One of the challenging things to do as a storyteller is choosing the kind of stories to tell especially when some characters in your story are in your audience. But true storytelling is also in not compromising in shedding light on society.
Upon graduation from journalism school, I tried putting my hands on one or two things to make money aside being an Emcee. So I created a media consultation agency (which I put on a hold, anyway). Then I began to look for media organs in my country, Cameroon, that might need my services. I then remembered that a former classmate works with a certain TV house and I had even helped her conceive a TV show she wanted to start there. So, I contacted her, asked her to give me directions to their office that I want to visit them.
“You are not welcome here” she said.
I didn’t mind. So I consulted their website and contacted them via the numbers I found on the website. I discovered the numbers belonged to the founderof the media house. . I called severally to no avail. I then left a message which read,
“Good day ma’am, my name is Renette Ayuk, journalist. I have some content proposals to make for your media organ please. As such, I would love to pay you a visit. Please can you give me directions to your office?”
Unfortunately, I never got a reply till date. What stroke me is the facfact that, this same classmate sent me a message few minutes after I sent the message to her boss.
“Is that how desperate you are for a job? Do you think you can take my place? Never. You are not welcome here. You have to be humble if not, no one will recommend you” she said mockingly
Then I responded firmly with some laughs saying
“I can never take your place”
She then flooded her whatsapp status with tags such as,
“There are some people here who want to take my place. Pack fine. Those “desperado” (desperado is a word used to describe an extremely desperate fellow who would stop at nothing to get something) who want to take my place, how market?” she wrote mockingly
I think, this is the height of insecurity and low self-esteem.
You must know that, no one can ever take your place or be like you. Even if you are a hundred doing the same thing, you will still stand out. Every one of us is wired in a unique way to fill a vacuum no one else can fill. When you make room for others, it breeds competition which will propel you in to working harder and achieving better results. But you can’t freely accommodate others if you don’t believe in yourself first: you will always feel threatened that someone wants to take your place. You must develop absolute self-confidence, because with self-confidence, you can even cause the wrong thing seem right.
And when you are a master of your art, you are not afraid to let others in to your sphere of influence.
Five years ago, I decided to join a Christian group in my country where I met a couple of amazing people and the leader of the group decided to make me the head of the journalism department. I can’t tell exactly why he chose me considering that I’d barely joint the group of which there were other people there who had been faithfully serving the group for years before I came in. But I think it is because he saw an ability in me which he thought was fit for that responsibility. And so I took up the task gladly and started mobilising others to work in that department.
It was through a then good friend of mine that I came in contact with this Christian group. We have similar passions and both loved journalism. Soon I noticed a distance between us and our relationship got more and more strenuous. After searching my mind, I realised I had not done anything against her, and so, I decided to find out from her what the matter could be.
“Nothing is wrong, trust me. I’m fine and I have nothing against you” she assured me
I believed her. But as time passed, we became distant even the more from each other. We barely spoke, I will send messages but never got a reply. I struggled to get her attention. Then one day, another lady in that fellowship confided in me saying
“X (my friend above) is not happy with your presence here. She says you have come here to compete with her and have taken her place. She is not happy that you’ve been given the responsibility as leader of the journalism department”
I was shocked but then this could be the reason for her sudden change of behaviour towards me. It really broke me because I did everything I could to keep our friendship but she seemed disinterested and so I left her to herself. Things have never been the same for us since then.
Now, you must know that you are in competition with no one. The only person you should compete with is you. Just you! When you focus on the role you have to play in a given entity, you will overlook on who is trying to take your place or not. You are your only competition because, there is no other person like you. The world is so vast with so much to be done, you can’t carry out every single task, you can not touch every life and affect the desired change alone. But only you can do the things you do the way you do them because we are all uniquely wired to fit in to different vacuums in the world.
When you understand this, you will even make space and accommodate other people and even teach them your skills because, the more you let out or give out, the more equipped you become. It is like the human body with various parts but playing different roles. You will never hear the eye crying to be the leg. If that happens then there is a loss of identity; you surely do not know who you are.
But when you understand that though there are two legs, yet, one leg must move before the other; both legs can never move at the same time, then you will cease from comparing with others and invest in yourself to become a better you. You are your only competition, work on becoming better. As you travel through life, you will always meet people who practice the same craft as you or seem to be better than you, don’t be threatened, no one can do it like you do.
Every human encounter is a purpose, make good use of every relationship before it expires, having in mind that you can never take their place and no one can take yours.