This is the story of a modern Cinderella Zawadi. Zawadi is the daughter of a wealthy man, but she is the maid. Her stepmother takes advantage of the fact that her father is not in the country to mistreat her. Finally, her luck is changing, she gets an invite to Rafik’s party. Rafik is the most famous musician in the land, a prince among men. They have a spark but Zawadi like the fairytale Cinderella has to leave the ball at midnight. Zawadi goes to design school and this is her graduation night. Will her secret be discovered? If you have not read the rest of the story here is where the story begins.
Zawadi was nervous as she waited behind the stage. This was it, her big day. It was Zawadi’s turn on the catwalk. Her face was heavily made up. She had golden eye shadow on her eyelids; black mascara and eyeliner that made her eyes look mysterious. Her full lips looked tempting with the scarlet lipstick she was wearing. She had also used some glittery lotion on her skin that made her simmer as she moved. She had small gold plaited loops in her ears that had the same pattern as the numerous bangles on her wrists that clicked as she moved.
Zawadi’s golden 6-inch heels went well with her African attire. When she had gone for Rafiki’s ball the dress had been sewn up to the bottom. Now she had a slit that went up to her midthigh showing off her toned thighs.
Zawadi stepped onto the catwalk to some funky music. She walked like a panther, elegant and purposeful. They had all had professional training on how to catwalk. She took to the stage and owned it. Cameras were going off all over. She held her head up high so that her gaze was on the wall at the far end. She could hear the audience clapping as she modelled her finest creation, the gown that she had named lovers in the night.
Then Zawadi heard it. She had known it would come. Somebody shouted, “isn’t that the African princess from Rafik’s party.”
There was a gasp of surprise from the audience then she heard it.
“Yes it is!”
“What’s her name?”
Flash bulbs were going off everywhere. The press photographers tried to get closer to take a picture of her and ask her questions.
Zawadi finished her modelling and went back to the dressing room. She was sweating and her heart was beating fast. Angelica and Susan came to ask if she was alright. They hugged her then Angelica said, “I guess your secret is out. What should we do?”
Zawadi said “there is nothing to do. Let’s just wait for the winner to be announced then we can leave and I can disappear this time for good!”
The judges announced that they were ready to make their decisions. All the girls went onstage. The judges made general comments about the girls work then they announced the winners. In third place was Susan. In second place was Angelica. In first place was Zawadi who won Ksh 200,000 for her design work. She also won a 2-year internship with the designer Richardo Scolaro who was the mystery judge who was coming in. He was a famous Italian designer whose designs were coveted by the rich all over the world.
Ricardo got up to make some remarks. Ricardo was tall around 6 foot 2. He had green eyes, ginger hair peppered with grey and a round face with a small goatee. Rick said he was looking to have an African collection in the next year. He was interested in partnering with the college because they had some of the best student designers in the African continent. He mentioned some designers who were making waves in the fashion world with their designs. He wished all the grandaunts a successful life.
When Ricardo handed Zawadi the dummy cheque and the letter for internship tears of joy run down her face. She had done it. She had made her grandmother and mother proud. No one would ever be able to put down her family because of what happened in the past. It didn’t matter if her secret would come out. Now she had the money to make her own dreams come through. She did not have to be a charity case anymore. Zawadi smiled as she took pictures with the judges, Rick and her fellow classmates.
When they went behind stage, Rick said to her “congratulations. I see you also have the height and beauty of a model. I have been looking for a new African model. Maybe you can think about modelling for me. The internship doesn’t start for another four months. This will give you a chance to learn about Italy and Europe before you start on your internship. Let me know if that is something you would be interested in ok?
Zawadi nodded, she was too emotional to reply. Rick gave her his card. Then he said, “It seems the press and the people out there know you. I heard something about being an African princess. Maybe one day you will tell me that story. “
Ricardo kissed her cheek and said “I will be in town for the next week. Let me know if we can leave for Europe together. If you haven’t gotten back to me I will assume you are not interested in a modelling career. In that case, I will see you in 4 months.” Rick walked off to talk to some of the other students.
Angelica and Susan came out of where they had been in the shadows. They watched rick walk away. Angelica said, “he sure is handsome. Maybe when you go to Europe he will sweep you off your feet. I can see it now in the headlines. So romantic like one of those Mills and Boons I read.”
Zawadi poked Angelica playfully and said, “ha ha you are so romantic.”
Zawadi looked over at where Ricardo was standing. “He is handsome but my heart belongs to somebody else!” Then her happy mood disappeared when she thought of the reporters waiting for her outside. She didn’t know how she would be able to get out without having to go through the reporters.
The story is continued here.