I knew I was in for the most exciting night of the year for me when I stumbled on Timi Dakolo as I was checking into my hotel room in Yenogoa. This is one of my favourite balladeers who can deliver a song with the smoothness of a young Michael Bolton. We exchanged pleasantries as he hurriedly drove to the venue. I wondered why the hurry only for me to get into the room, switch on the TV set and discover the show had already started.
The venue was heavily guarded with an assortment of security personnel. This was because it was being held in the Banquet Hall of the Government House. The hall itself was a marvel and the stage transported me to Las Vegas. This was my first such event and I could not help but stare. The damsels all strutted out in magnificent gowns, gorgeously made hair: all looking quite elegant.
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I wondered backstage and got the shock of my life. I saw the ladies all prepped up for the swim suit segment. The bikinis were so skimpy, I swooned and fainted. The girls all were so skinny that I immediately wanted to start feeding them. That for me was the low point of the event. You do not have to be that skinny to be beautiful. They looked gaunt and emaciated with their breast looking like small groundnut seeds on bony chest. I quickly got over that and continued to enjoy the scenery
While still backstage, I met the Limpopo crooner KayCee, who was as usual looking quite well turned out. He was so nice and agreed to take a picture with me and was so patient even when my N100,000 Z10 Blackberry began to act up as usual. He patiently stood there holding my waist with me enjoying the smooth aroma of his expensive perfume praying that the phone should keep on messing up so that this Kodak moment would not end. I thanked him for his magnanimity and as you know my mouth well, asked him after his former partner, which I think was blessed with one of the greatest voices I have ever heard. He mumbled something I did not agree with, but I was not going to fight him this wonderful night, so I let it pass
The quality of the girls intellect has tremendously improved and I give kudos to the wonderful team at Silverbird for this. One contestant talked about working with the disabled, linking it beautifully to the recent success of the Nigerian team to the Olympics. She received a loud ovation.
Finally the contestants were reduced to five. The clear crowd favourites were Miss Imo, Miss Adamawa and obviously Miss Bayelsa. For the first time, an Investment House-Investment One Financial Services Limited in it's bid to create more awareness in investment education was instituting a N500,000 portfolio management prize for the winner. The idea is to open an investment account for the Queen that would be managed by experts through out her reign and handed over to her after she relinquishes her title. Hopefully the money would have grown much more than the initial seed money.
So Miss Bayelsa emerged as the new queen to a loud ovation from the audience who were the home crowd. What has continued to marvel me is the need to keep on smiling by other contestants who just lost while still on stage. Me I for don vex commot for stage . But the training they have received makes them remain with poise, smiling while cursing and abusing the organizers internally. Na wa.
The Bayelsa State Governor, announced that the event would continually be held in Bayelsa as part of his push to make the place a tourism destination. This led to tears and joy from all present. The MD of Polo LTD., Mr John Obayuwana came up also to congratulate the contestants too and reiterated his company's support of the pageant, especially through giving the queen a fantastic Cartier watch.
In conclusion, I learnt a few things: The leaner you are as a contestant, the better your chances of winning. Nigerians still loves beauty pageants. The South-south attire is a beautiful garment. Soldiers and policemen (security operatives in general) could be nice and gentle. Always dress well to events because you can seat in VIP area even with a gbo gbo ero ticket and lastly eat before you go for any show.