carried out one by myself. With the Lord’s leading I carefully mapped out my solo mission trip to a village in Cameroon last year and that turned out to be the life changing peak experience of my year! I experienced spiritual, personal and professional growth through that trip alone. The same thing happened with the aggressive debt repayment plan. My first few large debt repayments were difficult, I did not want to work any harder than I typically did, sometimes I was even torn between other responsibilities and debt repayment, but I was committed and I am still slaying behind that plow. Deliberate action is a sign of true discipline and maturity, particularly when it involves sacrifice. Trust yourself and stick to your plan even when you meet resistance.

3. Be Accountable

Eccles 4:9
” Two are better than one … For if they fall one will lift up another. But woe to him who is alone when he falls and has not another to lift him up.”

The 3rd step to getting what you want is to find people who are like-minded and keep accountability with them. When I chose to “work out more in 2016”, I certainly did not get intense with working out until I found a gym buddy who pushed me and very well near trained me (Go Suzanne!). This was also true when I needed a spiritual accountability partner to pull through a 21-day fast in preparation for the new year in 2016. We were able to keep each other stirred up (Go Yoyo!). As the proverb goes; Iron does indeed sharpen iron. This works with preparing to pass a major exam,  raising godly children,  growing your relationship with God or even making healthier food or lifestyle choices.

Another thing to do is to study the lives of people who are where you want to be, learn about the character traits that got them there, read about them or speak directly with them. Mentorship facilitates your life. If you plan on being an entrepreneur, designer or whatever career you choose to pursue-speak with someone in the field. It is always easier to learn from other people’s mistakes.

4.            Be Visual

Fortunately, we are visual beings and there are several studies in psychology that purport this idea. Until you can see your goal in your mind, only then can you truly manifest it. There are several ways to do this but they all involve writing it down FIRST! Write your goals down! Useful tools can include hosting a vision board party, journaling your ideas and certainly using them as prayer points. Whatever you do, keep that written idea within eyesight. You have to see it to keep the dream alive in your mind.Pray yourself into it, psych yourself into it, speak words of positivity and inspiration over your life, make declarations and affirmations that bring you closer to carrying out your action plan, say them out loud and deliberately, discuss them with your accountability partner, write them down and post them where you can see daily (next to the bathroom mirror).

5.            Be IT

IT = whatever dreams/aspirations/desires/wants. Speak as though you are already living out your goals.  I admire Trent Shelton’s vigor to inspire millennials and he always says to “Live It, BE IT, breathe IT”. I think this sums it all up. Be what you choose to see in your life. Be what you wrote down in your journal. Stand firm in what you believe, and you should believe in your ability to be the best version of who God created you to be. If you do not have the self-confidence to carry out your purpose it wouldn’t work.  Go forth and make your life great again. 

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Love,

Nina

29 Things I would’ve loved to tell my younger self.

Birthday mode got me reminiscing …

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About Faith & Religion:

  1. Keep God first in your life, it is foolish to do the contrary.
  2. Develop a personal relationship with God and discover HIM for yourself particularly outside the walls of a church.
  3. Worry less but instead trust God more; he has a great plan for your life and God’s love for you is protective.

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About Love & Relationships:

  1. Do not ignore love when it is clearly offered to you. Avoid intentionally breaking a man’s heart.
  2. If your man loves you, he will show it to you. Words are cheap, actions require actual effort.
  3. It is okay to wait for your “Boaz”, just bask in the peace of your waiting season.
  4. It is okay to be vulnerable in love because this allows transparency and eventually authenticity.
  5. Your crush doesn’t owe it to you to reciprocate your infatuation. Your thoughts got you into the emotional soul tie, thus only your thoughts can equally get you out of it.
  6. Make the people in your life feel protected in your acts of love and kindness, go the extra mile to make them feel secure in the protection of the love you offer.
  7. You do not need to go on a date just to appease the suitor; it is okay to say “no” even without lying or a crappy explanation.
  8. Be in contact with your emotions, being completely open is a strength that keeps you authentic and relatable.
  9. Love everyone and everything you do relentlessly, hold nothing back.
  10. Cherish your friendships and try to maintain them even at a distance. You miss great connections when you ignore the relationships God has placed in your life.
  11. When in conversation allow people to complete their sentences, listen more and talk less, this is just wise.
  12. Call your mother/family members a lot more frequently, a “tomorrow” with your family is never guaranteed.
  13. Keep your family as a top priority

Continue reading “29 Things I would’ve loved to tell my younger self.”