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Friday, 17 February 2012

Honey's NOTEBOOK......... 8


For me, it was an opportunity to break new grounds so I decided to give it a shot. I bought the form for this beauty pageant at state level. I got to the audition venue with about 3 girls and the coordinator said the audition was the previous day and we had missed it already. I did not feel too good about it because I had been misinformed. This coordinator broke into my thoughts, saying it was ok and we could still join the competition as other girls had been camped .I became excited. I thought he would ask us some questions and screen us thoroughly but all he did was ask for our names and the institution we represented. Before I could figure why exactly he did that, I was already in the hotel the other contestants were lodged.

I did not need to be a graduate of Hotel Management and Tourism to come to a conclusion that this hotel was a 1- star hotel. I arrived at the hotel at about 6pm. I was asked to wait at the lobby before I was given a room. I began to study the environment and noticed some unusual happenings. Because it was getting dark, lanterns were lit at the reception in order for them to take the bookings of customers and other necessary things. At this moment, I began to imagine what the rooms looked like and what their services entailed.

Finally, they switched on the generator and I was back to reality. I was given a single room alongside two other girls. *sigh*.  I got to the room and kept staring at the the bed trying to calculate our sleeping angles and positions. I did not arrive at an accurate answer and so I moved on to do some other things. I began to unpack and mingle with new roommates. They were really nice and accommodating, that put my mind at rest.

It was shower time for me and I couldn’t wait to hit the bed. I got into the bathroom to have a warm bath but nothing in there looked like a heater. I took that in. I looked up and there was no shower. I waved that too because there’s no shower in my bathroom at home. *shrugs*. And so I got into the bath, put the bucket under the tap and opened it. Lo! and behold, not even a drop came out. Oh my days! I wanted to scream! I controlled myself and got back into the room. I told my roommates about it and they advised I called room service.

I got hold of the intercom and was ready to vent my anger on whoever picked my call. I became calm when I realized the intercom was not functioning. Everything about the whole placed was just wrong! I got dressed and went downstairs to meet the receptionist. She apologized and ordered they pumped water. They did and that took about 20mins. Finally, I took this bath and had a good sleep. The only thing that was fantastic about the room was the air conditioner.

We had to be up at 4:00am for exercises, dance and catwalk rehearsals. It was really difficult to get up at that time not just for me but every other person. Our first outing for the day was to the Office of the Commissioner of Police of the state. He was warm and promised to deploy a good number of policemen for security on the day of the event. He did. Our next port of call was to the Women Affairs Commission of the state. The Commissioner for Women Affairs spoke with us and gave some motherly advice and we took some pictures. 

At this time, none of us had had breakfast and too bad, we were conveyed in a 14-seater bus without an air conditioner. I must add that we were 18 in number which automatically meant some people had to lap others. Well, I did not. I couldn't have. *rolling my eyes*. We all looked famished, far away from beauty queens in the making. The coordinator now asked that we be ready to dinner at some place. I thought it was all a joke until I saw the other girls eating. For God's sake, this was a canteen, not even a restaurant and we were specifically instructed not to exceed a meal of N300. I had no choice but to eat because it was evening and I hadn't had breakfast. At this point, I just determined to stay in the competition for the experience and close my eyes to the "crown". No doubt, I enjoyed the meal but I was very unhappy. Little did I know that was the first and last meal we would be served during the competition.
It lasted 5 days. We paid visits to the local television station in the state and a private-owned radio station. It was all fun. I remember vividly that the On-Air Personality for that day asked the coordinator what prizes would be given to the winners of the competition, and he remained elusive about it. It was crystal clear that a whole lot was fishy about the competition. So sad I was in it already. Yes, I could have pulled out but my decision was to remain in it.

We returned to our rooms hungry. This was already a norm. My roommates and I made plans to find a solution to the hunger pangs we had everyday. We did, and it was a loaf of bread, peanuts, biscuits and water, at few times, drinks. I could not afford to buy food around because the hotel was situated in the Government Residential Area (G.R.A) of the state. The truth of the matter is I was practically starving. We carried on to the 3rd & 4th days. We were allowed to wake up at our preferred times but by 10am, we went downstairs for exercises and rehearsals. This was the last for the competition and so we all put in our best.

Later in the evening, we were taken out to meet with some dignitaries from the State Government House. I realized we were positioned at another hotel, precisely the pool side to make them think that was where we lodged. This hotel was a 4-star hotel and our actual 'camp' was a far cry from this. This was pure fraud! The State Government had provided enough funds to take care of the competition but these greedy coordinators took the larger share and left us with crumbs. It was like a movie but interesting.

The D-day finally came. We went to the venue very early in the morning for fittings and also to get familiar with the stage. The number of contestants had already dropped to 12. Most of the girls that left could not cope anymore. Others had their reasons. I did not contemplate winning but I was double-sure I would be in the top four.

We appeared three times on the stage for casual, traditional and evening wears. The hall was very scanty and that amazed me. This was an event that was all over the radio and television stations in the state. I hate to add this but I want to. As I came out in my evening wear, which was a long wine halter-neck gown with a big silver brooch at my lower cleavage, I slipped but did not fall. It was quite embarrassing but I managed to smile with confidence. I answered my question correctly and cat-walked to my position. 

The moment was here! The 3rd runner-up was announced, the 2nd too. I was excited because I strongly believed I was going to be the 1st runner-up. When I didn't hear my name, my smiles greatly increased because I was thankful I would be the crowned queen of the state and all I went through wouldn't be in vain.  
To my greatest shock, hmmmmm....... I was NOT the winner of the competition. My heart skipped a beat. I felt better when I saw the prizes that were given to the top four.
                     3rd runner-up: Nothing
                     2nd runner-up: Standing fan
                     1st runner-up: DVD player
                     Winner: 14-inch television 

I was now grateful to God I wasn't in the top 4 because those prizes were rather insulting. The winner was promised a return trip to South Africa. All lies. In fact, it was announced that there was going to be an after party. I noticed we were taken back to our hotel rooms to rest and vacate by morning. My friends began to call me to say that they were at the party venue and the state officials did not allow them in, saying there was no such party going on there.

I apologized to them. I felt really bad about it. The next morning, I said the required goodbyes to the other girls and was out at 7am.

Such is life!

Chapter 7 


  1. Another nice one, couldn't help but have a good laugh. Hope the next contest will be better. lol

  2. OMG!!!!!!!dat was pure fraud mhen!!!!!!thank God u didn't die of starvation!*lol*better and more opportunities to come for u babes..

  3. there she goes again, putting a good story together with the perfect combination of words

  4. amazing, was hooked, well told.

  5. Nice flow, easy read.........but errm, u were o sure u'd be in the top four? na,i'm surprised u even contested...haha