The walls were new and unexplored. The structures were opulent and eye catching. Lucindawatched as Road One opened up to the Senate Building, she marvelled as she gazed on the architectural master piece called the Amphi Theatre. She was ready to spread her wings and busk in the euphoria of all the university had to offer. She wanted to know why the University of Ife was referred to as Oba Awon University (translated as ‘King of all universities’). The young lady settled into her room in Mozambique Hall and allowed her mind to wonder if Kingsley was having as much fun in his own school.

Harvest of tears – Miss OAU

There was an announcement over the public address system.

“Greatest Mozambique Queens!  As part of events towards this year’s fresher’s orientation, we would need ladies to represent the hall in the Miss OAU beauty pageant. If you think you have what it takes, kindly put down you name with the social director. Before the end of today. Thank you.”

Lucinda became excited but, she wasn’t the only one. A few of her roommates also wanted the opportunity to stand in the spotlight. With just a few days to the pageant, Lucinda wasn’t sure she should put down her name. Her mind became a sea of indecisions until eventually she set sail in the direction of representing the hall. She was scared and unsure but when she was picked amongst the top 10 contestants, she felt her confidence return to her.

“Ladies in the last 4 years, Mozambique Hall has won the Miss OAU pageant and we want to keep it that way”

The Social director announced without a hint of doubt. She then continued.

“Ladies, to win you must be willing to go ALL IN, ALL OUT and ALL THE WAY. What did I say?”

The ladies chorused her words,


Harvest of tears – Miss OAU

Margret was jovial yet stern. As Social director she was responsible for preparing the ladies for the pageant amongst other things. She showed them how to cat walk, bow and gave them an idea of the kind of questions they would be asked. She turned to Lucinda and asked

“Why do you want to be Miss OAU?”

Lucinda didn’t see that coming, she hadn’t thought about a decent answer to that question. She just wanted to be popular but she knew that wasn’t the best answer. She swallowed her tongue. And Margret snapped at her.

“Ladies, Never, Ever, make it obvious that you don’t have the answer!”

Lucindadidn’t expect Margret to bark at her but she took it with strides.

“Always begin with a smile and never look down or look away. Almost always, HOW you respond is more important than WHAT you say”

Harvest of tears – Miss OAU

She paused then looked at all the ladies sternly.

“As for you Lucinda, you could have just said that you want to be Miss OAU because you want to be able to influence people positively. Simple and short”

The ladies giggled at the simplicity of the answer that Margret gave then allowed her to continue.

She reached out to the hall chairlady who had been standing a short distant away and collected a small piece of paper containing a list. Then she announced to the ladies.

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