I woke up with anxiety mixed with fear as a result of the event the previous day while returning from Amarachi’s house. I saw a poster for a poem audition/competition at the secondary school level. It was an opportunity to showcase my talent. I had written several poems, and this seemed to be a launching pad into my writing stardom. All night, I kept pacing and day-dreaming about seeing myself reciting my poems on a lit stage with shouts and cheers from a laudable audience. The excitement on my face could be read as mum stared suggestively at me. Unable to resist my obvious glow, she asked what my excitement was all about after breakfast. I told her, and she wished me all the best. At school I was bubbling and before long, Amarachi and Ozoma were sending suspicious looks at me. I finally let the cat out of the bag and they expressed their hopes. Amarachi suggested I call the organizers to indicate my interest. Goodness me I almost forget that.
This morning, I was told Dad had traveled on a business trip. So, I told mom to make the call, but she insisted on doing it myself. As the phone rang, I fidgeted considering what and how to address the receiver. I suddenly became blank as the phone rang incessantly and I hung up. Thank goodness, I would have messed up myself at the first impression. Mum promised to call again as I hurried off to school. Today was burdensome with lessons. Finally, I got talking with Amarachi who asked for the call. She suggested that I review the poems and inform Mrs. Nweke, the literature teacher for her to assist me in preparing for the audition. I was grateful to have such a thoughtful friend. We agreed to meet at our break time the next day.
At home, I asked mum if she made the call through to the organizers and her response was positive. Shockingly the audition was to be held that weekend instead of the two weeks stipulated date. I had the shortest possible time to prepare as anticipated. I quickly did my assignments, brought out my files to retrieve the poems. After much deliberation, I chose a poem titled, “TEENS AND PUBLIC SPEAKING” because of the concept behind it. The words were figuratively employed. I slept off while reciting it.
Why leaving for school, I tucked the poem into my bag. My concentration was between the lesson taught and the poem and my meeting with Mrs. Nweke. Who was at her desk powdering her face. I intimated her about the audition and she offered to take me on the grooming exercise. She spent an hour to orientate us on factors that can enhance good speaking, carriage, voice tone, eye contact and confidence. I decided to practice more at home.
I woke up a little late because I rehearsed all night, but I was able to get ready for school. At break, Amarachi and I went to meet Mrs. Nweke who helped us on the diction, facial/body gestures with stage movements. I had memorized the literacy piece which I recited over and over again. Amarachi stood by me all through with timely encouragement. At home, I stood before the mirror and recited my poem repeatedly before retiring for the night.
After break, I dazzled Mrs. Nweke with my rendition having mastered all that she thought me. She was proud of me and promised to attend the audition with me. We made arrangements on how to leave the next day. Dad called me to ask about my preparation. We chatted happily for over thirty minutes as I recited my poem before him. He encouraged me and there was nothing more on my mind than to make everyone proud of me. I arranged all I needed for the next day.
The sound of rain drizzling woke me up. The reality of the day crept in and fear began to mount in my throat. I got dressed for the day and got to school looking both exited and nervous. I knew I could control my nervousness at the appointed time because I was adequately prepared. The Hall was beautifully decorated and it was filled to capacity as most students wanted to witness the audition. Soon the show started and one by one we were called to make our presentations. When it got to my turn, the excitement that crept into me was indescribable. I mounted the stage, received the microphone and showed them the stuff I was made of. It was applause and applause that greeted my every recital. At the end, it was congratulation galore for me and Mrs. Nweke, Amarachi and my friends were very impressed with my performance. I couldn’t wait to get home.
I woke up early and got dressed for service. The service was rather long because it was a ‘Thanksgiving Day’. We eventually got home to my surprise, mum handed me a new pair of shoes and jean skirts. It was later that dad explained to me what that was all about. Mrs. Nweke had briefed my mom on my exploits during the audition and my mum and dad decided to reward me for making them proud. Later in the evening, Amarachi came to my house and what she told me ————. Check it out in the next edition.