Two weeks have passed since the Naija Girl screening. I’m preparing for orientation camp, but it’s kind of stressful. Mum and I have designed my African outfit for the traditional segment at the finals which should be ready in two days. Dad says he’s proud of me, but I know he’s scared the pageant will interfere with my studies. I understand, but I’m not the first Law student to compete in Naija Girl, and I get a feeling I won’t be the last. Luckily the pageant takes place during the holidays, meaning I don’t have to deal with clashes in my schedule, but I have to do some proper planning when school resumes. Wow, look at me behaving like I’m actually going to win Naija Girl 2015. I can’t count these chickens before they’re hatched. I just have to do my best and pray for the best. Here’s hoping my best is good enough.

I’ve already selected an evening gown from a bridal store on Allen Avenue. The shop assistant suggested something with a long slit to show some leg, and Mum agreed. As long as the gown didn’t have a low neckline, she warned. She did have a point, you can’t flash both leg and boob at a pageant. Too desperate, too slutty! Some of the dresses Mum had in mind looked too retro, and my own trendy preferences would have cost an arm and a leg to hire for just two weeks. In the end I settled for a red chiffon gown with a slit running down the side, and I’m pretty sure I caught Mum wiping a tear away when I tried it on, bless her. Sure, I’ve raided my savings to look my best for the contest, but hopefully all this effort will pay off nicely.

I’m taking the pink bikini I wore during the screening to camp with me. We’ve been asked to pack our swimwear for publicity shoots. I don’t have to fuss with my hair that much because I’m probably the only contestant who won’t bother with wigs or extensions, and the deep conditioning treatment I’m getting at the salon tomorrow should protect my hair from any damage caused by too much handling. Maybe I should also pack some of those ‘doughnuts’ Mum bought on her last visit to Holland. I need more earrings too. And a new strapless bra for the black cocktail dress Mum gave me. And more personal essentials (Soap, lotion, toothpaste…) Man, that’s a lot of stuff!

Despite the stress I’m looking forward to competing at the grand final this year. Diamond World have already completed screening in Port Harcourt, Calabar, Abuja, and Jos, and I’ve seen the final 36 photos on their website. I’m telling you, some of the girls are total perfection, really stunning. Man, I’m scared. Mum’s assured me I’ll be fine though, and she’ll always be proud whatever happens at the Naija Girl finals. Dad’s said the same thing. So have my sister Eno, and my brothers Uduak and Edem. Great to have my family’s full support. Pity the moment was ruined by the biggest mistake I ever made. Akpan still has the nerve to send messages after our break up? Who does he think he is?

I should have listened to my friends when Akpan Akpabio finally caught me in his net after two moths chasing me all over campus. The same way he later caught other girls in that same net. He made me believe I was his only girl, and despite the stories I heard I believed his lies. I still believed him he he said he’d change after I caught him with his tongue down another student’s throat before I caught him with his hand on another girl’s boob. The final straw came when I walked in on him having sex with a hostess in the car park at a party he’d dragged me to just to have the campus queen on his arm. I finally told him there and then we were over. He merely shrugged and went back to business in my presence. My friend had predicted all this and I refused to listen, but at least he could never hurt me again.

Until this evening. He’s just sent a message that reads “I hear the high-and- mighty campus queen is competing at Naija Girl 2015. Do you think you’re really that beautiful? Stop deceiving yourself.” How vindictive. High-and-mighty? How can he say that, knowing how he’s repeatedly hurt me? He’s gone on with his own life, what’s his problem? Maybe he has the hump with me because I refused to get back together with him when he came crawling back. Stupid fool. I’m not doing Naija Girl for anyone other than me, and whether I win or not his concern. I’m blocking him from my Messenger, I don’t need any killjoys who can’t keep it in their trousers darkening my spirits. I’m arriving at camp with a bright attitude, and whatever happens at the pageant happens.

Naija Girl 2015, here I come.






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