“Ladies and gentlemen,” the quiz master began to say, after the applause had subsided. “There we have our six contestants in the junior category. They are about to go through two rounds.” He paused to observe both the contestants and the audience. The joy on their faces gave him the reassurance he needed. This competition still holds value and he was glad to be its anchor.
“The first round is 12 objective questions where they each have 5 seconds to input their answer on the digital screen in front of them. At the end of round 1, the top 3 contestants with the highest score move on to round 2” – he chuckled – “which is the Olympiad 60 seconds of fame.
“In round 2, each contestant will be given 60 seconds to provide answers to questions as much as possible. At the end of round 1 and 2, the two contestants with the highest combined score in both rounds, move to the semifinals.”
The quiz master sighed
“Oops!” Funmi sighed.” I would have skinned her alive if she had answered that first question wrong.”Funmi was seated among her school mates at the left flank of the audience seats. They had taken position at a vantage point where they could have a good view of their very own, Ayomide Cole. Funmi was however not happy with Ayomide for entering a tiebreak with a student that scored below her in the qualifying examination.“Funmi, you are talking now,” Perfect said. She was also one of the students, from her school, that have been given the grace to witness the competition first-hand. “Can you even answer that question?”“I…” She wanted to say but her voice trailed off as she heard what Perfect said next.“At least she scored above you in the qualifying exams!”“Third tie break question!” Al-ameen, a JSS 3 student said and held his hand on his head. He w
“I now know why she’s smiling and using her fingers to stroke her cheeks,” Adura said out of the blues. Ever since she saw Ayo smile, she had been wondering what would make her do so. And just now, it became dawn on her.“Why?” Perfect asked. She had been as inquisitive as Adura was. She didn’t just give it much thought.“She’s actually crying and using her fingers to wipe the tears.”“You don’t mean it!”“She’s right!” Al-ameen supported the claim, not looking at the person he was talking to.Perfect shook her head. “I don’t blame her.”“Oh! No!” Emmanuel brought his palm to his face fully. “0.96 seconds?”“That was really fast,” Funmi said, giving her opinion, without being asked for one.“Yes,” Oreoluwa agreed with Adura. “I can now see her tears. She&rs
“I feel for her,” Emmanuel said sadly. Bode, one of the participants, had just ended his round in the 60 seconds of fame.“Me too,” Perfect agreed beside him. She too was as sad as Emmanuel and it seems like everyone of them shared the same emotion that very moment. They are all eager to know what the final points hold, hoping it doesn’t lead to another tiebreak.“What do you think, Perfect?” Emmanuel asked, not looking away from Ayo.“I believe she will score higher than that boy.” She pointed towards Bode, who wore a comfortable smile on his face as the quizmaster queried him.“I want to believe so too,” Emmanuel said, now staring at Perfect in the eyes. “But could she score more than Anu?”Perfect sighed and buried her face in her palms. She looked back at Emmanuel with inquisitive eyes. “Are you implying the boy and Ayo are likely to have a tiebreak?”“Something like that,” Emmanuel said. “Or Anu and the boy are on the same point, with A
Back at home, on Monday evening following the first preliminary stage of the Mathematics Olympiad, Bukky was watching the video clip on television, because she wasn’t present to watch it live as events unfold. Ayo on the other hand was getting herself prepared for the semifinals, which obviously wouldn’t come until all preliminaries had been done.“Hey, Ayo!” Bukky, well relaxed on the comfortable two-seater couch, called out. “Did you notice how that girl kept looking at you?” She asked without turning to look at Ayo, instead she was focused on the television and pointing at it with the remote control on her hand.“Which girl?” Ayo asked curiously. She was seated in the study section, adjacent to where Bukky sat. It had just a chair and a table, which contained various study materials stacked neatly upon one another. She looked up from the tablet she was holding while she disconnected the wireless headset from her earhole.“The one in blue striped uniform.”
Lizben Schools, Four years AgoIt was the month of July, 2014 Lizben schools had just vacated for the third term of the 2013/2014 academic session. It was a day after the end of the session party. She was seated in the classroom with her best friend.“AY, has your dad arrived?” a girl, standing adjacent to where Ayo sat, asked.“My dad? Are you sleeping?” Ayo replied, sarcastically. “Have you forgotten he travelled out of the country?”“Oh! I forgot.” The girl covered her mouth with her palms. “I hope your mum is coming then.”“I don’t know. She promised to be here by 10 and” – she glanced at her wristwatch – “it’s now quarter to 11. She’s still not here.”“She would come, maybe it's traffic.”“What about your parents?”“My daddy is here already. He’s currently in the headmistress office.”Ayo looked down at her feet. “I wish my dad would just appear.”“It’s not only appear. It’s disappear!”“You know what I mean Anu,
How time flies? It’s already the 6th preliminary stage in the Mathematics Olympiad. Aside from Ayo, who had qualified for the semifinals, Perfect had also qualified in the senior category during the 2nd preliminary and Funmi; in the junior category during the 5th preliminary. Perfect did excellently well, leaving the runner-up 15 points behind, which has been unheard of since the inception of the Mathematics Olympiad. She had answered a total of 16 questions in the 60 seconds of fame. While Funmi was only able to squeeze in after going through a tiebreak in the 2nd round.“It’s the 6th prelim!” the quiz master announced for all to hear. “It is good to see your beautiful faces once more after an exciting 5th prelim where we witnessed Damilola Oladapo, a student from Beacon High School, break a record previously set in this year’s Mathematics Olympiad in the junior category by another student from Nightingale Academy.” He paused to take a breath.“Isn’t that exciting?” he
“Hi, Funmi,” Ayo greeted as soon as she entered SSS 1 Science classroom that Monday morning. School had just resumed for the 2018/2019 session. The previous JSS 3 students were now in SSS 1 and in their various choice of departments: Science, Technical, Commercial and Humanities.“Hi, Ayomide,” Funmi replied with the wave of her hand, making way for her to step farther in. “What about your friend? I guess she is in humanities.”“No. Not at all,” Ayo said without being annoyed as she already knew Funmi was trying to mock her friend. “She’s in commercial class. She wants to be an accountant.”“Oh! I see,” Funmi reacted and walked behind Ayo to where the latte was headed. “What about you?”“I don’t really know.” She sat and Funmi hurriedly sat beside her. “I want to be someone who impart knowledge on others.”“A teacher then?”“Maybe! Preferably, a lecturer.”“Hey! Guys,” Oreoluwa called as he walked towards the duo. He dropped his bag on Funmi
“Ayo,” Bukky who was leaning on the window frame of Ayo’s classroom, called. It was lunch break and every other student seemed to be out of their classroom if not in the dining hall.“Yes, what is it?” Ayo responded. A mouthful of rice in her mouth. She wasn’t one who leaves her class much, not when the semi finals are around the corner.“When you are done. Can you come downstairs to our class?”“Why not come and join me?” Ayo offered. “And whatever you want to tell me, you will say it.”“Thank you. I just finished eating,” she declined. “I want you to come and see Promise.”“Promise?” she hurriedly covered her food flask. “Let’s go now.” She wiped off food particles on her lips and ran out of the class to join Bukky.“Ayo, did you see the letter I left you on Saturday?” Bukky asked as they walked down the