Imolemla’s ‘Quest for Identity’ secures win at AIFEST International Poetry Competition

Imolemla of Ungma village, a resident of Kumlong Ward, Mokokchung achieved a rare feat of securing ‘A Grade’ in the Open Category in the recently held International Poetry Writing Competition conducted by All India Forum for English Students, Scholars and Trainers (AIFEST) in connection with International Women’s Day celebration.





The 2023 edition of AIFEST’s International Poetry Competition titled ‘Celebrating Womanhood’ hosted 1938 participants from 69 countries of the world.


Her work ‘Quest for Identity’ will be featured in the International Poetry Anthologies which will be brought out by the AIFEST in collaboration with its international publishing partners.


‘Quest for Identity’


When I look into the mirror
Who am I?
Can I see eye to eye
To the figure who stares back?
If it asks, ‘Are your thoughts your own?’
Will I be able to stand my ground or frown?
For long, hidden was I behind the cloak
Fearing I’d be branded a yoke.
My identity was a melody only I knew the tune of-
It lurked over the vaults,
It strummed and hummed; shrilled and resonated.
Wished to dance to it but remained deaf to its tunes
For as long as I remained docile and subservient
I was a lady – sweet and gentle.
No more, no more will I lose my voice
For now I see, it is my choice.
This is my journey towards freedom,
This is my quest for identity,
This is where I declare

I am more:
I am more than a statistic
I am more than the data on your pie chart.
I am more than my victories,
I am more than my failures.
I am more than your notions of beauty,
I am more than a dress code.
I am a person, I am a voice-
I cry as well as rejoice.
I am not a wind-up toy
To which the keys you hold.

I am more than just a number:
I am a person who lives
I am a person who loves.
I am more than a gossip,
I am more than a story.
I am more than a preconceived notion.
I am a daughter, I am a sister.
I am a voice,
I am a woman-
Fierce, bold and unapologetically myself.



Also Read: Meet the 21- year old poet, Imolemla


Imolemla has also won a number of other feats, some of which are:

. 2nd Position in the Inter-District Essay Writing Competition, Government of Nagaland, Department of Youth Resources & Sports, Kohima, 2023.

. 2nd position in the Inter-College Prepared Speech Competition, organized by District Administration & District Level Centre for Women- MSK (BBBP) Mokokchung and Jubilee Memorial College, Mokokchung, on account of International Women’s Day, 2022

. 2nd position in Poetry Competition on World Day Against Trafficking in Persons, organized by District Administration & Sakhi- One Stop Centre, Mokokchung in collaboration with Mokokchung Police, 2020.

. 2nd Position in the Slogan Competition organized by District Administration & District Level Centre for Women-Msk under the Banner of Beti Bachao Beti Padhao (BBBP), Mokokchung, 2020.

. Consolation Prize in Poetry Slam Video Competition during the 16 Days of Activism against Gender-Based Violence, in celebration of International Day for the Elimination of Violence Against Women, 2020.

. 1st Runners Up in Slam Poetry Competition on the topic “Naga Political Struggle” in the ANCSU E-Collegiate Meet Cum Beat Contest, Kohima 2020.

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