As I woke up on Friday, 28th June my instincts told me something special was going to happen. I participated in a writing contest organized by ENACTUS FUTO the day before and was also participating in another one that same day. I hurriedly took my breakfast of Bread and tea, my customarily food when there is no left over from the previous night’s meal and I left for lectures.
The competition was to begin by 11:00 am so after the first lecture for the day, I left for a quiet place, where I took time to rehearse my presentation. I was to convince the judges at the competition that my talent as a writer is profitable. I planned presenting a piece I called “Blogging; a profitable venture for writers”. I was there with photocopies of my AdSense cheques and copies of the Infoscope news bulletin to buttress and drive home my ideas. I was making sure all the ts where crossed and the Is dotted. It needed to be a flawless presentation....Continue after the break.
The competition started around 1pm, two hours behind schedule. The shrewd judges were introduced to us; the judges were mainly entrepreneurs and Bank managers. Eight of them were to drill us during the presentations.
Over thirty students bought the form for the competition and there was no way we all could present before the judges. We were first told to write down our business plans as regards our talent on a plain sheet which we did and submitted. Thirty minutes later, the judges had selected 13 contestants who would do the presentations based on what they wrote.
‘C-002’ the compere called out, as he began calling out the names of the shortlisted 13 contestants. I was the first to be called out. Twelve others joined me on the stage as we were made to pick our numbers randomly from folded pieces of papers. We were to do the presentations in a specific order based on the numbers we picked.
Thank God! I was number six, so I had five people to take corrections from. I sat down on my seat waiting patiently as the first contestants mounted the stage. As he was talking a lot was running through my mind. What I was going to do with the N100,000 if I won. Was I going to use it to get a new laptop as I lost mine earlier this semester? I was still deep in these thoughts when I had the compere call out C-002. It was my turn. It came sooner than I expected. I looked at my cloth, my white shirt was properly tucked into my black trousers and I walked up to the rostrum.
Five minutes later yours truly was through as I walked out amidst claps from the audience. One thing I knew was that the claps weren’t because I did well but because it was just normal to clap for the contestants after each presentation. The truth be told it wasn’t a wonderful presentation by my own standard, there were a number of issues I needed to contend with. After my presentation I knew there was no need hoping to win anything, not even the third prize of N30,000.
So when they finally called the 13 contestants back to the rostrum for the announcement of the result I wasn’t expectant. The best five were called out and yours truly was conspicuously missing. I left the stage honourably. The best three were handed cheques of N100,000 N50,000 and N30,000 respectively.
As I sat down admiring the young fashion designer who won the grand prize I was taken aback by a feminine touch from Ifeoma, and like an angel who was sent to comfort me she encouraged me and told me not to be disappointed. ‘Whatever happens we are still friends’ she said. Moreover she reminded me that the result of the writing competition I partook is yet to be announced and that I should be hopeful. Though I wasn’t discouraged in the first place I shrugged off the whole thing and anticipated eagerly the results of the writing competition.
The result of the writing competition was the last event of the day. The top-three writers where called out and yours truly this time around was included. The 2nd runner up was then asked to leave the stage. They had prizes for just the winner and the 1st runner up. At this juncture I knew I was a winner, what now mattered was whether I was leaving with N50,000 or N10,000 less. The compere helped to make the moment tense as he added suspense. I was finally announced the 2nd runner up. For the second time in my life I took pictures with that mighty and oversize cheque. The first time I actually got to touch it was when my friend was awarded the MTN scholarship at an award ceremony.
I went back home that day very happy and fulfilled. At least I had something to boast of as I was going home N40,000 richer than I had left the house. My elder brother would later tell me in a congratulatory message, “This should be the least you can boast of”.
Meanwhile I have moved on with my life as usual, preparing for the second semester exam which was initially billed to start on the 16th of July, but it seems the ASUU strike will not allow that happen, we are still to come in terms with the fact that ASUU is on strike once again. That will be a story for another day. Remain good citizens of this country. See ya later.